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How to BEcome more Emotionally Intelligent right now

How are you feeling?

I don’t expect anyone to use the comments below to actually answer that but I challenge you to push back from the screen for a moment and have a look inside instead.

 

So, how are you feeling?

 

Try and go beyond “I’m fine!” That’s the answer 80% of the time but is only 20% accurate.

 

Try again. How do you feel?

 

If you come back with “I feel pissed off that lockdown is still trundling on without an end in sight” – that’s a start! But, it’s a judgement. It’s a thought. A feeling is not a thought. The actual feeling, in this case, might be ‘enraged’ or a somewhat milder ‘impatient’.

Why do this?

I’m busy, I’ve stuff to do’ [says your mind]. Yes, but if you’re scanning through your LinkedIn feed… now might be the perfect time to find an answer from inside instead. I’ve observed that a feeling not identified is a feeling transferred. If you’re feeling angry but you don’t become conscious that you’re angry… maybe someone else will get it in the neck.

If you are feeling angry (or whatever you are feeling; lonely, scared, bored…) that’s ok! Well done for observing and identifying it.

Once you know how you’re feeling there are two positive actions from here, especially if you are gripped by an unpleasant feeling:

1.      Go into the feeling, really explore it… Does it have a colour? Texture? Sound? When did it arise? Where did it come from? Write about it… Tell someone (a good listener) about how you truly feel.

2.    Figure out… What is this feeling telling you that you need?

Feelings are a real part of your experience when you don’t acknowledge unpleasant feelings they tend to stick about and fester. They influence our behaviour. Unpleasant feelings often surface as negative actions towards others –a curt email; a critical comment to a loved one; a sarcastic tone or much worse. They surface as negative actions towards ourselves too –too much coffee; working without any breaks or exercise; downing a bottle of gin.

Although we don’t have a choice about lockdown for those of us that are still physically healthy now is a perfect time to ‘tune in’ and discover what the internal weather is doing? Perhaps there’s a storm brewing (good to get an early insight right?) or perhaps the sun’s about to appear. Gently observe; without judging and explore, without resistance.

Taking time to identify how you truly feel gives you huge power over yourself, your actions and your success.

Do this:

1.      Grab a pen and paper

2.    Use the wheel below to answer “How am I feeling, right now?” (if you’re not used to observing yourself or well versed in the language of feelings it might take you a little while, but it’s worth it)

3.    Make a note of each word that feels right, beside it answer this “Why might I be feeling this way?” Write a sentence or two (more if it’s flowing)

4.    For each feeling ask yourself “What might this indicate I need?” write down your answer. 

 

For example, you might have:

  • Feeling?: Scared
  • Why?: I might get Coronavirus
  • Need?: Do everything I can to look after my health; reduce device time, increase sleep time, read books I enjoy, phone a friend (a positive one), eat healthy food, drink a litre of water, exercise every day.

 

  • Feeling?: Grief
  • Why?: I had plans to have a holiday and now I can’t go
  • Need?: Accept I can’t do the trip! Treat myself in other ways; a bath every night, order dinner to be delivered, start planning my next trip with a friend.

Remember: an unidentified unpleasant feeling is an unpleasant action transferred (onto yourself or someone else). Don't do that, do the numbered actions above.

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