Our emotions play a vital role in sending us relevant messages and most often drive our behaviour if we don’t stop to take time to read, feel, and manage those messages, to be self-aware.
How often during your busy day do you stop to feel or manage your emotions? Many would answer that question with “rarely.” For numerous reasons, we go through our daily routines without being fully aware of our emotions; they come and go, not always as we wish them to.
Your Emotions Send Vital Messages
Checking your emotions and asking yourself why you feel the way you do or what made you react to a situation is essential to healthy self-management. Circumstances can and do hijack our emotions when we fail to recognize and manage them. Sometimes, specific people or conditions seize our feelings for various reasons. Still, often it is related to something from our past, such as an adverse incident that creates uncomfortable feelings, cultivating unwanted emotional responses.
Your Emotions Are Not You
As you begin to explore your emotions, you deepen your self-awareness. It’s only then you begin to understand that your feelings are not you! Your emotions are what you feel, not what you are. As you become more mindful of your emotions, you realize they are experiential, which you feel. This is quite different from who you are - which is existential.
For example, you can say, “I feel frustrated,” or you can say, “I am frustrated.” If you say, “I am frustrated,” there is little you can do about it. Instead, if you say, “I feel frustrated,” it is an experience you’re feeling, and you can do something about it. You can control how you’re feeling by calming or ignoring the emotion for the time being until you’re better prepared to manage it.
How Intimate Are You With Your Emotions?
If you want to master the skill of managing your emotions, you have to become intimate with them. Remember, the more you pay attention to your feelings and question them, the more self-aware you’ll become. Once you understand why you do the things you do, you will increase your emotional awareness, strengthen your emotional intelligence, and self-manage better in future situations.
Keep in mind, to be the best version of yourself, you always want to manage your emotions instead of them controlling you. Marshall Connects offers Emotional Intelligence Assessments and Coaching to enhance skill development in all areas, including self-management techniques like successfully regulating your emotions to improve your life and overall productivity.
This article was originally published on October 6, 2018, and has been updated (November 2020).
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