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Emotional Clarity: 6 Key Principles for Managing Your Emotions

Clarify your emotions

Get used to the idea of emotional complexity. When we feel upset, we're not feeling one single emotion. We are usually experiencing a blend of many emotions.

Training ourselves to look for and see this emotional complexity is key to better understanding ourselves when we’re upset and moving on in a healthy way.

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Emotional Clarity: 6 Key Principles for Managing Your Emotions

Emotional Clarity: 6 Key Principles for Managing Your Emotions

https://nickwignall.com/emotional-clarity/

nickwignall.com

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Key Ideas

Emotional clarity

It means that we have a good understanding of how we feel emotionally. 

Label your emotions

Use plain language. The more fluent you are with real emotional language, the more clearly you will be able to think about how you’re feeling.

Clarify your emotions

Get used to the idea of emotional complexity. When we feel upset, we're not feeling one single emotion. We are usually experiencing a blend of many emotions.

Training ourselves to look for and see this emotional complexity is key to better understanding ourselves when we’re upset and moving on in a healthy way.

Feel your emotions physically

Practice distinguishing how you feel physically from how you feel emotionally. Because many negative emotional states develop out of a misinterpretation of a physical feeling.

It’s dangerous to assume that physical feelings and emotional feelings are always related. Sometimes a headache is just a headache.

Time your emotions

Emotions don’t actually last very long. It’s in the nature of emotions to be intense but fleeting:

  • If you feel upset emotionally, notice what the dominant emotion you’re feeling is.
  • Rate the intensity of that emotion on a scale from 1 to 10.
  • Set a timer on your phone for 3 minutes.
  • Now go about whatever it is you were doing, trying your best not to think about that emotion.
  • When the timer goes off, re-rate your emotion on a scale from 1 to 10.
  • Repeat 2 more times.

Learn your Emotional Kryptonite

We all tend to have a particular emotion that they’re especially afraid of and try to avoid.

Identifying your own personal emotional kryptonite is important because many of our bad decisions and ill-advised behaviors are actually the results of trying to avoid particularly uncomfortable emotions.

Validate your emotions

  1. Label the emotion. When you notice yourself feeling badly emotionally, simply describe what the emotion is that you’re feeling (sad, anxious, frustrated, etc.).
  2. Acknowledge the discomfort. Acknowledge that it’s okay to feel that way even emotionally if it feels uncomfortable or painful.
  3. Accept the emotion. Accept that the emotion is with you and that you can still proceed with life despite having that emotion.

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What Emotional Fitness is

It's the idea that in order to lead healthy, happy emotional lives we need consistent habits and exercises that support our mental health and wellbeing.

The Benefits of Emotional Fitness
  • Decreased stress: you learn to manage your triggers.
  • Better communication in relationships: it helps you to tolerate and manage difficult emotions and then find more productive ways to work through difficulties.
  • Decreased anxiety: you train your mind to stop fearing its own emotional reactions.
  • You stick with your goals: you learn to deal with emotions like anxiety, shame, regret.
  • Increased self-awareness: you learn to build a better relationship with your emotions.
Get to know your emotions
  • Emotional clarity: Taking the time to deliberately reflect on our emotions, to observe and label them.
  • Emotional myth-busting: Eliminating myths and misconceptions floating around people’s minds about emotions. 
  • Emotional tolerance: Learning to resist short-term gratification and instead invest in long-term values.

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Emotional Clarity

Emotional clarity refers to the extent to which you know, understand and are clear about which emotions you are feeling and why you are feeling them.

Emotional cla...

Emotional intelligence (EQ)

EQ is the ability to be able to recognize and regulate your own emotions, while also empathizing with others and maintaining an awareness of their reactions.

EQ can be developed with p...

Know thyself

Having a deep understanding of yourself provides you with more accurate perceptions of how you are coming across to others. 

To increase your self-awareness, make an effort to reflect on your strengths, developmental opportunities, triggers, values, and the like so that you are intimately familiar with what makes you tick. 

Be open to feedback and criticism

Weighing feedback can help you guard against blind spots. It can assist you in recognizing if your behaviors are having the effects you are intending.

If they aren't, you can adjust your actions or apologize accordingly (or mindfully choose not to do either).

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