Power of Emotions

As part of the ‘Power series’, topic that I wanted to share and explore this week is the ‘Power of Emotions’. In today’s volatile and uncertain environment where most of us feel that the world is in a constant state of flux, with every second and minute bringing new shifts, the incessant thought we have is ‘How do I navigate through the changes happening around me?’ For me, the solution lies in being emotionally resilient and managing your emotions, feelings and thoughts to the best of your abilities. An emotionally resilient person can hold themselves through any storms of life and successfully navigate their lifeboat to a safer harbor.

One of the realizations in my life has been that I have made almost every professional relationship work by keeping ‘emotions in the room’ instead of keeping ‘emotions outside the room.’ As stated by Gary Chapman, “True emotional connection is the foundation of lasting and meaningful relationships.” I remember at work; how we were advised to think logically rather than emotionally and keep emotions out of it to arrive at the right decision. The essential factor is to strike a balance between your cognitive and non-cognitive skills.

While emotional resilience has multiple elements to it, one of the key elements to it is ‘self-awareness’. It is the ability to tune into our emotions, feelings and thoughts to understand our inner world or to know what is going on within us. I will like to put across two simple questions for you to ponder upon:

·       How tuned-in are you to your own emotions daily?

·       Do youmanage your emotions or do youremotions manage you?

Instead of managing your emotions, in case your emotions manage you, in that case you may have experienced situations in which instead of responding to a situation you would have reacted to it. There may be a time; when you may have felt that certain emotions are hijacking you and you have very little or no control over them, be it an argument at home, at work or any other place. Also, you may have witnessed days where you were unclear why you are feeling a certain way and struggled to find ways to manage your state better. As you reflect now, there may have been personal or professional situations where you regret your words or actions that just happened in the spur of the moment and you feel you had no control over it.

The fact is you cannot cope with something which you do not understand. Thus, it is important to understand emotions to successfully navigate them. So, what exactly are emotions? One of the definitions I read and resonated with, states ‘Emotion (e-motion) is energy in motion.’ As per *Six Seconds, ‘Emotions are messages from you to you about what you are perceiving and the messages contain energy. They work all the time and you don’t have to be conscious of it or believe in it but they are regulating your body, your brain, helping to get data to you so that you can survive and thrive.’

So, is there a way you can start de-coding emotions and start understanding the data being provided by them? There are multiple tools and techniques which can help you cultivate insights in this regard. The moment you start acknowledging your emotions and start paying attention to the bodily responses connected to your emotions your journey towards emotional resilience has commenced. The fact is that this is one area where maximum learning can happen only through doing and being. Only knowing about it is not going to lead you anywhere. To tune in to your emotions regularly and be able to navigate through them in a better manner, you can follow some of the suggestions shared below:

  1. Start by enhancing your emotional vocabulary. *There are eight basic emotions joy, sadness, fear, disgust, surprise, anticipation, anger, and trust. However, the Plutchik’s ‘Wheel of Emotions’ details the different emotions based on intensity, combinations, etc. which can help you expand your vocabulary. You can know more about it by accessing the below link. https://www.6seconds.org/2022/03/13/plutchik-wheel-emotions/
  2. Do regular self-check-in by asking yourself ‘What am I feeling now?’ and you can take it to the next level by asking ‘What else am I feeling?’ At times we are not experiencing a single emotion but a spectrum of emotions. By asking, you will get deeper insights into the different emotions you may be experiencing in that moment, which can help you deepen knowledge about your thoughts and actions.
  3. Journal what you are feeling and any bodily cues associated with your emotions on an ongoing basis. It is like maintaining a mood tracker that can help you identify patterns about yourself and give great insights. It is also important to understand the difference between emotions and feelings. The simple difference between the two is time – emotions come first then come feelings. As we start to soak in the emotions, the feelings start to set in.
  4. Practice self-compassion and accept everything about yourself. The way you feel, how you are that is the ‘whole’ you. It is a great way in being able to recognize everything going on within you and around you.
  5. Practice ‘pause’ during the day. Look around and you will find emotional data all around you. It is important to understand that emotions have a domino effect. Reflect back on times when your anger or anxiety triggered a mirrored emotion in people around you. If you pause, you will notice emotional data through people’s faces, non-verbal cues and body language that will give subtle cues to you about what’s going on. The key is to ‘pause’ and notice yourself and others.
  6. Remind yourself that emotions are neither positive nor negative. Try and make emotions your ally and treat them as signals or data where each emotion has a unique purpose and message. So instead of trying to control emotions or fight emotions start by accepting them.

As shared by Joshua Freedman ‘Our emotions are part of what makes us human. It is emotions that help us experience the joy, wonder, creativity, sadness, love, possibilities, bewilderment and passion in our world.’ So, instead of evading emotions, embrace and enjoy your emotions to see the magic unfold!

More Power of ‘your emotions’ to you! 💥

Keep smiling and keep shining. 🔆

PS. The above thoughts are powered by the learning that I have gained through Six SecondsSix Seconds is a global not-for-profit organization working to raise emotional intelligence.