Working towards your own emotional growth will help you regulate your emotions, communicate more effectively, and change behaviours that are holding you back.
It is impossible to be perfect or know everything about yourself in order to be happy or successful, however, learning to understand your feelings and emotions and why they are triggered is an important part of emotional intelligence.
It is also important to understand the difference between situational emotions and core emotions. Situational emotions will come and go depending on what happens in your life, but core emotions are part of who you are at your very core.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Developing emotional intelligence is an ongoing journey of self-discovery, identifying strengths and weaknesses and working towards enhancing your abilities throughout your life.
Emotionally intelligent individuals typically possess these characteristics:
- Situational awareness
- Strong interpersonal skills
Reflection and Emotional Growth
One of the most important parts of working towards your own emotional growth is understanding why you do what you do. This can be done through a process called “reflection”, where you think about your feelings, actions and thoughts in order to gain more insight into yourself.
While it may not be always easy to talk about your feelings, you may find it easier to talk about someone else’s feelings. If you’re having trouble talking about your own emotions, or have trouble identifying what you are feeling, that can be a sign that you could benefit from some personal counselling.
If you can identify your feelings, writing them down can be a highly effective way to start processing them. By putting your thoughts and emotions on paper, you give them a voice and allow yourself to confront them more directly.
When doing this kind of reflection, it’s important to ask yourself questions like:
- What are the consequences of my behaviour?
- How can I change it?
- Is there anything that could help me change my environment so that it supports my desired behaviour change?
Mistakes Teach Us Lessons
Learning from our mistakes is a crucial part of our emotional growth. Mistakes are opportunities to learn something about ourselves, but if you don’t acknowledge them as mistakes and learn from them, then they become failures.
A failure is when you don’t acknowledge the mistake and just keep repeating it over and over again until it becomes ingrained in who you are as a person. It’s no longer just a situation that happened once, it becomes a pattern.
That’s why it’s so important to learn how to forgive yourself when things go wrong because sometimes we make mistakes without meaning to; sometimes there were extenuating circumstances beyond our control; sometimes our intentions were good even though the outcome was not.
Addressing what went wrong, without assigning blame, allows us to break patterns and grow from the experience, so the next time something doesn’t go our way, we have experience in how to deal with the situation.
Gestalt Theory and Mindfulness
Gestalt theory and mindfulness are two practices that can be applied to emotional growth. Gestalt theory emphasises the importance of being present in the moment and taking responsibility for one’s actions, thoughts, and feelings.
Mindfulness practices can help us become more aware of our emotions, thoughts, and sensations, and learn how to regulate them. By applying Gestalt theory and mindfulness, we can increase self-awareness, self-acceptance, and develop healthy relationships.
By incorporating these practices into our daily lives, we can experience emotional growth and live more fulfilling lives.
Emotional growth is not an easy task, and it certainly won’t happen overnight.
If you’re struggling with a particular emotion, like anger or sadness, try to identify why this is happening in the first place. Maybe there was something that happened at work or school today that made you feel this way. Maybe it’s something more personal like feeling lonely.
Once we understand what triggers our emotions (and how those triggers affect us), we can take steps towards managing them better by either avoiding certain situations altogether or learning how best to deal with them when they arise.
Seeking Help is a Great Start
Seeking help is a sign that you are ready to embrace your own emotional growth.
It is important and highly recommended to speak with an experienced psychotherapist such as Deborah from Perth Psychology and Psychotherapy, to better assist you in developing techniques to improve your emotional intelligence and regulate your emotions and feelings in a healthy, productive way.