Emotional management or management of emotions refers to being aware of the emotions we feel, accepting them and regulating them if necessary.
Unfortunately, we live in a society that considers emotions irrational and are practically enemies of reason . But the truth is that emotions are part of us and have an important adaptive function.
Emotional management and emotional intelligence
In recent years, the concept of emotional management has been gaining ground with the rise of emotional intelligence, a construct that has generated much interest among psychologists because of its benefits for the psychological health of people and their performance in various fields, such as work, sports or academia.
The correct management of emotions determines to a greater or lesser extent the success in different areas of our lives, such as interpersonal relationships or work.
What is emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence is a concept that was popularized by Daniel Goleman, a renowned American psychologist, who made emotional intelligence known throughout the world thanks to his best-seller: Emotional Intelligence (1995).
In reality, however, the idea of emotional intelligence already appeared in the literature thanks to other authors, and it derives from Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. Gardner, after his research, concluded that there are different types of intelligences, including intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligence. Both are part of emotional intelligence.
Research has confirmed that emotional intelligence helps
- Improve knowledge of self and emotions
- Making better decisions
- Improve work performance and productivity
- Reduce and protect against stress, anxiety and depression
- Encouraging interpersonal relationships and empathy
- Improve personal development
- Improve influence and leadership capacity
- Promoting psychological well-being
- Increase motivation and help achieve goals
- Sleep better
Strategies for mastering emotions
Emotional intelligence is a process that includes both knowledge of one’s own and other people’s emotions and regulation of one’s own emotions.
But how do we achieve this? Below we propose ten strategies to help you achieve this .
1. Keep a journal of emotions and become aware of them
The emotion journal is an excellent tool for knowing your own emotions and the effect they have on your behaviour. There are different ways to do this but here is one. Just follow these steps.
- Take a notebook and write down the day
- Take 20 minutes before bedtime to take stock of your day
- Write down those emotions that have arisen
- Write down how you have felt and how this emotion has affected your behavior
Emotional self-knowledge is the beginning of the correct management of emotions. Without knowing what we feel and how they affect us, we cannot regulate our emotions.
2. Accept yourself as you are
This personal discovery may reveal aspects of your life that you do not like or that you find difficult to see as positive. But you must accept yourself as you are. Emotions are normal and we all feel them. We can all make mistakes because it is part of life .
3. Focus on positive thoughts and control negative ones
Negative emotions cause great discomfort, so we tend to avoid them . But the solution is not to look the other way and pretend they don’t exist. If you have already done a job of detecting the emotions you feel, analyse them and let them go. Focus on the positive emotions and give the negative ones the value they deserve, but don’t re-create them. Now is the time to repeat how much you love yourself and how much you will strive to achieve the love of your life: yourself.
4. Have a positive attitude
Because to achieve this you must do your part . In emotional management there is a component that, on many occasions, we overlook: it is the will. In order to master emotions we must do our part and we must have a positive attitude because it is not always easy to master emotions.
5. Leave on time
But obviously positive attitude is only one part of emotional management . Emotions often occur because an external stimulus triggers them. If you intend to specialize in the art of emotional intelligence, you will realize that sometimes the best alternative is not to stay in the conflict zone and make the decision to withdraw in time. For example, if someone is provoking you. In these cases, turning around and leaving is an emotionally intelligent decision.
6. Learn to fit criticism
Maybe what’s making you feel bad is not knowing how to take criticism and being too aware of what others think of you. That is a bad choice, because emotional well-being comes from within yourself , from your own interpretation of the world. Learning how to deal with criticism is necessary to be an emotionally balanced person.
7. Release tension with sport
If you want to be calmer you can release tension through physical exercise . In fact, practising sport is one of the healthiest alternatives not only on a physical level but also psychologically. Physical exercise helps you, for example, to reduce stress or to increase your self-esteem.
- If you want to know more about the benefits of physical activity, you can read our post: “The 10 psychological benefits of physical exercise”
8. Attend an emotional management workshop
One of the best ways to become an emotionally intelligent person is through training . There are many courses and workshops that will help you to manage your emotions. They are usually experiential workshops with many participatory dynamics, so emotional learning will be fun.
9. Practice active listening
If you want to better understand the emotions of others you can practice active listening . Many times we hear and don’t listen, because we are more aware of what we are going to say than what the other person is telling us with both verbal and non-verbal language. Active listening is listening in its entirety, since verbal language is approximately 30% of what we communicate. The rest is non-verbal language.
10. Practice Mindfulness
One of the most useful strategies to better manage emotions is Mindfulness. Mindfulness is actually a philosophy, but nowadays different techniques are used to put it into practice. Mindfulness is simple, as it only requires adopting a way of evaluating events, characterized, for example, by self-pity, attention to the present moment, or a non-judgmental mentality. However, even if it is simple, its practice requires will and effort, so it is not easy and needs to be worked on.