“Emotional intelligence is the capacity to blend thinking and feeling to make optimal decisions — which is key to having a successful relationship with yourself and others..” ~ Joshua Freedman

Navigate Emotions Definition: Assessing, harnessing, and transforming emotions as a strategic resource.

Importance: By learning to transform emotions as a strategic resource, we can become more aware, balanced and purposeful. Instead of thinking of emotions as something bad that we have to suppress, we can begin to treat all of our emotions, even challenging ones like anger, as invaluable data helping us to be our best selves. We can turn something often seen as an adversary and make it into an ally.

Example: Imagine you are stuck in traffic. running late, and feeling frustrated. Someone is trying to get over into your lane, and you catch yourself mumbling something negative about them. Then you say to yourself, “It’s not his fault. I am frustrated because I am running late and stuck in traffic.” And oddly, this simple admission makes you feel a lot better. By saying to yourself what you are feeling, you have lessened the power of the emotion, and brought the emotional and cognitive together. Instead of admonishing yourself for feeling frustrated, you simply acknowledge the emotion, and as a result make it your ally.

Navigating emotions helps you take ownership of your life. By fulling integrating your thinking and feeling, you are able to make optimal decisions – which is key to having a successful relationship with yourself and others.

The Components of Navigate Emotions

Assess: The first step of navigating emotions is to assess what you are feeling. Identifying or naming emotions, to yourself or aloud, can add some needed clarity to this step.

Harness: Recognize that there are not good or bad emotions: emotions are data. Taking the step back from “I am frustrated…” to “I am feeling frustrated…” helps provide space and lessens the power of the emotion. Recognize that the emotion is temporary and providing you valuable information about yourself and the world.

Transform: The emotion, however difficult, is now your ally. It has sent you data about the world, which you have accepted and can now use to be more aware and purposeful. 

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Emotional Intelligence Articles about Navigate Emotions

How to Practice Emotional Intelligence: Tips for Choice (updated for 2017) (4/30/2017) by Joshua Freedman - Emotional intelligence helps us make better choices; we can evaluate and respond rather than reacting unconsciously. Simple, but how to do it? 15 practical tips from our network members around the world.
Navigate Emotions in the Six Seconds Model of EQ (3/25/2017) by Michael Miller - Managing emotions could be helpful... but that implies stuffing them away. How can we HARNESS the wisdom and power of feelings to help us move?
How to Overcome Anxiety: The Power of Renaming Emotions (3/9/2017) by Michael Miller - Research shows that a few simple emotional tools can help you overcome anxiety and lead to better performance. This is a sequel to my article on naming emotions, Getting Unstuck: The Power of Naming Emotions. I am out in the lounge before the biggest interview of my life, and I am sort of freaking out. My heart is racing, my foot is tapping involuntarily, and my palms are starting to sweat. I want this to go well so, so badly, but walking in ...
Smell, Perception, and the Hidden Cost of Stress (6/1/2016) by Michael Miller - If you walked into a business, could you tell how the person who greets you is feeling by the way they smell? I greet hundreds of people at work every day, and the answer to this question shocked me. I work at a yoga studio, which you wouldn't think would be stressful, but in reality it's really busy and I am often struggling to keep up. The tea needs refilled, the computer freezes up in the middle of a transaction, and the ...
Getting Unstuck: The Power of Naming Emotions (5/17/2016) by Michael Miller - Recent neuroscience reveals a remarkable attribute of our brains -- and how we can bring our thinking and feeling together to make our daily lives much better. And isn't that what emotional intelligence is all about? It's a little after 3 pm, and I am stopped cold in traffic. I look ahead and see red brake lights for miles. "Ugh, Highway 1," I mumble to myself. I was running late and feeling frustrated. I even caught myself thinking negative thoughts about other ...
High EQ Linked to Lower Test Anxiety (1/29/2016) by Rachel Goodman - Does taking a test cause you to break into a cold sweat and your mind to go blank? You may have test anxiety. Test anxiety is real, and it can be debilitating if you are in college, elementary school or applying for a job.  Test anxiety causes significant decreases in ability to do well on any kind of test. A recent study by Iran researchers at the Hamadan University of Medical Sciences shows a link between people with relatively high ...
How Do I Control Emotions Better? (9/23/2015) by Joshua Freedman - It's one of the most frequent questions in emotional intelligence workshops worldwide. How can I get better at controlling my feelings? The language of this question reveals a bias that there are bad emotions requiring control - which means exerting power to subdue. Here's a simply radical shift in perspective: How can I get better at harnessing my feelings? We call it Navigating Emotions. [Tweet "Is it time to make friends with your own feelings?"] In under 5 minutes, Dr. Barbara Fatum offers ...
Stressed for Good: Surprising New Science about Stress (7/22/2015) by Patty Freedman - Stress kills... or does it? In the light of new neuroscience, maybe it's time rethink stress - which might just save your life.
EQ Story from London (3/5/2015) by Six Seconds - My EQ story Spencer Nash,Financial Services Industry Participant in Six Seconds' London EQ Certification Course     Emotional Intelligence? Lots of people talked about it. There were books on it and the web was brimming with hints, tips, articles and forums. I just hadn’t been able to make the connection. Not fully anyway. I’d read the odd article, and promised myself I’d read the top selling books (when I next had time), but that was about as far as my knowledge of Emotional Intelligence went. That was back ...
 

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Recommended Tools

eMotion Cards: The Emotion Cards are an engaging, easy to use, interactive activity. The cards encourage you to Evoke, Explore, Express, and Expand the world of feelings.
 
Wild Ride to the Heart: A fun, engaging game that helps children learn about their different emotions (feelings) and how to better manage them by going to the heart.
 
Mixed Emotions: A tool that helps you make decisions, solve problems, resolve conflicts, and more.
 
Biodots: Biodots change color depending on a person’s stress level – a vivid demonstration of the mind-body connection!
Michael Miller

Michael Miller

EQ Librarian at Six Seconds
Michael Miller is a writer and contributor for Six Seconds- The Emotional Intelligence Network. He is passionate about living a balanced, healthy life and helping others to do the same. You can reach him at [email protected]
Michael Miller