If I am angry or frustrated, the resulting behavior is often a reaction to the subconscious feelings. Before evening realizing it, I can respond in a way that the rational me would never do.

Lately, I’ve been trying to recognize the impending expression of emotion. It’s not easy, but when I’ve been able to do it successfully, I feel like I just unlocked a cheat code. I create control.

If I can consciously recognize the emotion before expressing it, I have a moment to identify its source. Then I am able to deduce if the reaction is justified. Most of the time, it is not. If I realize this, then the rational brain kicks in to make me chill out. It’s strange during the transition because I still want to be annoyed at something - but it passes.

Imagine how others perceive you if they see you having unjustified emotional reactions. It’s funny how your mind plays tricks on you - making assumptions with limited data. If you can figure out how the algorithms for your mind will respond, you can take control of a situation instead of letting your mind run its course.

As a side note, this is a topic I was hoping to see in Emotional Intelligence 2.0. It sort of did, but it’s a bad book. The framework is legit, but the tips are not. In this case, self-awareness is proving to be a personal journey.