Emotions play important role in our life. Many people find themselves emotionally sensitive or overly emotional. Emotional re-activity is normal, especially in close relationships. However, if emotional reactivity occurs often, it serves as barrier to personal growth and happiness and even become destructive to well being and relationships.
Some individuals know how to deal with “external” challenges that has clear and specific solution. However, emotional challenges, that is an internal, have no clear solution (black or white, right or wrong, keep or remove etc.) might be difficult for them to solve or manage. Emotional challenges require emotional intelligence and emotional skills to be solved.
Emotional regulation or emotional intelligence is our ability to manage our emotions instead of being managed by them. It is acting effectively rather than impulsively. The key is to learn to be more emotionally intelligent and responsive to situations rather than reactive.
Emotion regulation teaches the necessary skills to manage emotions in a healthy way. It enables us to understand how our emotions work, and coach us the skills we need to manage our emotions instead of being managed by them. Emotional regulation reduces our vulnerability to negative emotions, and builds positive emotional experiences. Emotional regulation takes practice and patient. But as you get the hang of using some of these techniques, you will see your relationship to the negative emotions and intolerable feelings change.
Daniel Goldman in his book Emotional Intelligence wrote that IQ predicts only 10% of life success, while EI (Emotional Intelligence) is a better predictor for such success and happiness. So, developing your emotional growth is the best investment you will ever take. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives and character of all those around you. Emotional management and overcoming anger management are going hand to hand. So, wherever you start to take care of your emotional well-being, you are in a moving toward becoming better and happy person.
In addition, fundamental healing comes from a willingness to deeply experience, explore, and feel one’s emotions that are related to both present and past circumstances. Unexamined feelings can often lead to unwanted or painful symptoms. The process of understanding one’s feelings and emotions allows one to realize fear and loss. Healthy processing of fear and loss allows for the purging of emotions which creates space for new, more positive emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.
As such, spiral2grow of New York City, located on 260 Madison teaches the skills needed to manage our emotions (reduce suffering and promote positive emotions). spiral2grow integrates proven best of practices that includes DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) and Emotional Intelligence (EI) skills into the client’s lives to become more emotionally healthy and to build lives that are worth living.
Emotion Regulation Overview
Emotion regulation teaches the necessary skills to manage emotions in a healthy way. It enables us to understand how our emotions work, and coach us the skills we need to manage our emotions instead of being managed by them. Emotional regulation reduces our vulnerability to negative emotions, and builds positive emotional experiences.All emotions are valid and important. Our emotions often drive our behavior, while our behavior tends to focus on finding ways to get our emotions validated or to get rid of the pain in some way. The key is to be aware of our emotions, understand its meaning and translate them to our needs. The need thereafter should be expressed in a healthy, constructive and assertive way. This is why regulating emotions is a central part of healthy living.Emotional regulation takes practice and patient. But as you get the hang of using some of these techniques, you will see your relationship to the negative emotions and intolerable feelings change.
Daniel Goldman said that IQ predicts only 10% of life success, while EI (Emotional Intelligence) is a better predictor for such success and happiness. In addition, IQ seems to be constant over life span, while EI can change through all ages, So, investing in yourself and particularly your emotional growth is the best investment you will ever take. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives and character of all those around you. Emotional management and anger management are going hand to hand. So, wherever you start to take care of your emotional well-being, you are in a moving toward becoming better and happy person.
Symptoms of Emotionally Reactive People
Usually, reactive people are self-conscious about their emotional vulnerability and embarrassed about how they feel and so they try to avoid their feelings. They’ve judged themselves as “too sensitive” or “overly emotional” or “weak and needy” and denied or repressed their feelings. Reactive people may portray the following symptoms:
- quick to lose their temper
- significant mood swings including depression
- prone to anxiety and worry
- experience sudden tearfulness
- become flooded with unwanted feelings
- say or do things they’re embarrassed about later
- blame and complain
Dangers of Emotional Reactivity
The following are potential dangers of emotional reactivity:
- Emotional reactivity is destructive.
- Emotional reactivity creates defensiveness.
- Emotional reactivity is catchy and amplifies situations.
- Emotional reactivity is disrespectful and even aggressive.
- Emotional reactivity undermines trust and collaboration.
- Emotional reactivity hinders communication, problem solving and conflict resolution.
- Emotional reactivity focuses on personal pain and prevents listening & understanding of others.
How To Manage Your Emotions
The first thing to do is to STOP, experience and identify your emotion. After learning to experience and identify your emotions, you need and ask yourself, “What feeling or experience on the inside of me am I reacting against feeling?” This is hard to do because your reaction is, by definition, an effort to move away from what is happening deeper inside. So you naturally keep focusing on what the other person is doing that has evoked the experience. Psychotherapy and DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) teaches you how to monitor and interrupt this automatic process. It helps you redirect your energy from changing your partner to learning what is happening inside. It helps you to become self-reflective in the midst of difficult feelings. It is meant to help you look inward on the way to expressing your deeper feelings to your partner.
When you ask that question (“What feeling or experience on the inside of me am I reacting against?”) you start relating to your internal feelings, the ones inside you that you have been fighting against. Psychotherapy is a safe place for you to experience and explore feelings that have previously been unwelcome.
By adapting a stance of interest and exploration toward your feelings and needs, you can start changes things. This stance makes way for new behavior to form which allows yourself to grow and change. You start to accept these feelings and experiences that you have tended to reject. This helps you to become more in charge of what and how you communicate and behave. When you begin to understand these difficult parts of yourselves you stop blaming and complaining and start taking control over your feelings, thoughts and situations.
Also, when you accept your feelings, understand your needs and able to express them constructively, your partner is much more likely to be willing to cooperate/help when we take this kind of responsibility for what is happening inside. The result enables you to build relationship which is healthier and abundant.
Responding to situations in this manner is called “containing” or “processing” your feelings. It takes time and practice to learn to respond rather than react. But the investment will pay large dividends for you and those in relationship with you. Being responsive will help you make better decisions and get along better with others. It’ll help you accomplish more and gain other people’s respect and cooperation. It’ll also help you stay calm and confident when dealing with people who overreact!
Introduction to Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, manage, and use your emotions in positive and constructive ways. It’s also about recognizing the emotional states of others and engaging them in ways that feel good to all and create mutual safety, trust, and confidence.
Emotional intelligence consists of four fundamental capabilities:
- Self-awareness – the ability to be conscious of your emotions and recognize their impact while using gut feelings to guide your decisions.
- Self-management – the ability to control your emotions and behavior and adapt to changing circumstances.
- Social awareness – the ability to sense, understand and react to the emotions of others and feel comfortable socially.
- Relationship management – the ability to inspire, influence, and connect to others while managing conflict.
Emotional intelligence isn’t a safety net that protects you from life’s tragedies, frustrations, or disappointments. Emotionally-intelligent individuals go through bad times and experience sadness, anger, and fear – just like everyone else. But they respond differently than less healthy people to these experiences. Emotional intelligence gives you the ability to cope and bounce back from stress, adversity, trauma, and loss. In other words, emotional intelligence makes you resilient.
Resilience gives you the ability to:
- Stay focused in a frightening or challenging situation
- Experience moments of joy in the face of sadness and loss
- Ask for and get support when needed
- Quickly rebound from frustration and disappointment
- Remain hopeful during challenging and difficult times