The root word of ‘Emotion’ comes from e-movere, or to move. A depressed person is predisposed to inaction; a joyful person wants to embrace what is there. Knowing the patterns of our emotions and where they dispose us to go becomes critical for change. We can describe emotions as energy in motion… e-motion.
Emotions influence thought, decision making and success in life (particularly organizational life) to a far greater extent than has been previously recognized.
- All human beings are born with emotional intelligence to a greater or lesser degree, and this innate emotional intelligence can grow over time when it is supported by nurturing and developmental activities.
- Emotional intelligence applies to the self and to others. Self-awareness is a cornerstone of emotional intelligence, and to the extent one is not self-aware, one is unlikely to be aware of others. Empathizing with others and communicating with others skillfully depend on the ability to empathize and understand others’ points of view. Emotional intelligence is a critical cornerstone of successful experiences working with others; it is particularly vital to those in leadership positions.
- When conflict and differences emerge, they generate intense emotions that can persist if the conflict goes unresolved. What can help is to understand the source of the emotion’s intensity, and some strategies for self-soothing.
- Reactive emotions stem from our sense of self-preservation to our pride and our ego.*
Normally speaking, we only get upset when we encounter something we are protecting or hiding about our own selves. “How dare you!” is more revealing about your own issues than the person who just offended you. Ask yourself this very relevant question: “Why did this (whatever) hit a nerve and upset me?” Often it is a sign of something we need to work out in our own lives.
Bottom line with emotions are two things:
1. It is much about the lesson we can learn about ourselves.
2. It is an opportunity for personal growth as to how we then respond to the emotion.
Let’s face it, emotions happen to us passively or reactively; but how we respond to these emotions is the true treasure… how we transform from a reactive person to a responsive person. A response requires thought before action and we know all too well that emotions are too often followed by actions followed by thoughts… usually regrets.
Interesting how we were told as kids that if you get mad stop and hold your breath for 10 seconds. Remember that? So during these 10 seconds you get to think about what you will do next (and that is very good) but it also causes the release of the anti-stress hormone Oxytocin that can bring clarity to your thinking. Pretty cool eh!
So today’s lesson is really to remember the good advice you were given by your grand parents, who already learned this lesson throughout their lives. Stop, hold your breath for 10 seconds before saying or doing anything when you are upset.
Yours in Real Life.