Emotions are mental reactions, subjectively experienced as strong feelings, typically accompanied by physiological and behavioural changes in the body. A strong emotion can deeply impact us and how we view the things that happen to us, for better or worse. Consider what happens in your body as you feel anger or joy and you will notice that emotions impact our daily lives in ways that we are not consciously aware of. Our actions can be influenced by our emotions for better or worse- hence the need for emotional intelligence. Complete all of the assignments below.
Assignment 1: Dysfunctional Thoughts
In this assignment you are going to explore your feelings about emotions. Consider your own personally held assumptions or thoughts regarding emotion and record them in your journal. Refer to the table below for reference and include any that may resonate with you:
If I lose control of my emotions in front of others, they will think less of me.
I should be able to control my emotions
If I let myself feel this emotion, I will become overwhelmed by it.
If I tell others how I feel, they will use it against me.
If I tell others how I feel, they will think I am weak.
Other people don’t feel this way. There must be something wrong with me.
Only an immature person would get so emotional.
I should be able to cope with difficulties on my own without turning to others for support
To be acceptable to others, I must keep any difficulties or negative feelings to myself
This emotional state is not a normal response; I have to get rid of it.
That person responded differently than I did, therefore my emotional reaction is wrong.
If I let myself feel this pain, it will kill me.
Letting myself feel bad would mean falling to pieces, being a total mess, or wallowing in self-pity.
If I show signs of weakness then others will reject me.
Being an adult means not getting carried away by emotion; I’m supposed to be rational!
Showing my emotions to others makes me look like a “drama queen.”
I’m stupid for feeling this way. I should just suck it up!
I should not let myself give in to these feelings.
I can control all of my emotions.
Dysfunctional thoughts like these are counter-intuitive to the emotional intelligence that we need to be able to wield as Jedi. By being mindful of maladaptive patterns of thought, we increase the opportunity to replace them with authentic emotions in a way that serves the world. Consider the negative thoughts associated with emotions and explore the consequences you have personally experienced by holding such beliefs. Have they by and large been beneficial? If not, how have they been detrimental? How can we work through them and what sort of positive thoughts can we remind ourselves of when those thoughts come?
Assignment 2: Self-Reflection
This assignment involves focusing on understanding your own emotions. For one week, take some time out of your day to examine how you are feeling, consider what caused you to feel that way, and identify how you are expressing that feeling. You may answer this by using the mood meter found here: https://www.ps120q.org/mood-meter If you would like to change the emotion, explore some ways you might reframe how you think about, or relate to, it. Or use this time to simply experiment with balancing your emotions by letting them settle and/or exploring their complement. Record your results in your journal here in the Temple.
Assignment 3: Support Networks
Remember, we are not the only one’s dealing with negative feelings, thoughts, or emotions. People in our circles are as well, and we can be a source of healing for them – but we first need to be aware of ourselves. During this module, consider who is in your support network, and whose support networks you are in. Who can you share your raw emotion with without any masks? Arrange an opportunity to talk with them about their experience(s) with any of the earlier identified dysfunctional thought patterns. Record your dialogue in your journal.
Assignment 4: Emotional Intelligence Essay
After finishing the first two assignments, write a review of 500+ words in your journal detailing what you have learned about emotional intelligence, developing emotional awareness, and how this will help you on your path in the future.