In this interview with Sara Westbrook, a fellow keynote speaker who is passionate about inspiring professionals to be more in touch with their emotions, we take a deep dive into emotional intelligence from childhood to adulthood – and learn the benefits of being aware and in-touch with our emotions so we can live happier and more fulfilled.
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Emotions are natural and normal to feel
Sometimes, emotions are hard and uncomfortable to feel – but that’s okay. What you do with your emotions as information and motivation to get on with your day is the skill most people need to learn.
Like it or not, society has modeled us to only feel joy and happiness. Anything else, make sure you don’t show them – especially at work. Emotions show weakness and it’s shameful to show anything but happy, so we suppress our other emotions. Why? Because your character matters. Respect matters. But hey did you know – you can still be frustrated while being respectful. You can be sad or nervous, and still be brave.
Why Emotional Intelligence Matters
As mentioned above, emotions – positive and negative – are natural and normal to feel. What should you do when you have a negative emotion that leads to a negative response?
The key here is to become emotionally aware. Honor the fact that an emotion is happening. Name it the emotion you’re feeling so your brain sees the emotion as information and it won’t completely overwhelm you. Instead of “I don’t know how I’m feeling on my stomach” and now you’re spiraling… say, “Ok, I feel anxious and now I’m going to take a deep breath.” Do a check-in with yourself and be emotionally aware.
Emotional awareness is emotional intelligence. When you are aware of your emotions and see how it physically impacts you, you know develop strategies on how to manage them. Maybe talk a walk? Deep breathing? Screaming into a pillow?
Learning as much as you can when it comes to your emotions only benefits you in the end. You’re constantly going to experience emotions, whether you’re comfortable with it or not.
The 3Es That Can Change Your Life
Emotional awareness, emotional management, and emotional resilience. These three Es help us feel an emotion and move forward.When we feel positive emotions, we can use them to propel our lives forward. When we feel negative emotions, we know how to manage them so it doesn’t consume our intelligence and choices.
These 3 Es ultimately make up emotional intelligence – and it’s something that all human beings need to constantly work on. Life is not about perfection. But it is about progress. It’s about reflection redirection. We’re not going to be perfect. We’re going to make mistakes, it would be unreasonable to think that you wouldn’t. But the tools are about how can I reflect and redirect and and where am I redirecting to? And that’s the key.