“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.