Transforming relationship break ups and breakdowns into breakthroughs
Improving your emotional self awareness is a key step to enrich your life and transform a relationship breakdown or break up into a relationship breakthrough.
Is it ok to feel anger, joy, depression or desire? How do you respond to these emotional guides?
Noted professor and psychologist, Robert Plutchik listed the basic or fundamental types of emotions as follows:
The Wheel of Emotions is coming up in the next module. You will see how this all chains together. Take these eight emotions and list them in order of experience. The emotions you experience most in your relationship should be higher in the list.
What does your list suggest? Bear in mind that these are not conclusions, only suggestions to spark your curiosity as you begin to improve your emotional self awareness.
Think back to the positive emotions and negative emotions tasks you hopefully completed in the last module. If you didn't do that now would be a great time to jump in and complete those two quick actions to build your emotional self awareness.
Review what you noted. How many emotions had you experienced in that three day period? How would you rate your emotional self awareness for those three days?
The next step to consider is the specific language that you use when referring to emotions. The poetry of emotions.
Is your language rich, subtle or expressive, is it more towards the quiet side or is it full on in your face?
In particular were you mad, cross, cheesed off, troubled, angry or absolutely freakin' furious at any stage?
Notice the different image each word creates in that last sentence. Each emotion is available in all colours and sizes. It isn't one size fits all. And thats the beauty of the English language. That creates the richness of your experience.
Think of the primary emotions you experienced then run each word through a thesaurus and your list of emotions will grow, you emotional vocabulary will expand and your emotional self awareness will be enriched.
This list of words is just in relation to enriching your emotional self awareness and vocabulary of anger and how it may manifest for you. The following list can also be seen on at thesaurus.com:
Put this together and the complete list of human emotions is almost impossible to imagine. positivepsychology.com put the actual number around 34,000! Thats how many emotions there are.
How many from this list emotions can you relate to?
Before you can understand your emotions you need to improve your emotional self awareness. Now that you have a list of emotions at your disposal, you could retake the task to elicit your emotions over the past three days. This time, don't worry about differentiation between positive emotions or negative emotions. Just write down a list of emotions as they come to your awareness.
In "Living an Inspired Life" Dr Wayne Dyer suggests that when you ask the big question "Who am I?" people tend to identify themselves by what they have, what they do, what they accomplish but lose touch of their original self. Try this yourself and just fill in the appropriate words. Go with the first thing that comes to mind:
"I am ..."
This is particular appropriate when you are in the heat of the moment as it were, experiencing your emotions.
"I am delighted"
"I am depressed"
"I am angry"
"I am frustrated"
The truth is, we are none of these things. We may be experiencing those things but they are not us. You can not identify yourself as "angry, but you can identify as someone having an experience of anger.
And there is really awesome news in terms of mastering your emotional intelligence.
Studies in neuroscience are revealing that labelling emotions has a positive impact in diminishing the attachment to the emotion. It is possible to change your state by changing the way you label the experience.
Transforming emotions to make them less intense is a huge step towards turning a relationship breakdown or break up into a relationship breakthrough!
Lets me show you how this works in reality.
You are sat in your car at an intersection waiting to turn and vehicle comes the opposite direction on a red traffic signal forcing you to wait another round!
Whats the emotion? How do you express it? How do you label the other road user?
Ok stop, erase the screen and start over. Your an emotionally intelligent man. You recognise that naming emotions helps to bridge a gap between thoughts and feeling. Instead of cursing the other driver, you recognise that your own emotional state is precious. You acknowledge that you state has been challenged by the behaviour.
"A moment ago I was experiencing calm but I am now feeling angry because I am delayed in making the crossing."
It isn't wrong to experience anger in certain situations, but to stay in anger could be. By acknowledging and properly labelling how we feel, we can create a huge expanse of capacity to use our brains for a change.
Have you ever had an important meeting or conversation to have yet you were so full of thoughts and ideas that detracted from your focus that the conversation didn't go as planned?
It is like the computer program you use that slows down because there are other programs running. You need to close those other programs down. It is like repurposing the school hall from examinations room to end of school prom.
You need emotional self awareness to clear the space.
This is a simple process of acknowledging your inner thoughts and internal dialogue. Each thought represents an candidate desk, or computer program. Identify each thought in the simplest terms, for example you might say to yourself "I am aware that I am thinking about the meal that I plan to cook"
Then ask your self how you feel about the thought. You might be excited, challenged, confused or worried, or any combination of emotions. Find the most obvious emotion and acknowledge it.
Say something along the lines of "I am aware that I am feeling anxious about cooking a meal for my partner later"
Once you have address the thing, and the emotion attributed to it you can close it down to clear the space. Neuroscience studies have revealed that putting a label on the emotion actually helps the brain begin to reduce the impact.
Next is the fun, creative part. Use your imagination. Be bold. Be creative. Be adventurous.
So for the example above you might visualise closing the door on your filled dishwasher with a huge smile on your face because the meal was outstanding.
Whenever you visualise something like this, add in the sounds and textures. Feel the door, hear it lock shut and start up.
I use this exercise with clients in life coaching sessions and have come across some outstanding visualisations:
As easy as X,Y,Zzzzzz
"I would like to acknowledge that I am thinking about attribute X and feeling emotion Y in relation to it. So what I would like to do now is close that thought by doing visualisation Z"
So now you have an idea how to improve your emotional self awareness and how this can impact your relationships. You also know about the power of labelling the emotions and being specific with emotional vocabulary. Was that a blast?
Get ready to go deep as I introduce you to The Wheel of Emotions in Module 4 of your Emotions Master Class for Men.
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