You feel a sudden overwhelming feeling that you cannot comprehend. You are feeling light-headed, and your heart is beating out of control. Your vision is clouded. A humming sound is blocking your eardrums, and all you can hear is your own heartbeat full or anger. Cold sweat is dripping under your clothes, regardless of the cold temperature. These are unregulated physiological responses to your environment. Those are emotional responses frequently interconnected to a range of sensations and feelings ranging from a marriage proposal to losing your job, getting a new job, having a baby, moving to another country, facing the uncertainties of changes, being laid off, the first day of school, buying your first car, your first kiss, and so on.
The reality–either if you like it or not–is that every single one of your behavioral responses is linked to some type of emotion. Even when you are not showing any emotions, that is an emotional response. Tricky, isn’t it?
Sometimes, you have time to think about your responses to others, but at other times, you will not have a second to spare before you come out “unfiltered.” And if you think that is a struggle, imagine when you have to deal with composing yourself, at the same time that you are trying to understand and comprehend the composure of others. If that is not enough to make you feel as if wanting to throw a five-year-old master tantrum, I know for fact that, at least, it will leave you frustrated much, isn’t it?
The trick is on recognizing and be aware of those emotional signals. Learning how to use that information to guide your next step, regardless if you are walking away from it or getting deeper into the problem. Emotional intelligence is a mental discipline that not only changes you emotionally and psychologically but also physically. Emotions leave you exhausted and wholly consumed. Emotional responses driven by instincts are never good because they will also leave you with a master mess behind to clean and a headache that will last you for days, if not months, and maybe years.
Get to know yourself. Get to know your emotions, the things that trigger different responses in you. It is important to understand who you are, where those emotions come from, and where they are taking you. Understand all surfaces and injunctions, see beneath the surface, evaluate what it takes from you to be involved, and ask yourself one question: is it worth it?
Dr. Iberkis Faltas
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