5 Simple Ways to Build Your Emotional Literacy

Five Simple Ways to Build Your Emotional Literacy

What is Emotional Literacy?

Emotional Literacy refers to a set of skills that allows us to recognise, understand, and express emotions in a healthy way. These skills include the management and regulation of emotions but also the capacity to effectively communicate with others about what and how we feel.

The Difference Between Emotional Literacy and Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a broader concept that includes but it's not limited to emotional literacy

Emotional literacy is a key component of wellbeing and emotional intelligence. While emotional intelligence is a broader concept, containing other equally important skills such as empathy and self-awareness, emotional literacy is the first step toward building and establishing a better relationship with emotions.

How Emotional Literacy Boosts Wellbeing

Understanding and acquiring vocabulary pertaining to emotions allows us to communicate what and how we feel. This is essential when it comes to developing more positive and healthier ways to relate with ourselves and others. 

From an individual point of view, emotional literacy plays a huge role in how we deal with and respond to stress too. Poor emotional literacy is often associated with reduced resilience, poor mental health, lack of social skills as well as overall success in life. 

Educating yourself in emotional literacy is not only an investment in your emotional wellbeing but also in your social and spiritual wellbeing. A better understanding of your emotional life has the potential to boost your relationships, sense of connection and belonging.

Here are 5 ways you can start building your emotional literacy.

How to Build Your Emotional Literacy

Make time for Self-reflection

You can’t gain emotional wisdom and skills if you do not spend time with yourself and reflect on your emotions. You can choose meditation, journaling or even art therapy as an avenue to identify what you are feeling. 

Making time for self-reflection is one the simple ways you can build your emotional literacy
Be mindful and stay in the present moment so that you can identify your emotions in real time

Adopt a Mindful Attitude 

Choose to be in the present moment and available for what is going on in your current reality. The practice of mindfulness strengthens your ability to stay in the moment and increases your awareness. The more mindful you become, the faster you get at spotting your emotions and how they affect you.

Listen to What is Said

Don’t go idle or daydream while having time for self-reflection or relating to others. Practice active listening. Be really there for others and most of all for yourself. Train your attention to stay on track and follow a conversation through. It’s all data to help you understand what you and others are feeling.

Be fully present when talking with people as that can give you information about what you and the other person are feeling
Learning about primary human emotions and how to label what you feel increases your emotional literacy

Label what you Feel

Start by understanding human primary emotions. Learn what anger, sadness, joy, and contempt look and feel like both mentally and physically. Labels are not always dangerous. They can help us identify, understand and express our emotions adequately. 

Ask for Help

We learn a great deal with and from others. Confide how you feel about someone you trust and who can help you navigate and make sense of what you are feeling. Strong emotions in particular can cloud our thinking. Having a third party to share our emotions such as a close friend or a professional can help you develop greater self-awareness and resourcefulness. 

Boost your emotional literacy by talking to others and asking for help

Final thoughts

Expanding your knowledge about emotions can increase your emotional intelligence. Over time, you will become more capable to deal with emotional situations and answer to them more effectively.

Learning about primary human emotions is an excellent starting point. You will not only be able to identify them in yourself through mental and physical cues but also in other people.

Being able to read your own emotions and the emotions of others is key when it comes to emotional wellbeing. That is why educating yourself in emotional literacy can bring you great benefits. We can’t manage or regulate what we don’t know about and that’s where the 5 tips I gave you in this post will help.

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Published by The Wellbeing Blogger

Wellbeing Designer, here to help you make Art with your Life

4 thoughts on “5 Simple Ways to Build Your Emotional Literacy

  1. This is a very interesting and informative post. I totally agree that labelling an emotion helps a lot. Often times we may not realise when our mindset have shifted from sadness to depression. Labelling helps identify problematic areas resulting in taking measures to solve and improve conditions.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really love these 5 tips, so helpful. Mindfulness helped me to change the direction of my battle with depression, and since then I have gone on to journal. It also offered me the insight to use films as a reference to enabling us to achieve better mental health. It changed my life and I have grown from there. We have to find what works for us, and this is a beautiful point of reference to help each of us unlock our true selves.

    Liked by 1 person

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