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The One Framework You Need To Improve Your Emotional Intelligence

Written by: Vasilisa Lukyanenka,, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


"I don't want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them." ‒ Oscar Wilde

The Role of Emotions in Your Life.

Have you ever wondered what role emotions play in your everyday life? How are they related to the choices we make? How do they influence our relationships with others and ourselves? How do they affect our performance and success?

Yes, emotions affect all the above areas to make our lives easy or hard since it is not about facts but interpretations. Facts are neutral, and when we think about certain events, our emotions follow.

I remember the moments when I feel upbeat, confident, and strong. In these moments, I can be productive, creative, and handle challenging tasks. When I am in the opposite mood, I have less energy. I feel stuck and problematic situations seem unbearable. When I am experiencing negative emotions, I procrastinate and resist a lot.

An average person tends to ignore their emotional state and push through it, which results in you working through an immense resistance or numbing your feelings. We often think about our emotions as a nuisance and imagine how great it would be if they did not get in our way so that we could do whatever we need to. It means we wish we were emotionless robots. Or to always be happy and never have negative emotions.

Emotional Intelligence offers a different path that frees you from being controlled by emotions and turns them into your allies.

Is EQ (Emotional Intelligence) a skill or a personal quality?

My clients often ask me whether EQ is something we naturally possess or a trained skill. I believe that every human has it but does not know how to use it or uses it randomly without being aware they do it. There are people who intuitively or through personal growth work have improved their emotional intelligence. At the same time, knowledge about EQ has been systematised and turned into books, workbooks, courses, and frameworks so that people can master it consciously. By developing it as a skill, we can measure its impact and create consistency to notice when we become sidetracked.

The goal of EQ is not to suppress or ignore your emotions; it is to validate whatever you are feeling without feeling shame or resisting. It creates an additional judgemental layer to an already existing emotion.

To validate it, you need to become curious and honest with yourself. Since you are creating some emotion, there should be something behind it.

How do we create our emotions? There are a few types of emotions:

  • Situational

  • Body/nature-related

  • Anchored (triggered by memories)

Situational emotions:

Several of our emotions are situational. They arise because of our thoughts and interpretations of reality, events, and other people's behaviour. We often do it on autopilot. It feels like they are triggered automatically.

That is why we think this is something we have no control over. And it is true until we set up an intention to become aware once something triggers an emotion and what is behind it.

Body/nature-related emotions:

Do you remember the moments when you experienced an emotion for no reason? It can be related to your body's processes. Hunger, fatigue, tension, and illness can cause emotions unrelated to the situation at hand.

Also, less obvious external events can cause emotions, like weather conditions or moon phases. We often forget that we are a part of nature and are affected by it, too.

Anchored emotions:

Is there a song that brings a wave of emotions to you? Or is there a smell that makes you feel warm, happy, and excited? Is there a person’s name that puts you off?

All these emotions are anchored within us. We experienced them in the past, and now a smell, sight, or sound can awaken the same emotion again. This is why we can listen to the same song ten times in a row. :)

Instead of wishing our emotions away, acceptance and curiosity are better tools to start with.

I have created the ACTIVE framework which is a great tool to use when in tunnel vision mode because of a negative emotional state.

Here are the steps of the ACTIVE framework. You can download the spreadsheet here!

Acceptance - accept what you already experience; it has a reason to be present.

Curiosity - get curious about it, label the emotion, and locate it in your body (for example, “sadness”, I feel it in my chest and throat)

Thoughts - what thoughts and beliefs are feeding the emotion. Are these thoughts based on evidence or your opinion? List some facts that support the thoughts and then contradict them.

Interpretations - Is the situation as black and white as you might be picturing it? Could you be misinterpreting facts? Could others have different perspectives?

Versions - What other emotions would you prefer to handle the situation? What emotional state would be helping you?

Effect - Check the effect of the alternative interpretations and emotions. Check if there are any shifts in perspective happening.

You might need to have the worksheet at hand to internalize this framework first. With time, you will not need it to trigger the process automatically once you feel discomfort.

“My message for everyone is the same: that if we can learn to identify, express, and harness our feelings, even the most challenging ones, we can use those emotions to help us create positive, satisfying lives.” ― Marc Brackett

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Vasilisa Lukyanenka, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Vasilisa Lukyanenka is an Emotional Intelligence and High Performance Coach. She has been through an immense transformation in her life with the help of Emotional Intelligence. She successfully completed several coaching courses and is a lifelong learner in the fields of Emotional Intelligence, Transformational and Existential Psychology. Currently, her main focus is on organizational coaching. She helps leaders and teams remove walls and build bridges instead by developing communication, empathy, collaboration, trust, and understanding within companies. She has helped a lot of people realize their true potential, find their meaning in life, gain control over their emotions, become happy and fulfilled. Vasilisa is able to see the inner power every human has and she has made it her mission to help others tap into it!



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