Emotional awareness: what your emotions tell you

Emotions are signals that inform us about our internal state and that of our environment. Emotional awareness helps us to adapt, communicate and relate to others. But, do we know how to listen to what our emotions are telling us? Are we able to understand and manage what we feel and what others feel?

In this article, we will explain what emotional awareness is, why it is important and how you can develop it. Are you ready to discover it? On your way to your personal growth, it is essential to start with the basis of everything, emotions.

What is emotional awareness?

Emotional awareness is the ability to recognize, understand and manage one’s own emotions and those of others. It is an essential skill for personal and social well-being, as it allows us to adapt to different situations, resolve conflicts, communicate effectively and develop positive relationships.

Emotional awareness is made up of four main components:

  • Emotional self-awareness: is the ability to identify and name one’s own emotions, as well as their causes and consequences.
  • Emotional self-control: the ability to regulate one’s emotions, so that they are expressed appropriately and negative effects are avoided.
  • Emotional empathy: the ability to perceive and understand the emotions of others, as well as their motives and needs.
  • Emotional social skills: these are the abilities to communicate, cooperate, negotiate and solve problems with others, taking into account their emotions and one’s own.

Why is emotional awareness important?

Emotional awareness has multiple benefits for our health, performance and happiness. Some of these benefits are:

  • Improves physical and mental health: by recognizing and regulating our emotions, we can prevent or reduce stress, anxiety, depression and other psychosomatic illnesses. In addition, we can improve our immune system, our blood pressure, our sleep and our diet.
  • Improves academic and professional performance: by understanding and managing our emotions, we can improve our concentration, our memory, our creativity and our motivation. In addition, we can make better decisions, solve problems more effectively and learn from our mistakes.
  • Improved satisfaction and happiness: by expressing and sharing our emotions, we can improve our self-esteem, confidence and security. In addition, we can strengthen our bonds of affection, friendship and love.

How can we cultivate our emotional awareness?

To illustrate the importance of emotional awareness, we can draw an analogy between people and plants. Just as plants need water, light and nutrients to grow and flourish, people need to take care of our emotions to develop and thrive.

Here are some tips that can help you improve this skill:

  • Pay attention to your emotions: identify what you are feeling in each moment and why. You can use a journal, an app or any tool that helps you record your emotions throughout the day.
  • Accept your emotions: do not judge or criticize what you feel. Recognize that all emotions are valid and have a function. For example, sadness helps us process losses, anger alerts us to injustice, and fear protects us from danger. Don’t try to avoid or change your emotions, but accept them as part of you.
  • Express yourself assertively: communicate your emotions honestly, respectfully and constructively. Avoid repressing, exploiting or manipulating with your emotions. Use “I” language to express what you feel and what you need. For example, instead of saying “You are selfish”, you can say “It hurts me when you don’t listen to me”.
  • Empathize with others: try to put yourself in other people’s shoes and understand what they feel and think. Respect and validate their emotions, even if you do not share them. Show interest and support, and offer help if they need it. Do not give advice or solutions without being asked, but listen actively and show empathy.
  • Regulate your emotions: learn to manage your emotions appropriately, according to the situation and context. Look for strategies that help you to calm down, motivate, encourage or distract yourself, as the case may be. For example, you can breathe deeply, listen to music, exercise, meditate or practice therapeutic horticulture.

 

How can we measure our emotions?

There are different ways to evaluate our emotional awareness, both objectively and subjectively. Some of these ways are:

  • Emotional intelligence tests: these are tests that measure the different components of emotional awareness, such as self-awareness, self-control, empathy and social skills. Some examples of these tests are the MSCEIT (Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test), the EQ-i (Emotional Quotient Inventory) and the TEIQue (Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire).
  • Feedback from others: it is the opinion we receive from people who know and relate to us, about how they perceive and value our emotional awareness. We can ask for feedback from our family, friends, colleagues or superiors, formally or informally, and use it to improve our weaknesses and enhance our strengths.
  • Self-assessment: this is the evaluation we make of ourselves, how we feel and how we act in relation to our emotions and those of others. We can use scales, questionnaires or diaries to reflect on our emotional awareness and set goals and action plans to improve it.

Emotional awareness is not a fixed or innate quality, but a skill that can be learned and developed throughout life. Therefore, it is important to evaluate it periodically and look for ways to improve it. Like plants, people can flourish if we are able to recognize, understand and manage our emotions and those of others.

If you are reading this article, you are probably interested in taking care of your emotional health. Many times, we don’t find the right tools to do it or, if we do, we don’t stay consistent in the process due to lack of motivation.

GrowersGo offers you a common thread to make learning about your personal growth easy and recurrent. In our App, you will be able to play at taking care of your plants while developing basic emotional skills for your life that will increase your well-being and happiness.

Haven’t tried it yet? Just click on this link and download the App for free. The hardest step has already been taken.

Grow, Thrive and have a fulfilling Life.

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