As an introverted and shy kid going to school made me “feel” really anxious.
When I expressed my feelings I was told to go and sit in the corner and “think” about my feelings.
Modern technological life has also conditioned us to be in our heads. Information loves to keep us distracted and is fast becoming an addictive behavior for many.
As humans we have been given emotions and feelings.
Emotional Intelligence is the ability to monitor one’s own and other people’s emotions.
How you relate to yourself emotionally effects how you relate to others emotionally, so if you’re looking for positive relationships, it is important to notice how and what you’re feeling.
Also, when we pay attention to what feels good, we can intentionally create more of those feelings.
Emotions and feelings act as perfect guidance systems to help direct our thinking and behavior. I call it our emotional GPS.
But we have to remember to turn the darn thing on.
Emotional intelligence must be developed. We need to learn to pay attention.
One of the greatest gifts of mindfulness is noticing how you feel throughout your day.
For me, this means getting into my body.
During the day I’ll often stop and ask myself, “Am I enjoying what I’m doing?” I pay close attention to how my body is responding to a person, place, work or food.
How does this person, place, work or food make me feel in my body?
I’ve found that stopping to ask myself, “How does my body respond to this?” is an accurate tool to help direct my life journey.
I notice that when I play the guitar my body relaxes. I feel powerful. I feel creative. I make it a point to label these feelings. When I do, this serves to make me want to repeat these positive emotions.
When I’m with certain kinds of people, I notice my body opening up. Or my body language seems to tighten.
I notice that when I eat sugar my body seems to feel weaker and my energy gets sluggish.
When I sit for too long, my body stiffens up. I get cranky.
To notice this opening or constraint requires mindful awareness.
When you feel good in your body everything seems lighter. You have more energy, too.
Mindfulness allows you to notice the things that activate you and make you feel alive so you can experience more of those things.
We often get lost in our ideas and end up “thinking” our feelings. We need to pay better attention and learn how to “feel” our feelings.
Real Quick – Try This
Stop for a moment and close your eyes. Feel the energy field of your body.
Let go of any mental image you have of your body and go deeper into the energy field or aliveness of your body.
Focus your attention on your breathing. Feel it deep down in your belly.
Allow yourself to merge into this energy field so there is no longer any distinction between you as the observer and what is being observed.
This awareness is the essence of mindfulness. It is open and unconditioned by your mind. It is your essence.
Do More of What Feels Good
Bring this awareness to whatever you decide to do today. Ask, “Does this activity that I’m about to do make me feel good in my body?”
When you are mindful, you awaken to what feels good in your body. The result is contentedness.
When you are content and feel good your body takes on the quality of lightness and joy.
When you become aware or mindful of what feels good in your body you’ll remember to do more of those things.
Using emotional intelligence is a perfect way to guide your thinking and behavior.
I also keep a “Feelings Journal” where I jot down everything that makes me feel good or bad.
Over time, I can see patterns develop and this new found awareness lets me choose more of things that make me feel good.