The Importance of Developing Emotional Awareness Skills

Emotions are important factors that affect how we perceive the world and how we relate to people. Numerous studies in the field of mental health have found that people with high emotional awareness are less likely to experience social anxiety and depression, have better family and friendship relationships, and see themselves as more valuable.

In this context, discovering what emotions are, how and how intensely we experience emotions and how we express our emotions will contribute to the development of our emotional awareness skills.

Sometimes we can feel the effects of the emotions we experience intensely. For example, we may feel uneasy, sad, or angry when someone does something that makes us angry or says something that hurts us. We may find it difficult to describe what we experienced immediately after the event and how it made us feel.

Likewise, while expressing this emotional experience, we may be confused about how to act in a healthy way, or we may not know what to do. Knowing what emotional awareness is and working towards acquiring this skill can be a contributing factor at this point.

Knowing what an emotion is, how it is experienced in our body and mind, and how we express it is the first condition for acquiring and developing the skill of emotional awareness. For example, when we receive news that will make us happy, our body begins to secrete happy hormones. When we get angry, our breathing and heart rate quicken, we begin to sweat, our blood pressure rises and our pupils dilate.

Our body prepares to give one of the three reactions called fight-flight-freeze and appear during stress. We can give examples of automatic thoughts such as “I will not be able to handle this job”, “My exam will be bad”, “I will be alone”, “Something bad will happen to me” when we are worried about how our body evaluates emotions in terms of cognitive.

In order to develop our emotional awareness skill, we first need to define the event that caused the emotion we experience to emerge. Then we have to name the emotion we felt during this event, notice how we expressed it, and accept it. It is also important to consider the thoughts that appear in our minds during our emotional response, while improving our awareness of our emotion that arises during an event.

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