Track your emotions

Gaining insight into why and when your emotions go up or down can be an important first step to enhancing your self-awareness and emotional intelligence.

Share on.articles

Why this matters

Self-awareness is critical to emotional intelligence. When we recognize why and when our emotions are likely to arise, we’ll be less reactive and better able to link them to our understanding of who we are. We’ll then be able to learn and grow rather than remain at the mercy of our emotions.

Explore and reflect

Once you start tracking your emotions, you’ll begin to see patterns. Then, you’ll be able to link your behaviours and reactions to your thoughts and memories in the moment.

This knowledge can allow you to anticipate what will likely have a positive or negative effect. You’ll be able to more intentionally choose your response.

If you find it difficult to label your emotions, check out the list on Build your emotional vocabulary.

You can also use an app to track your emotions, like those found in Mental health apps.

You may feel anxious before every meeting. Or, you become distracted or sad around the anniversary of losing someone close to you. You may find you always feel lighter and happier after speaking to a close friend. In each of these cases, you can begin to put things in place to help you anticipate and manage those emotions.

Tracking your emotions can provide you with insights such as:

  • If you feel anxious before meetings, you may want to carve out 60 seconds of deep breathing to ground yourself, before you join a meeting.

  • If you feel sad at the anniversary of losing someone, you may want to begin a ritual, such as writing something in their memory, going to their favourite location, meeting up with someone else who was close with them or recalling happy memories. This can help you manage the feeling of loss by adding in a feeling of celebration and appreciation.

  • When you recognize that a particular friend lifts your spirit, you can let them know you’re grateful they have this positive effect. You can also intentionally seek them out when you need to boost your mood.

Though tracking your emotions may not include any of the above examples, any insights or wisdom you gain can improve your self-awareness.

Take action

Track your emotions until your own patterns and habits become clear by using one of the many free mood trackers online or a mobile app, like those described in Mental health apps.

Once you see the patterns, use this information to decide how you could manage your emotions differently. Self-management for emotional intelligence has some information and resources that could help.

Contributors include.articlesDr. Joti Samra

Related articles.articles

Article tags.articles

Choose an option to filter.articles


To add a comment.comments