Emotions 101

Emotions are the feelings that we experience as a result of our thoughts (or reaction) to real or perceived circumstances. 

One only has to Google topics like feelings or emotions to see the endless amounts of information available to you!

Part of your journey in getting to your Next Big Adventure is going to rely on your emotions, what you are feeling, and how you manage them. For many, the idea of looking inside oneself to identify what they are feeling at any given moment is not routine, and for some, the ability to even identify what emotion they are feeling is deficient. Emotional intelligence is typically not a standard or required courses in school, at least not yet!

Peter Salovey and John Mayer have defined Emotional Intelligence as, “the ability to monitor one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior”.  As we journey along together, we will dive deeper into emotional intelligence and weave it into many of our discussions.

For now, we’ll start with a few basics. First, a working-definition of emotions:

Emotions are the feelings that we experience as a result of our thoughts (or reaction) to real or perceived circumstances. 

As we look at this working-definition, we see that it’s our thoughts that are driving what we are feeling, the emotion or emotions we are currently experiencing. If a friend says something that is hurtful to you, even if that was not their intention, it is likely you will think they are being rude or mean, and this may illicit a feeling of irritation or disappointment inside of you. It’s the thoughts you hold of your friend and what was said that results in the feeling or emotion you are experiencing.  If you continue to hold onto these thoughts and let them grow stronger without awareness, then you will most likely start to feel stronger emotions like anger or even hatred, which is certainly not your desired outcome. 

The opposite is true as well. If you have an experience or interaction that causes you to feel enthusiastic or happy and you hold those good-feeling thoughts and dwell on them, and then reach for more good-feeling thoughts, you are bound to experience even stronger, better-feeling emotions like joy, passion, and appreciation.  

As we dive deeper into the subject of emotions in future posts, our goal is two-fold: 1) help you identify your emotions, what you are feeling at any given moment, and 2) learn how to move from undesired, negative emotions to better-feeling, positive emotions.  

In the 7-Level Emotional Scale table below there are a variety of emotions ranging from strong positive emotions at the top (+3) to strong negative emotions at the bottom (-3). This table is not intended to be inclusive of all emotions, but to give a broad representation of them from which we can work with moving forward. 

As we move forward, we will be looking at ways to move up the scale, from undesired, negative emotions to better-feeling, positive emotions.

Today, you should simply start by reviewing it, look at each emotion listed and see if you can identify what that emotion feels like. If it’s helpful, try and think of a time or situation where you experienced that particular emotion. Identify a time when you felt appreciation, or joy, or passion — what was going on at that time, who was there, what was the situation?  Do you remember a time when you were sad, worried, or disappointed — why did you feel that way, who was there, what happened? The better you get at identifying emotions in any given situation, the better equipped you will be to handle and manage them in any situation.  

At NextBigAdventure.Me, it is our desire to inspire and empower you to search, to learn, and to grow as you confidently (and excitedly) journey along to your Next Big Adventure!

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