Like most things - Emotions don’t just happen… - Rather, they stem for somewhere and finding that somewhere is the key to growing in your Emotional Intelligence which is known as your EQ/EI. - The question then becomes, how do we develop our emotional intelligence and handle our emotions better? - Step 1: Pay attention to your “beliefs” aka “self-talk.” Self-talk is the internal dialogue you have within yourself that is ongoing and continuous. - Again, this self-talk can be as innocent as the internal thought of “I can’t wait to eat this meal” after the order you just placed, or as detrimental as the internal thought of “I’ll never be good at this.” - Step 2: Tracing the root of your self-talk - Most of our self-talk comes from “dated tapes”, these are the hurtful or harmful statements made to us as little boys or girls. For instance statements like, “Can’t you do anything right?” or “You’ll be just like (insert name) when you get older because you’re a failure just like them!” - Step 3: Reflect, Process, Enact - Dr. Albert Ellis came up with a system called ABCDE - for altering your perceptions, attitudes, and behavior. - Activating event|Beliefs|Consequences|Debate-Dispute-Discard|Effects - After you practice this process over and over, it will become engrained in your mental process, but start by grabbing a piece of paper and make 5 Columns with a letter over each (see below for example).
- Think of a situation that you have recently experienced and write down the consequence in C. Next write down the activating event (the trigger) in A. Now write out the beliefs (self-talk) that occurred right after or even as the activating happened. Then, actively debate, dispute, and discard (D) the maladaptive, self-defeating beliefs that gave rise to your Cs. Ask yourself these questions: - Where’s the proof that supports these beliefs? - Are there any alternative, more logical explanations to explain the activating event? - If someone asked me for advice about this scenario, what might I say that could help alter her/his perspective? - Have I ever been in a similar situation before or held a similar belief only to find out later it was wrong? - Finally, in E write out the effects of filling in D. - ABCDE can help you identify your emotions by reflecting and processing them and therefore enacting them differently than just “flying off the handle” or “soaking in sorrows.” - Adapted from The EQ Edge: 37- 49.