Have you ever wondered what emotional knowledge is or why it is important to develop it? The point is that emotions exist because they give us valuable information, they help us adapt to changes and improve our social life. However, are we still able to interpret what they are trying to tell us?
So, in order to get the most out of them, it is essential to know how to identify them and give them meaning. This way we will know why they appear and why we somehow feel in different situations.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
Learn about emotional knowledge
Emotional knowledge is fundamental to having good emotional intelligence. It involves following criteria that will allow us to identify and differentiate emotions, but not only in ourselves or in others; we will also understand why they appeared and how they can help us. In this way, knowledge and emotional experience represent the basis for being able to regulate them effectively and so that they do not generate excessive discomfort.
Therefore, if our emotional knowledge is poorly developed, the reasons we have given are important enough to try to develop it. So how do we get to know ourselves emotionally?
For this, we can keep a small weekly register that we will fill out for one or two weeks. We will write down all the emotions we feel throughout the day, as well as the situations in which they arose. In this way, we will be able to put them forward and become aware of the emotions that predominate in us. This register will also show us that we often feel contradictory emotions.
To refine our ability to identify, it is good to ask ourselves a series of questions that we will need to answer, such as “What emotion was it?” or “How do I know it was that emotion?”. We will therefore note all the data and all the clues that we observed and which told us what emotion it was.
Strengthen our emotional knowledge
Once we have developed our emotional knowledge and know how to identify our emotions, we must take advantage of it. The goal now will be to understand the function of emotions and how they push us to action, in addition to understanding that we each have different thoughts, feelings and intentions. In other words, we will develop this emotional knowledge through social interactions.
For that, we can work understanding in different situations, whether it be those in which we are not involved es (like videos or stories about other individuals) or conflicts in which we retrouvé- es and during which we were able to feel certain emotions.
Once we have determined the emotion and the situation that we want to work on, it is good to break it down into sequences suited to how it has developed. For each of them, as well as for the different characters that appear, we will have to analyze what they say or do, what they think and the emotions they felt.
In this way, we will realize that emotions, thoughts and behaviors are linked. But not only. We will also understand that what we think and feel at different times does not have to coincide with what others think or feel. Finally, we will understand this motivational function that we mentioned before and which involves emotions informing us and activating us to seek what we need.
Don’t constantly try to analyze your emotions!
As with everything in life, you need to know how to use emotional knowledge in a balanced way. It doesn’t help us when we lack it, but neither does it help us when we are constantly paying attention to our emotions and bodily sensations. This is why we must also learn to reduce it if we analyze all the emotions that we feel. If we do this, we run the risk of losing the dynamic power of emotions.
“Change your focus and you will change your emotions. Change your emotion and your attention will shift to something else. ”
Thus, we will give ourselves half an hour every day, for a week, during which we will allow ourselves to think about what worries us, what we cannot take away from our mind and to feel unpleasant emotions. without avoiding them. This exercise does not consist in making us rejoice in our unhappiness; on the contrary, we will confine the constant preoccupation that floods our minds all day long in this reserved space of time.
Therefore, if an unpleasant emotion arises during the day, instead of looping it around in our mind without being able to do anything with it, we will let it pass until the stipulated half hour arrives. . During this time, we will settle in a quiet place in our house, a place where no one can interrupt us, and we will program an alarm to let us know when the thirty minutes are up. Once it rings, we will have to go back to our daily activities.
“It is surprising how logic and clarity emerge once the mind is free from emotional contamination.”
With these three exercises, we will succeed in harnessing our emotional knowledge, so as to use our emotions to develop our physical and mental well-being. It is normal to feel negative emotions, but it is important to learn to identify them so that they do not appear too frequently, too intensely, or too durably over time … So what are you waiting for to strengthen your emotional knowledge?
Images of Aral Tasher, Alejandro Álvarez and Averie Woodard