In this conversation Dr Chatterjee talks to Professor Marc Brackett about emotional intelligence.
Professor Marc is the founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. He’s published over 100 research articles over the course of his career, and has dedicated his life to studying and teaching emotional literacy in schools and workplaces world-wide. He teaches parents and educators to hold space for their students to feel and learn from their emotions, helping to build resilience and compassion – which could not be more pressing.
Professor Marc encourages us all to become ’emotional scientists’ and approach our emotions with curiosity rather than judgement using evidence based strategies to help us learn most effectively.
Professor Marc describes emotional intelligence as the the ability to feel and tolerate all of our emotions, understand what lies beneath them, and use this information to inform our actions – wisely.
This is just so important, because emotions are such an essential part of the human experience preserved through evolution. Understanding them can improve every aspect of our lives; our health, work and relationships.
Because understanding our emotions, allows us to understand our needs – and our very self.
And it is absolutely fascinating to learn that emotions are informing us to an underlying universal message – that we can learn to decipher!
Anger arises whenever there is injustice.
Frustration arises when obstacles get in between you and your goals.
Stress arises when we have too few resources to complete a task.
I am so curious to learn more about what each emotion may be telling me – I need to read one of Professor Marc’s books to find out more!
He also has developed a ‘mood meter’ to help us describe our feelings more accurately – which you can click HERE to see!
And an app too to help you track your emotions over time! Click HERE
Well – if you are anything like me – you love a good acronym!
And Professor Marc has a great one – ‘RULER’ – to help us manage our emotions.
The ‘RUL’ relates to our experience of our – or other people’s emotions.
And the ‘ER’ relation to our reaction to these emotions.
Let’s break it down!
The first step to managing our emotions is to recognise what they are!
What do your feelings feel like? Do you know?
What are the sensations in your body? Do you get hot? Tingly? Numb?
If we can learn how our emotions feel – we have a better change of catching them early and ask for support before we spiral out of control.
Our emotions always make sense. Remember that!
So – get curious!
Why do you feel the way you do? Why are you angry? What underlies that?
Understanding what is underneath our emotions, can help us understand ourselves more deeply.
Being able to accurately describe how you feel – actually helps you regulate your emotions!
‘You have to name it to tame it!’
And it helps others respond and support you most effectively too.
Remember – we may – and often do – feel multiple emotions at once. These emotions may be contradictory which can be confusing. But don’t judge yourself. Stay curious!
And don’t forget to use Professor Marc’s Mood Meter (links are above) to expand your vocabulary beyond ‘fine!’
The ways in which we express our emotions can be influenced by social and cultural norms and it is important to know how, when and where is appropriate to express your emotions.
Just because you have permission to feel, doesn’t mean you have permission to express every feeling, anytime.
Emotional regulation is not about getting rid of your emotions – but using them wisely.
This means acknowledging what is present for you, and getting perspective.
What do you have control over? And what do you not?
Wisdom – is knowing the difference!
To listen to the full podcast episode click HERE
And for more free resources, and access to Professor Marc’s books – check out his website HERE
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