In the words of the rapper Ludacris, “I feel like slapping somebody today!”

Today was one of those days where my emotions were all over the place. One second, I don’t know how I feel, the next second I don’t feel anything, and then later I feel EVERYTHING!!!!
“I’m not gonna cry! Ok, I’m crying. Nobody ever listens to me when I am going through it! Sigh! I wish people would stop texting me, all up in my BUSINESS!!!!!”

YES! I was all over the place. I am sure some of you have experienced days like this. And these type of days, are when you need to hone in on your “emotional intelligent (regulation)” mental abilities.

Sometimes there are events outside of our control that can cause the mood swings and emotional roller coaster. And there are others, who are just an emotional wreck, regardless. Nonetheless, it is quite common for us to experience strong negative feelings. In which may cause some to react impulsively and explode—which is the exact opposite of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is the ability to achieve, control, and evaluate emotions. It is critical to managing our behaviors, as we navigate through social situations, making logical decisions. This is something that should be taught early on in childhood, emotional self-awareness. Teaching your child how to get in touch with their feelings, as well as effective and appropriate ways to express strong feelings. By demonstrating emotional intelligence in their daily lives, they increase their ability to be more successful in dealing with the ever-changing circumstances of their lives as they grow through adulthood.

Emotional Intelligence in its developmental form is what we need to learn and to teach our children. A great deal of this development occurs in the first three years. A child needs the skills of self-control in order to succeed in life. Self-control is not inborn; instead, it is greatly influenced by the child’s experiences with parents and/or other important adult authority figures. When kids fail to grasp the ability, they may later have issues related to truancy, substance abuse, dropping-out, and petty crime in their high school years.

Children can begin learning emotional intelligence techniques through:

—Modeling—Give kids examples of emotional intelligence in action.
—Adult Behavior—Make sure that you model the kind of behavior and problem-solving skills you would like them to attain.
—Role-Playing—Use dolls and puppets to act out situations to which kids can narrate and to show characters modeling positive/appropriate behaviors.
—Social Stories—Read stories involving characters who have effectively solved problems and related well to others; show kids how social and emotional skills can be used in daily life. Promote the kids to tell you how the stories connect to their own experience.
—Give Consequences—When we react negatively, it can have a negative effect and outcome. Consistently teach and demonstrate consequences to their actions. Reinforce positive behaviors with rewards. Give negative consequences (punishment) to help distinguish the “bad” behavior.

Book Recommendation: Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child The Heart of Parenting by John Gottman PhD

These promote positive self empowerment and growth, that will remain with them from childhood, and throughout adulthood. Continual work and practicing to improve your emotional intelligence skills offers significant benefits in decision-making, relationships, and health. When lacking emotional regulation as an adult, they may become disengaged from all emotions. As a result, the inability to regulate one’s anger or adequately recognize when someone else is experiencing a negative emotion can make life difficult. Deep connections to other people would likely be limited, so, work, social, and family life would suffer. And they drive individuals to problematic behaviors such as drinking, drugs, inappropriate sex, gambling, shopping, overeating, and abuse. People with good emotion regulation skills are able to control the urges to prevent themselves from engaging in impulsive behaviors.

Emotional intelligence is necessary for living a good life. This includes the ability to be aware of one’s emotional state and healthy coping habits that allow for the reduction of stress, leading to irrational decision making.

These skills will help prevent you from reacting and allow you to respond more thoughtfully and thoroughly. It does take time, experience, as well as trial and error to acquire these skills. In most cases, adults have to consistently work at strengthening and exercising these skills. We are all a work in progress in the domain of emotional intelligence.

“You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.”

Author's Bio: 

Veronica J Burgess, has over 7 years working in the mental health/therapy field. Veronica has a Bachelors of Science in Child Development and Family Relations, Indiana University of Pennsylvania. And, a Masters in Social Worker--Direct Practice, University of Pittsburgh. Veronica is state certified in Functional Behavioral Assessment. And is trained in Trauma Focused Therapy. Veronica currently is a therapist working with children and their families. As a gifted tarot reader, she has had the privilege of working with many clients from various countries and walks of life. She has a partner affiliation with, where she is a part of the expert community. Veronica is a member of the American Tarot Association and Tarosophy--Tarot Professionals.