Girl cryingDo you know what emotions are driving your reactions? What makes you angry, sad, earnest, flat, inferior, preoccupied, excited..etc.? Sometimes we are clueless about our emotions and we go around life in automatic pilot. Almost everyday we bump into someone, that asks the routinely question of “How are you?” and we answer the typical way “Fine, thanks”. Did you ever wonder what the answer will be like, if you answer that same question from a different place, from a deeper understanding of yourself and your emotions. Perhaps your answer will be “I am ecstatic”.

I find that our understanding on the range of emotions is limited, when we need to describe how we feel, we tend to stick to familiar words. Sometimes this results in frustration. By exploring the range of emotions through an intensive emotional intelligence and diversity training. I gained a deeper understanding of what situations, people and places made me feel. I was no longer stuck in a box of a few words to describe how I felt about something. This allowed me to communicate more effectively, with intention and kept me from blowing up on someone’s face {not recommended}.

For example when I am looking forward to something and it doesn’t happen, I can say I am sad, but perhaps the deeper emotion is disappointment or discontented. By correctly labeling your feelings, you have better chances of communicating your true self to others, a must for building powerful relationships, so next time you are disappointed, don’t say you are sad. Call it by its name.

Here is a 3 simple step process to help you identify and communicate what you feel:

Journal and reflect for a moment on the past weeks and identify a significant event, whether positive or negative, in each of the three parts of your life {work life, personal life, family life}. Use this format to  increase your insights and deepen your understanding of the experience.

The Event – What happened?

Describe the Importance/Relevance of the event – Why does it matter?

Consider the Impact – What are the ripples that it created?

Identify the Feelings – What is the range and intensity of the emotions you experienced?

Use this Chart on Range of Emotions to help you identify and communicate what you feel. Keep in mind an event can take you through an emotional ride, from excitement to feeling paralyzed to nervousness. Don’t be hesitant to explore them all.

After doing this exercise, journal about the new insight your received about yourself from this activity. What powerful insight did you get? Did you notice any patterns in the events you chose?

Introspection is critical in understanding yourself, the more you know about who you are {Naked} in your essence, the better choices you will make for yourself in life.

Photo by: Pink Sherbet