Many people believe that the human mind is that which gives identity to each of us, something that constitutes, in the end, the essence of each person. But while it is true that each individual is a world and that it is relatively easy to distinguish between the ways of being of different people, that does not mean that the mind does not change. In fact, in the world of psychology change is the rule, not the exception .
Whether we want it or not, we and the world we live in are going through a process of change. What we must do is not try to make everything stay the same, frozen in time, but develop the skills necessary to adapt as best as possible to the experiences we go through, even those that are totally new.
In this sense, the concept of emotional awareness helps us to understand one of the most important and at the same time most forgotten aspects of the processes of change: the world of emotions and feelings.
What is emotional awareness?
The concept of emotional awareness is not easy to explain in one line, as it refers to the most complex component of the human mind: the emotions. However, in summary, it can be understood as the state in which we come to understand the patterns of emotional activation so that instead of passively attending to their experimentation in the first person, we can make them work in our favour, depending on the personal development objectives we have set ourselves .
Thus, emotional awareness has to do with a set of skills that can be applied in everyday life, both for oneself as an individual and in group phenomena through leadership. In turn, progressing in the mastery of these skills is not exactly about learning theoretical knowledge, but about applying new dynamics and new approaches to our ways of relating to the environment and to our own mental processes .
In short, emotional awareness arises as a consequence of experiential learning.
Examples on how to develop it
Below you will find several general guidelines that give an idea of the type of activities and habits related to the development of emotional awareness.
1. Questioning one’s motives
Much of what we do or think is not based on the motives and purposes we usually have in mind when it comes to justifying what we do. This idea, which was popularized by Sigmund Freud but had already been commented on by others before him, and which in recent decades has been validated by numerous studies in the field of limited rationality, has implications when it comes to relating to our emotions. Because many times we create moral alibis that hide what really makes us feel bad or good about something.
Therefore, stopping to analyze what psychological mechanisms are really behind many of our attitudes is liberating, because it allows us to get to the root of some predispositions that create problems in our daily lives.
2. Taking advantage of the environment to regulate emotions
People are not islands; what they do and think depends on what happens around them. That is why we can modify our environment to enter into emotional states that will help us achieve our goals.
3. Distance from one’s perspective
Although it is paradoxical, adopting a distant perspective can help us to better understand what we feel. The fact of being totally involved in an emotion does not have to lead us to know better what is happening; in fact, it may even blind us.
4. Attending courses
It is possible to train the emotional awareness by means of courses that contain the contents specifically aimed at training the competences linked to this psychological facet.
The European School of Coaching, for example, offers a specialised training programme, especially for psychologists and coaches . Its objectives include the task of recognising and managing the emotions involved in everyday life, understanding the biological processes behind them, and using the potential of our ability to modulate emotional states in ourselves or in others who need help in this respect. You will find more information about this programme by accessing the EEC contact details, by clicking here.
5. Learning to control time
There are times when it is better to put off certain decisions, depending on how we feel. Knowing how to do this without it turning into procrastination is something that can be very useful to reach the best possible results in those projects we set out to do.