Emotional Regulation

Emotional-RegulationWe’ve all heard of emotional intelligence (EI). You may have even taken an EQ test at some point in your career. Defined as the ability to perceive and evaluate emotions, emotional intelligence is important in understanding the behaviors of others as well as our own. But understanding EI doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you’ll change your behavior as a result; understanding and using emotional regulation (ER), does.

Emotional regulation is the ability to control and positively use one’s emotions. Research has found that people who are better able to override their impulses to seek immediate gratification have higher cognitive and social intelligence. They have better SAT scores, are rated by their friends as more socially adept, and cope with frustration and stress better than those who have not developed the skill of emotional regulation.

And riding on the shirt tales of last week’s MMS, it’s the combination of EI and ER that we are after. If you are able to perceive and evaluate your emotions and those of others and you can then control those emotions and proactively shift your reaction and choose your response… you’ve got the ability to ward off reactions like flying off the handle, reacting defensively, holding a grudge, acting in a passively aggressive way, or freaking out when you feel stressed, worried, or afraid.

We’re coming into the home stretch of a contentious, emotionally-charged election. Some of us live in areas of North America which are still experiencing a recession. Many of us having aging parents to care for or teens that test us unmercifully. We’re all juggling life’s responsibilities of work, relationships, health, and home. There are a multitude of opportunities to practice and develop emotional intelligence coupled with emotional regulation and tons of good reasons to do so.

This week, pay attention to your own emotions as work and life unfold for you. Work on your emotional regulation of them so you can respond with intention and grace. It’s good for your health, your relationships, and apparently for your friends rating of your social adeptness and your SAT scores! Not to mention the impact you have by example on the world around you.

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A lion cub’s life depends on how the Lioness helps them quickly become independent – just like employees depend on us to teach the skills they need to be successful.”

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“Panic causes tunnel vision. Calm acceptance of danger allows us to
more easily assess the situation and see the options.”
~~ Simon Sinek

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