|Posted by Gwen Williams on November 20, 2005 at 7:00 PM|
I don't usually watch a lot of television. However lately, I have been watching the news reports about hurricane Katrina. I watch for a little while and then find myself bursting into tears and feeling despair for those poor people. I decided to watch extreme makeover instead. How sad can a decorating show be? This episode showed some really grateful folks in dire need receiving a new home. They cried, the hosts of the show cried and I cried again. I quickly flipped the channel in search of more cheerful shows and realized that most of the other stations were hosting a tribute to the 911 tragedy as this was the anniversary of that event.
Believe it or not, earlier this evening I was feeling euphoric and peaceful. I was not sad. I had spent the earlier part of the evening, between dusk and darkness, as I usually do, outside on my deck watching the bats darting around awkwardly and listening for coyote and loons. Tonight was cool and calm. There was no coyote nearby tonight. My cat was safe inside and I felt happy.
Wouldn't life be boring if we did not have our emotions to spice things up? But what purpose do they have really? They seem at times to be a bit of a nuisance.
Experts say emotion enhances our thinking and is key for improved memory, decision making, problem solving, rational thought and creative thinking. Of course emotions can't be left to run wild. They must be managed appropriately. Emotional Intelligence or Emotional Quotient (EQ) is the ability to manage emotions in a way that produces beneficial behavior and optimal choices in decision making. It consists of four abilities: identifying how people feel, using emotion to assist the thinking process, understanding the cause of emotion and managing emotions.
People with high EQs know what they are feeling, are often passionate, even tempered, have good emotional self-control, think clearly when having strong emotions and make decisions based on their hearts and heads. Such people can be good at motivating others.
So when you find yourself feeling weepy or angry, get in touch with what you are feeling and why. Use that emotion to motivate you in a constructive way. For example; use tears to motivate you to help someone in need or fight for justice; use anger to examine past events, search out root causes and develop solutions.
Experts say that suppressing emotion can cause sickness through emotional burnout or overload. I say however, venting angrily at another person can also make that person and those within hearing distance sick as well. Emotions are our friends, use them wisely.