Last update: 07 September, 2017
Have you ever wondered what emotional knowledge is or why it is so important to develop it? Emotions exist because they provide valuable information, help us adapt to changes and improve our social life. But are we always able to interpret what they are trying to tell us? To get the most benefit from them, it is important to learn to identify these emotions and give them meaning. In this way, we will know the reason for their appearance and what are the senses our mind uses according to the situations.
"Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom"
How to foster emotional knowledge
Emotional knowledge is essential for enjoying healthy emotional intelligence. He explains that man has criteria that allow him to identify and differentiate emotions, in himself and in others, and also helps him understand why they have occurred and what they can be useful for. In this way, knowledge and emotional experience are able to effectively regulate our lifestyle without causing excessive discomfort.
In this article, we will show you the main strategies for increasing your emotional knowledge. How can we begin to know each other emotionally?
To do this, we can prepare a weekly log that we will use for one or two weeks. In it we will note the emotions we experience during the day and the situations in which they arise. By doing so, we will be aware of which emotions prevail the most. This experiment will also help us understand that we often experience conflicting emotions.
To improve our ability to identify, it is good to ask ourselves some questions that are important to answer, such as "what emotion was it?" or "how do I know it was that emotion?". In this way, we can recognize the data and clues, which indicate precisely if it was an emotion rather than another.
Enhance your emotional knowledge
Once you've built up your emotional knowledge and identified your emotions, it's time to take advantage of them. The goal now will be to understand the functions of those emotions, how they incite us to action, as well as understanding that each individual has different thoughts, feelings and intentions. That is, we will promote this emotional awareness in social interactions.
For this purpose, we can work on understanding emotions in different situations: from those in which we are not involved, such as videos or stories foreign to us, to conflicts in which we have been protagonists and in which we have expressed various emotions.
When we have a clear understanding of the emotion and the situation we want to analyze, it is useful to divide them into sequences with respect to how they developed. For each of them, moreover, we will have to analyze the different characters, but also what they said or did, what they thought and what emotions they felt.
By doing so, we will be aware of which emotions, thoughts and behaviors are related. 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 and feel. Finally, we will understand that the motivational function we mentioned earlier causes emotions to activate our mind to search for what we need.
Don't try to always analyze your emotions
Like everything in life, emotional knowledge must be used with balance. When it is not present, it does not help us, but neither does being continually aware of one's emotions and body sensations. For this reason, we must learn to reduce it because, otherwise, we would run the risk of losing the dynamic power of emotions.
“Change your focus and your emotions will change. Change your emotions and your attention will change place "
For this purpose, half an hour a day for a week we will be able to think about our worries in order to get them out of the mind, but also to experience negative emotions without avoiding them. This exercise does not consist in enjoying one's misfortunes, but relegating to this limited space of time the constant worry that usually occupies our entire day.
Sand during the day we will experience an unpleasant emotion, instead of brooding over it without coming to any conclusion, we will ignore it until the stipulated half hour arrives. During this time, we have to sit in a corner of the house where we will not be interrupted and we will schedule an alarm for thirty minutes. Once the exercise is over, we can resume our activities.
"It is surprising how, once the mind is free from emotional pollution, logic and clarity emerge"
-Clyde de Souza-
With these three exercises, we will be able to take advantage of our emotional knowledge, in order to exploit our emotions to promote our physical and mental well-being. It is normal to experience negative emotions, but it is important to learn to identify them so as not to let them emerge too frequently… Feed your emotional knowledge!
Images courtesy of Aral Tasher, Alejandro Álvarez and Averie Woodard.