“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. 



Emotional Intelligence Articles about Navigate Emotions

How to Practice Emotional Intelligence: Tips for Choice (updated for 2018) (3/28/2018) by Michael Miller - Want to know how to practice emotional intelligence? Here are 10 expert tips from our worldwide network to choose yourself more effectively.
Four Steps to A More Intentional Life (3/6/2018) by Maria Jackson - A life coach shares her approach to practicing a life full of vision, meaning, and treasure hunts.
Getting Unstuck: The Power of Naming Emotions (1/21/2018) by Michael Miller - Traffic is always stressful, right? Turns out, there's a secret neuroscience tip about naming emotions that can help. It's simple and powerful.
What’s at the Summit? SEL in Indian Schools (11/17/2017) by Rachel Goodman - SEL @ The World EQ Summit in Dubai and Mumbai:  Let's get a glimpse of two education sessions from experts in Social Emotional Learning (SEL)
Lessons in Wellbeing: Looking at the 2017 World Happiness Report (11/14/2017) by Rachel Goodman - The key 7 factors of happiness & wellbeing from countries around the world.
Putting Social Emotional Learning into Action: 5 Essentials to Make Schools Great Places to Learn (8/13/2017) by Six Seconds - Q: What will it take to make schools into great places to learn? A: Here's a free kit to discuss the research plus answers from top EQ education experts.
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 ...

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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

Writer at Six Seconds
Michael Miller is a writer and contributor for Six Seconds who lives in Santa Cruz, California. He is passionate about living a balanced, healthy lifestyle and helping others to do the same. You can reach him at [email protected]
Michael Miller