We’ve all heard “check yourself, before you wreck yourself” hopefully at some point in our lives. Probably by someone who was way more self-aware then we were. When was the last time though you were completely body slammed by your own emotions? I’m sure in the comments below this post we could all list several times we’ve done something that we’ve regretted when we’ve left our emotions to run us. In regards to it all though, we lead our experiences around us, they don’t run us.
We need to up-skill in emotional intelligence. We are in a world that has a very hard time not believing we’re after our own agenda when connecting. EI (Emotional Intelligence) as a skill is critical in today’s hyper focused space where we assume negative intent with just about everything coming at us. Our social environments put us on notice at any given time it wants to, and we let it take us there. We’re hammered by TV, social media, co-workers, and yes our own family with this kind of emotional judgement daily. Emotional intelligence allows us an opportunity to check it at the door before we react to the challenge or bad perception. We can learn to curb our emotions.
I learned about a technique combing some resources during my studies by Derek Draper. Very similar to the title above, it is a check yourself before you wreck yourself type of exercise. It’s called the feeling and number check-in. You have to create a space for it to be effective though before you get started. So find somewhere off stage from the world to do this.
Find some comfortable spot you can hunker down in. Taking in a couple of deep breaths ask yourself at the same time, “How do I feel?” When you got that feeling you want to address cornered click into it a little more. Rate it between a 1-5. 1 being the worst to 5 being the least painful.
Next step has you moving onto your body. Maybe there is a sensation you have like a tightness in your back or neck. Maybe you can feel your forehead all scrunch up so tight you’re head hurts from how tight the skin is. Click into that and do the same exercise of rating it between a 1 and 5. Keep doing this with other sensations with the same 1 and 5 rating. When you feel good and have addressed most of your feelings you should start to kind of feel pretty good.
Clicking in like this, especially during stressful times or in stressful environments is an awesome way to increase your EI skills. You’ll get ahold of those deconstructive behaviors before they have a chance to destroy you and those around you. You’ll learn how to control them and as you do this several times over, you’ll become much more self aware of triggers you have. Triggers are those things that ramp you up fast into the red zone. Triggers are your most destructive emotions and toxic to those around you. Triggers are emotions unchecked.
All this said, the added benefits you’ll gain by up-skilling your EI will pay off in more positive relationships, approachability, and increase empathy skills towards others. A simple exercise to do and worth the time of doing it.
All cruelty springs from weakness.”
– Seneca, Seneca’s Morals: Of a Happy Life, Benefits, Anger, and Clemency
Interested in learning some more about creating these kind of spaces for yourself and their benefit check out Draper’s book Create Space: How to Manage Time, and Find Focus, Productivity and Success.
Take care and I hope Friday is a great kick off into what will be an amazing weekend for you all.