Becoming an Emotion Scientist
Harness emotions to create positive, satisfying lives.
If you can learn to identify, express, and harness your feelings, even the most challenging ones, you can use those emotions to help create a positive, satisfying life.
If you don’t understand emotions and find strategies to deal with them, they will take over your life. Fear and anxiety make it impossible to deal with problems and lead to paralysis. The realization that it is possible to learn necessary skills is the first step to feeling more in control of what is happening, rather than just doing your best to endure.
Thankfully, there’s a science to understanding emotion. It is not just a matter of intuition, opinion or gut instinct. You are not born with an innate talent for recognizing what you or others are feeling and why. You have to learn the science to understanding emotion.
Learn to label emotions with a nuanced vocabulary
After three decades of research and practical experience, the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence have identified the talents needed to become what they’ve termed an “Emotion Scientist”. Here are the five skills they’ve identified. You need to:
- Recognize your own emotions and those of others, not just in the things you think, feel, and say but in facial expressions, body language, vocal tones, and other non-verbal signs
- Understand those feelings and determine their source – what experiences actually caused them – and then see how they’ve influenced your behaviors
- Label emotions with a nuanced vocabulary
- Express your feelings in accordance with cultural norms and social contexts in a way that tries to inform and invites empathy from the listener
- Regulate emotions, rather than let them regulate you, by finding practical strategies for dealing with what you and others feel
You may acquire some of those skills by osmosis – by watching and emulating others who possess those skills. But for the most part, they must be taught. And they are best learned in communities. Emotion skills are both personal and mutual. They can be used privately, but their best application is throughout a community so that a network emerges to reinforce its own influence.
For your life and the lives of the people you love to be free of hardship and troubling events; you can never make that happen. You want your life to be filled with healthy relationships, compassion, and a sense of purpose. That you can make happen.
Using the book Permission to Feel by Marc Brackett, Ph.D., I lead you through the author’s blueprint for understanding our emotions and using them wisely so they enhance, rather than hinder, our success. This system is called RULER and is a high-impact approach to understanding and mastering emotions.
I add practical exercises to assist you in exploring the material and how it can be applied to your daily life so you may become an Emotion Scientist.
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