Susan David is a psychologist and executive trainer. She has spent more than twenty years studying feelings and how we engage with them.
This overview will assist you in being more conscious of your emotions, learning to accept and embrace them, and increasing your emotional agility.
It won't make you a flawless person who never makes a mistake. Still, it will help you cope with even the most difficult emotions, appreciate your relationships, and accomplish your objectives.
Emotional agility has assisted people with various issues, including poor self-image, sorrow, pain, anxiety, depression, difficult transitions, and more. It does so by bridging the gap between how they feel and what they do about those feelings.
You'll become more dynamic if you have emotional agility. It will enable you to cope with high-stress levels while remaining alert, open, and receptive.
To gain the most out of this overview, you must approach your ideas, emotions, and behaviors with inquiry and kindness. You'll have to accept them for what they are: just ideas and feelings.
Emotional agility will assist you in achieving the life you desire by allowing you to use your most difficult feelings as a source of energy, creativity, and insight.
The Stories in Our Minds
We tell ourselves a narrative regarding who we are, what we do, and how we feel daily. Sadly, these reports aren't always accurate.
Suppose you ask a buddy to dinner, and they are unable to go. In that case, you may easily modify the story to "They are not ever there for me. They really do not like me." Yet, the reality is certainly quite different. We must accept that the voice in our heads is a faulty storyteller.
The issue is that so many of these voices are pre-recorded. When our ideas and emotions collide, we tend to make snap judgments - even if they aren't necessarily the best.
Our first impressions aren't always correct. It is, however, difficult to modify them after they have been entrenched.
Being emotionally agile entails reacting to the world as it is rather than as we imagine it. It involves acting consistently with your genuine ideals rather than your conditioned emotional response. Consider who is in command: the thinker or the concept.
Some people keep their negative emotions bottled up. The difficulty with this approach is that it fails to address the source of the suffering. So ignoring it may make it go away for a while, but it won't solve the underlying problem. And the repressed feelings will surely come to the surface.
Brooding is another approach to deal with undesirable feelings. Brooders have a tendency to stew in their unhappiness for far longer than they should.
Brooding doesn't have to be a solitary pastime; when you complain to a colleague about your obnoxious boss, you're still harboring your rage. Brooding makes emotions more intense, which might be harmful in the long term.
The greatest method to deal with emotions is to be present and embrace your current feelings rather than bottle or worry over them. We must confront them, make peace with them, and find an open and honest way to coexist.
Nobody is without flaws. However, we must accept ourselves as we are and forgive ourselves for our errors. This starts with acknowledging our ideas without assuming they are always correct.
We won't be able to change our surroundings or ourselves until we accept the current situation. We must allow ourselves and the world permission to be precisely who we are and exactly as they are. We don't have to like what we don't like, but we do have to accept it for what it is. Then we'll be able to modify it.
Compassion and kindness are the best things you can do for yourself. Take care of yourself as if you were a wounded kid. You wouldn't chastise or criticize a youngster who came up to you weeping. You'd cradle them in your arms and console them.
You will make errors. And that's just OK. However, performing one wrong deed does not automatically make you a horrible person. Show some compassion for yourself and start to work repaying your debt. Then use what you've learned to improve in the future.
Self-compassion is often misunderstood as a sign of weakness or laziness. This is far from the case. Self-critical people strive equally as high as those who are more tolerant of their own failings. Self-compassionate people, on the other hand, love themselves even if they don't achieve their ambitions.
Sad to say, we currently live in a time where peering into other people's lives is really easy.
We see pictures of beautiful dinners and lavish vacations on social media. It makes us all feel horrible about ourselves, even if we are content with our lives. You may feel less satisfied with yourself and your life as a result of social comparison. To fight this, try to concentrate on your own life.
Instead of trying to be someone else's version of yourself, accept yourself for who you are, just as you are. You are the only one who can determine your worth.
Words Can Help
Emotional agility requires the ability to appropriately name our feelings.
First and foremost, disregard labels such as "good" and "bad" sensations. All sensations are natural, and you should acknowledge them as they arise. Learning to correctly describe your emotions may be life-changing. People who can recognize the range of emotions can better cope with life's ups and downs.
When you recognize emotions, consider what role they are playing in your life. For instance, you only feel guilty about things that are important to you. If you're feeling bad about working late rather than enjoying time with your kids, use it as a guide to the people you care about and the life you want to live.
Participants in the research were split into two groups. A group was assigned to write about emotionally meaningful occurrences for twenty minutes per day; the other group was instructed to write about mundane topics such as their attire, lunches, or passing automobiles.
According to psychologist Pennebaker, individuals who wrote about emotionally charged events had a notable rise in their bodily and mental health after the research.
They were happier, less sad, and less worried as a result of the treatment. Even months later, they had lower blood pressure, greater immunological function, and fewer medical visits than the control group. They also stated that they had better relationships, had a better recall, and had greater success.
Applying words to feelings is a powerful tool for dealing with stress, worry, and grief. Spend some time writing about your feelings. You may achieve the same outcomes if writing isn't your thing by talking into a voice recorder. Try to see it from a different angle and recognize the distinction between the thinker and the concept.
We are frequently overcome by our emotions, which blinds us to the truth of the issue. Stepping back might help us recognize the situation for what it is and how we might learn from it.
Actively practicing mindfulness is another technique to separate the concept from the thinker. Make some effort to be totally present in every moment to achieve this. Pay attention to your thoughts without passing judgment.
Mindfulness offers several advantages, including better competence, health, emotions, concentration, and overall wellness.
It will be easier to appropriately name your emotions if you are aware of them. It will help you perceive the world from many angles and increase your self-acceptance, tolerance, and self-kindness.
Consider personal insecurity. Make a list of it or repeat it ten times. Now change the order of the words or read it backward. Observe how these sounds devolve into meaningless chaos and accept that you are separating the thinker from the notion. Recognize the idea, but don't allow it to dictate your thoughts or actions.
Emotional agility refers to having disturbing thoughts or feelings while responding in ways that support the life you wish to live.
Walk Your Why
Walking your why is the skill of living a life guided by your very own set of values to find purpose and fulfillment.
It's not always simple to figure out what you care about. Values aren't universal, and we frequently mistake looking to others around us for guidance while making life decisions. What is "right" for one person may not be "right" for another.
To determine your values, consider what is most important to you. What kind of connections do you wish to make? What do you want to do with your life? What new interests would you pursue if all of your worries and fears were gone?
Use the answers to help you figure out what you value. Then, while you walk your why, use those principles to direct your life. Understanding your values will enable you to be more adaptable and open to new experiences. It isn't always enjoyable or simple to act by your ideals.
To grow closer to your standards, you may need to make difficult decisions or perform difficult actions. Even if your decision turns out to be incorrect, you may be certain that you made it for the right reasons.
We should redefine how we think about it to assist us in accomplishing more activities that correspond with our "why." When we make decisions based on what we want to do rather than what we have to do, we are far more likely to follow through. We work toward our desires because they represent our values and interests. And we choose these objectives on our own.
Alternately, our desire to achieve objectives is placed on us by a sense of responsibility or by others, and keeping up with them is more difficult.
You can eat healthily because you're self-conscious about your appearance. Still, you're far more likely to stick to it if you see excellent health as an important characteristic that makes you feel good and enjoy life.
Reframe your decision-making process, and you'll find yourself doing more activities that line with your why.
The Real World
You'll be able to be your true self for everyone every day if you have emotional agility. Take charge of your own growth, career, creative spirit, job, and relationships.
Accept yourself with kindness, bravery, and a sense of wonder. Accept and learn from your inner experiences.
Don't attach yourself to unrealistically high ideals.
Allow yourself to open up and face your anxieties, guided by your ideals. Emotional agility will transform your life.