A smile on my face, tears in my eyes, warmth in my chest and heart full. This description was me last month as I attended my oldest son's graduation from college. I remember it vividly as I was focused and present; however, that was not the case in the weeks leading up to it. Prior to the actual day, I felt a range of emotions from joy to sadness AND I let myself experience them all. You see, emotions are like waves - they ebb and flow and if we try to suppress them, they can get larger and overtake us; however, if we give ourselves permission to feel them, they can offer us information and guidance. I am inspired to work at a time where emotions are being researched, which enables us to increase our ability to understand and use them to unlock our potential. Read on to find resources on how and why developing emotional intelligence can benefit you.
What is Emotional Intelligence and how is it useful?
“Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the ability to manage both your own emotions and understand the emotions of people around you. There are five key elements to EI: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. People with high EI can identify how they are feeling, what those feelings mean, and how those emotions impact their behavior and in turn, other people. It’s a little harder to “manage” the emotions of other people; but, if you can identify the emotions behind their behavior, you’ll have a better understanding of where they are coming from and how to best interact with them.” - source Mental Health America
Dr. Marc Brackett, professor in Yale University’s Child Study Center and founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, is one of several leaders researching and sharing tools to increase awareness about our emotions. "His book serves as a guide for understanding our own and others’ emotions, as well as provides innovative strategies for developing emotional intelligence in adults and children so that emotions help, rather than hinder, our success and well-being."
“My message for everyone is the same: that if we can learn to identify, express, and harness our feelings, even the most challenging ones, we can use those emotions to help us create positive, satisfying lives.”
― Marc Brackett, Permission to Feel: Unlocking the Power of Emotions to Help Our Kids, Ourselves, and Our Society Thrive
Below are two useful tools to expand emotional intelligence. Treat yourself and increase your emotional awareness. Not only for you, but for those around you.
*“Permission to Feel” Book by Marc Brackett
*Mood Meter App Learn how to track your feelings and moods over time and gain greater insight about your emotional life.
Be Healthy Within Blog
Hi, I'm Carolyn a clinical counselor, art therapist, health coach and mother of four. I am dedicated to promoting mental health awareness, fostering growth mindset and developing connections to self and others. I believe healthy living starts with the individual, which creates a ripple effect for others.