In my Inner Mastery Group Coaching, this month we are focusing on Emotional Wisdom. Since emotions play an important part in our day-to-day living and have a big impact on our overall well-being and sense of fulfillment, I want to share with you useful ways we can use our emotions productively.
The first thing we have to do is feel our emotions. Don’t judge the emotions, don’t deny them, don’t repress them. Just feel them.
We don’t typically think about emotions as having “wisdom”; we often think of them being out of control, or beyond logic. But that is where the concept of emotional wisdom comes in.
Over the years, researchers and thought leaders have begun to point out that emotions arouse, sustain, and guide our human activity. We have learned that they are not in opposition to overall wisdom, and that in reality they are themselves an important aspect of wisdom.
Seen with this updated perspective, emotions play a much greater role in our ability to function successfully in life. In fact, in order to be the most successful in life including our dealings with others, we need to be able to do three things with our emotions:
- Handle frustrations – that is, our own as well as others’ frustrations. The ability to accept delayed gratification is an important aspect of this.
- Understand our own emotions, and understand others’ emotions, so we effectively express and interact with the experienced feelings.
- Manage our social skills (i.e. expression of feelings and our connection with others) so that we can more effectively live and work harmoniously.
So, how should we define emotional wisdom?
Emotional wisdom can be defined as the ability to understand your own emotional state and the emotional states of those around you. And it is the ability to use our feelings to guide our thoughts and actions in appropriate ways.
Emotional wisdom, then, is about self-awareness, as well as managing our feelings so that they are expressed appropriately. It is not about suppressing emotions, but being able to understand how you are feeling in that moment, and what valuable aspects are contained in those feelings.
Emotional wisdom enables us to deal effectively with people and problems in ways that reduce anger and hostility, foster collaborative effort, produce creative energy, and enhance our life balance.
There are ways to increase emotional wisdom; this is a process that starts with working on self-knowledge and ultimately, with developing of inner mastery. These are the topics of our current work in the Inner Mastery Group Coaching.