Ep #247: The Five Emotional Skills
This week, I’m excited to share the second half of my Modern Emotional Health webinar. If you haven’t listened to the last episode, I highly recommend you go back and listen to it before diving into this session.
On this episode, we take a look at what it means to be an emotionally healthy human being and go over the five emotional skills you need to get there. Don’t miss this opportunity to find out exactly what you need to do in order to expand your capacity for your emotional and mental health and live a truly fulfilling life.
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What You will discover
- What it means to be emotionally healthy.
- The importance of understanding that emotions are harmless.
- The ONLY way to truly experience positive emotions.
- Hiding vs feeling in the future.
- Why you need to learn to identify your emotions.
- The importance of learning how to process and allow discomfort.
- How to separate emotion from circumstance.
- The power of identifying your thoughts.
Featured on the show
Get the Full Episode Transcript:download the transcript
Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast, where it’s all about real clients, real problems and real coaching. And now your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.
Well hello there, my friends. How are you all today? I’m so excited to share the second half of modern emotional health with you, and we are going to talk about the five emotional skills you need to be emotionally healthy on this episode. If you haven’t listened to episode 246, I highly recommend that you go back and listen to that one now. That is the first half of the webinar that I recorded, and this will be the second half. This is the five emotional skills you need to be healthy. Please enjoy…
Let’s talk about emotional health. Let’s talk about, what is modern emotional health? What does it look like? Step one is we understand our emotions. We know how to name them, we know how to feel them, we know how to identify them.
So if I say to you, “What is your emotion that you’re having right now?” You’d be able to identify it. And the more sophisticated you get in being able to decipher between emotions, the more you’re going to be able to create the life that you want. So for example, when you understand, right now, I’m feeling really excited, or I’m feeling anticipatory, or I’m feeling elated, versus I feel good, I feel fine.
Most people are like good or fine. That’s all they have. They don’t have any breadth, no diversity to the types of emotions that they’re having, or they just feel bad or they just feel anxious. And a lot of times, anxiety is just the resistance to an underlying emotion. They’re just not wanting to experience whatever the emotion is so they’re pushing it away and resisting it, which causes a tremendous amount of anxiety and panic for so many people.
So the first step is really to be able to understand and identify what is the emotion that you’re having. The second one is to allow those emotions without fear or resistance. So this is much harder to do than it is to say, because most of us have been trained to fix our emotions or resist them or pretend they’re not there.
So if I feel frustrated, the answer is not for me to tell you I feel frustrated when you do that, stop doing that. My job is to feel frustrated; to allow myself to feel that emotion. It’s totally harmless. Emotions are totally harmless.
We don’t need to fix them. It doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with us. In fact, it’s part of the human experience. I want you to imagine in a life – I want you to imagine your human experience if you didn’t experience frustration. Someone would say to you, “I’m frustrated.” And you’d be like, “I don’t know what that is. I don’t know what frustration is.” Would you feel less of the experience of life?
Frustration is part of it. It’s part of the deal. And the bigger the goals, the bigger your emotions, your positive and your negative emotions, and that’s a beautiful thing. That’s not a terrible thing. That’s a beautiful thing; all of the emotions, allowing them to be there.
So when you learn how to allow an emotion – the way that we spend a lot of time in Scholars doing this is we allow urges, we allow the motivation to do things that are unhealthy for us, we allow them to be there without reacting to them. We’re used to reacting to our urges. We have an urge to watch Netflix. We have an urge to overeat. We have an urge to smoke a cigarette, and we just react to those because we don’t know how to allow an emotion.
But this first step, what I teach is, allow 100 urges, allow 100 times. You feel restless, allow yourself to feel anxious and panic without reacting to it, without resisting it, without eating it. So many of our urges, so many of the problems that we experience with our modern emotional health is because of our environment.
We have urges to overeat sugar, for example, because our brain thinks that sugar is super important because of the way that it reacts in our brain. But when we understand our emotion and we understand that the reason we’re feeling that way is because of the way our primitive brain is wired and we understand it from that perspective, we don’t have to react to it. We identify there is an emotion, and then there’s the choice to react to it. Those are two separate things.
The third thing is, modern emotional health means we’re not indulging in emotions all the time. We’re not feeling sorry for ourselves and blaming everybody and worrying all the time and doubting ourselves all the time and hating other people and hating ourselves. It’s very indulgent.
And the way you know that they’re indulgent is that they don’t get you anywhere. They keep you stuck in a spin. They make an excuse for why you can’t go out into the world. And the reason why we indulge in the familiar negative emotion is because we’re afraid of feeling any kind of new negative emotion. But it’s still negative emotion. It’s still part of the 50-50.
I always say, you might as well get rich and get what you want while you’re experiencing negative emotion because indulging in negative emotion isn’t getting you anywhere and it feels terrible. Think about self-loathing and pity and blame and hate. It doesn’t feel good even if you feel justified in it. Even if you feel like you have a reason, who cares? Who cares what the reason is? If it feels terrible, you could be using up that 50% of negative emotion on something that pursues a goal for you, that creates something, that makes a contribution to your life, that doesn’t have a net negative consequence to it.
Number four is your willingness to feel in the future. So this is the opposite of hiding, right? So when we hide from our lives, we don’t set big goals for ourselves. We don’t pursue anything we want because we’re hiding from that emotion.
But when we say, “I am willing to go do this…” and be rejected and be humiliated and feel failure and feel stumbling and fear and pain, when I’m open to the human experience of life, that’s when I have the emotional health that I need to be able to pursue things that help our entire human race evolve beyond where we currently are.
When we hide and indulge and avoid and try to be happy all the time, we get the opposite result. Do you know how unhappy it makes you to try and be happy all of the time? It’s crazy. But when you allow for the 50-50, when you allow for the full experience, then there’s nothing to lose.
You know that that’s what your life’s going to be, so you might as well pursue the biggest dream that you have. If you’re going to feel bad half the time anyway, why not? Because the reason we’re not pursuing our dreams, the reason we’re not going after what we want is because we don’t want to feel bad when we don’t get it.
Wait a minute, you already don’t get it. You already don’t have it. You already feel bad. You might as well try. You might as well become the person that you want to be, fully alive, fully human, experiencing everything.
And the last one is, you create emotion on purpose. So there’s the first one, which is really understanding and identifying your emotions. Then you allow them to be there. And then you don’t indulge in them. So you allow them, not indulging.
So what that means is you experience the emotion but you don’t react to it and you don’t succumb to it and you don’t blame it on anybody else. That’s what indulging is. You keep moving forward with it. Because what happens when you allow an emotion, it’s almost like you digest it. You process it through.
If you experience an urge and you really allow that urge to be there, there is a beginning, middle, and an end to it. It isn’t going to overtake you in your life. When we feel like emotions are going to overtake us is when we push them away and we don’t experience them, and then they become this overwhelming resistance.
When we allow emotions to pass in and through, because of the human experience being 50-50, we start really experiencing life because we know we’re going to go out into the day and probably experience some negative emotion. But that’s okay, we’re human, it’s fine. When we go out into the day and we’re like, “I better not experience any negative emotion today. I’m going to make sure these people don’t cause me any negative emotion today…” what do we end up doing? We end up creating all the negative emotion by trying to avoid all the negative emotion. We already start with the resistance.
So number five, which is creating emotion on purpose, means that you understand that you are the person who generates your emotion. You generate your emotion by what you think, with your brain. And you can generate the emotion that you most want to generate to create the result you want. So for some of you, it’s motivation. For some of you, it’s discipline. For some of you, it’s courage. For some of you, it’s love.
You have the ability to generate emotion on purpose and you can do that. you don’t do it with the agenda of feeling happier more of the time because that’s not the life you want. You’ve told yourself that’s a life you want, but it’s not. You want the human experience. You want to experience what it’s like to be fully human, that’s why you’re a human.
So when you learn that you can generate the emotion that you want to create the result that you want in your life, don’t be fooled into thinking, “Wait a minute, my thoughts cause my feelings, therefore I should be happy all of the time.”
No, remember, the rules are that you get to create whatever emotion you want, but you want to be a human being. Ask yourself that question. Do you want to be a person that’s just happy all of the time? “I’m just happy about everything. All of the horrible things are fabulous.” Why do we tell ourselves that’s what we want? We don’t want that.
We want the full experience of life. Now, I want you to think about this; we know that life sucks pretty much half of the time. There’s terrible things that happen in the world. People die, kids are kidnapped, people are raped, people get stolen from, people go to prison, people have accidents. Horrible things happen in the world.
We all know this, and yet we have children and we bring them into the world knowing that they are going to have pain, knowing that they’re going to experience frustration and heartbreak and despair. We know that for them and we still bring them into the world, a lot of us. And we still want to be here knowing that. So why do we make it seem like such a terrible thing? It’s the thing.
It is the modern emotional environment we have, and when we can embrace it, that’s when we get some authority over our life. That’s when we start enjoying our life instead of trying to hide from it. and actually, we start enjoying the parts of it that aren’t even supposed to be enjoyable.
We’re not supposed to enjoy the negative part of life, but when we see it as part of the experience of being alive, that’s when those touching moments, those deep moments, that deep love, even the heartbreak, we say we’d do it again. We would do it all over again, go through the heartbreak all over again to have experienced what we experienced, to be alive.
So let me tell you the five skills – these are the scholar skills that we develop in Scholars. And these are the skills that you can learn in order to have modern emotional health. We talked about this; skill number one, being able to identify emotions.
This is a skill that most of us need to take some time to develop. What am I feeling right now? Most of us don’t know how to differentiate between different emotions. Number two, we need to learn the skill of processing and allowing discomfort; delaying gratification, allowing discomfort, being present with whatever the truth is right now.
Number three, we need to separate emotion from circumstance. We need to stop telling us that other people and other things cause our emotions. How much money we have in the bank does not determine how we feel. How other people treat us does not determine how we feel. Who’s in the white house does not determine how we feel.
We determine how we feel by how we think about the things that are in the world, how we think about how other people treat us, how we think about ourselves and our lives determine how we feel. So when we allow ourselves to know that emotion is separate from circumstance, when we can see facts as facts and emotions as our experience, that’s when we get some authority over our emotional life and we stop trying to change all the circumstances in order to feel better.
We stop chasing all of the things outside. We stop trying to change other people. We stop trying to control the world. We stop trying to control other people. We are able to be happy in the space of the 50-50, which is so ironic, right? Can you be at peace and content knowing that you won’t be at peace and content 100% of the time?
Isn’t that a crazy thing to think about? It’s almost like when you accept the negativity and you’re at peace with it, then you’re at peace, because when you’re at peace with negativity, when you’re happy with the negativity, then you’re more happy.
Number four, identify your thoughts. Remember, your thoughts are what cause your feelings. Those sentences in your mind are what causes your emotions, so you want to be able to identify the thoughts that are causing the emotions that you’re experiencing. It doesn’t mean you’re going to change those thoughts so you’ll be happy all of the time. It just means you will know the true cause of all of your emotion comes from your brain.
And once you understand that, then you can change your brain as much or as little as you want. But then you realize that the world isn’t causing your emotional life, other people aren’t causing it; you are. And number five is, you learn how to create wanted emotion.
So what is the emotion that you need to create in order to generate the motivation to do the things that you want to do? How many of you have told me, “I feel stuck, I don’t feel motivated, I don’t feel excited, all I do is procrastinate, all I do is overeat, all I do is overdrink…” because you don’t know how to generate the emotion that you need in order to achieve the things that you want to achieve?
Now, here’s something totally fascinating about this; a lot of time, the emotion that you need to generate isn’t necessarily happiness. If our goal is to be happy all the time then shouldn’t we generate happiness all the time? No, because sometimes what we need to experience is the discomfort of change in order to achieve our dreams, in order to achieve our goals.
Now, here’s the question so many people ask me; what is the point of achieving goals if the goal isn’t going to make you happy? Well, then you have to go back to the premise. The goal of life isn’t to be happy. So the goal of the goal isn’t happiness; it’s the experience of being alive.
So when we go back to the question, what is the purpose of your life – if the answer is to be happy all of the time, you’re in the wrong place, my friends. Being happy all of the time being the goal of your life is not going to work. In fact, this experience on the planet is not about being happy all the time. What is it about for you?
Is it about having the full experience of life, being able to process emotion, being able to be present with all the aspects, the good, the bad, the right, the wrong, the positive and negative, so you can have a complete experience? That complete experience is what gives you emotional health.
People say to me, “I think emotional health has a lot to do with confidence…” and I agree with that. But where does confidence come from? When you can go into the world and be confident, you know where that comes from? It comes from not being afraid of experiencing any emotion.
So the reason I’m so confident when I go to speak to a group or when I go to pitch a deal to someone or when I make an offer to someone, the reason why I’m so confident is because there is no rejection, there is no humiliation, there is no failure that I’m not willing to experience. So when I go in there, the worst that can happen is a feeling. The worst that can happen is terror or embarrassment or humiliation or fear, and I’m open to all of them. So I can go in with 100% confidence knowing that I can handle the worst that can happen.
Insecurity and low self-esteem comes from not believing you can handle, or that you should avoid the negative thing. So if I make you an offer and I’m terrified of you saying no, then I’m not going to want to make a lot of offers. But if I make an offer and I’m all in if you say no and I’m all in if you say yes, then I can make that offer from a place of confidence, and that’s how I show up in my life.
And what I notice is the more negative experience that I have, the more positive experience that I have, the more experience that I have, the bigger my life gets. So instead of me trying to hide in this little tiny circle and trying to avoid the negative all the time, if this is positive and this is negative and I spend my whole life trying to hide on the outskirts of here and I’m buffering – here’s all that false pleasure, I’m trying to escape the negative there – then I end up with a very small life.
But when I decide that I don’t need the buffering, I just want more negative and more positive. I want a bigger life, that’s when it gets exciting because I open myself up to more positive and more negative. So then, my emotional mental health becomes bigger and it becomes stronger and I become more agile because I’m not pushing everything away, I’m not escaping in drugs, I’m not beating myself up, I’m not indulging, I’m open to it.
I’m open to feeling anxious. I’m open to feeling doubt. I’m open to feeling frustration and I’m open to feeling joy and excitement because here’s the deal; when you’re hiding over here buffering, when you’re escaping life in false pleasure and drugs and getting high and drinking and all that, you’re not experiencing the genuine human experience. You’re hiding on the outskirts of your life. Do you see that?
And you know that is true because whenever you come back, it just feels terrible because you’re not truly in your life. But when you show up 100% - so think about it in a relationship; when I show up as 100% me and I say to my husband, “Listen, I got all the goods and all the bads, here I come. I’m not going to try and hide the bads from you, I’m not going to try and hide the negative, I’m not going to try and hide the things about me that I’m ashamed of, I’m just going to show up as me, 100% as me. And I want you to show up as you. I want you to be you 100%.”
And then all of a sudden, we both come with our full selves, and then we have this full experience of being together instead of trying to tiptoe around each other, meet each other’s needs, be who the other person wants us to be. Then we’re being this and we have to hide on the outskirts. We have to hide the real truth of who we are from other people. We can’t show up as who we are.
But you know what’s great is if you’re not afraid to feel emotion, you’re not afraid to feel embarrassed, you can just tell everybody the truth about you. I tell everybody the truth on my podcast, on my webinars, I tell everybody. I have nothing to hide. So when people are like, “You know that thing…” I’m like, “What, bring it, tell me everything.” Because if you find something out about me that I haven’t told the world, I’m going to tell the world.
And I’m going to tell the world and risk feeling embarrassed, risk the rejection, risk the exclusion, because there’s nothing I’m not willing to feel. And when I hide, what I notice is that I exclude myself ahead of time versus just being open and being myself. Now, here’s the other thing that’s true; when you show up as the truth of yourself and you’re willing to bring the good and the bad of yourself and you’re willing to experience the good and the bad in the world and you’re willing to experience the positive and the negative in your emotional life and emotional health, there’s a freedom that you can’t taste anywhere else.
That freedom is the freedom to just be you and to nod when things are negative and to nod when things are bad and to be willing to experience the worst of the world. Because the truth is, life is what it is and we can spend our life hiding from it, but it doesn’t make us any more protected.
We feel like if we just stay in our house, then no one can hurt us. But you know what we’re doing by staying in our house? We’re hurting us. There’s no way to avoid it. It’s 50-50 whether you’re fully exposed or whether you’re fully hiding. It’s always 50-50.
In fact, think about how you feel when you’re hiding. Aren’t you afraid someone’s going to find you when you’re hiding? I’m terrified. Whenever I play hide and go seek, I’m like, “Oh my god, somebody’s going to find me.” I’m totally freaked out.
I’d much rather just be out in the open as the truth of who I am. Haven’t you noticed that when people are the truth of who they are, when they show up and they’re like, “Hey, listen, I got all this negative stuff and all this positive stuff, my name’s Brooke…” it’s so much more attractive than when someone says, “Well I’m perfect and I’ve always been perfect. My family is perfect and my life’s been perfect and I have a perfect job and I weigh the perfect weight and I have the perfect husband and I have the perfect kids.”
Why are we all trying to be perfect all the time? I look at people’s Instagram things and I’m like, holy shit, how is anyone that perfect? Because we think that’s what we’re supposed to do to get it right and to be good. But the people who show up and tell the truth are the people we can relate and connect to. They’re like, “Oh my god, I’m a mess… So am I…” but not in an indulgent way.
Not like, oh I’m a mess because of this or this person or because of my boss or because of my husband. I’m a mess because I’m a human and I got messiness and I got cleanliness and that’s how they work together. And that is the balance of the human experience, and that is modern mental and emotional health.
Your mental health is what you think. Your emotional health is what you feel. And what you think is what causes what you feel. There is nothing more important than your emotional health. Your emotions drive all of your actions. Your emotions are what you experience in your body as your experience of the world.
When you ask someone, “How do you experience the world?” It’s all through emotion. And the way that you generate emotion is how you interpret the world. And if we go back to this and I ask you this question, what is modern emotional health? And you tell me it is, “I’m trying to be happy most of the time…” I will tell you that you probably are stuck in an unhealthy emotional life, because that’s what I say to all my clients.
They’re so well-intended, they just want to be happy, they can’t understand why they’re not happy more of the time. They feel like they should be happy because look at their life. They’ve got all the things that were supposed to make them happy.
And when I tell them, “Wait, no one told you? You’re not supposed to be happy all of the time, no matter what you have, no matter what you’ve accomplished, no matter how you look, no matter how thin you’ve got…” the emotional experience is acceptance and understanding that we have both, that we have both of those experiences.
And the last thing I want to leave you with – the negative part of the emotional experience can be the best part. It can be the part that makes the rest of it so much better. So when you’re open to all of it and you open up your life, that is when you have emotional health. But it doesn’t feel like happiness. Please know that.
Emotional health doesn’t feel like joy and being ecstatic. It doesn’t feel like eating a chocolate chip cookie. It feels like being a human, which includes the positive and the negative of your experience, of your life.
Alright, my friends, we are going to turn this into a booklet and we will make sure to let you know as soon as we have that so you can get a copy of it. We also want to encourage if you want to develop modern emotional health, if you want to apply this to your life and be able to figure it out in your life through a practice, a daily practice, which is what it requires – because if you’re out there in the world, you’re going to be taught that you should try to be happier and look prettier and be better and be good and be kinder and fix the world.
But if you’re in Scholars, we will teach you how to apply this practice to your life every single day. So you can go to thelifecoachschool.com/join and you can join scholars and we are going to start December 1 on setting your goal for 2019.
We are going to start by opening up all your fears, all your doubts, all your overwhelm to the biggest stream you can ever imagine. And when you’re open to that, you will be able to set bigger dreams and achieve bigger dreams than you ever thought was possible. Because the only reason you’re not setting them now is because you’re afraid of how you’re going to feel.
And when we can take away that fear of how you’re going to feel, your goals and your dreams become so much bigger. Alright, my friends, that’s what I have. This concludes our entire series this month of all these Lives. So I think we’re going to have this replay up until the end of the day, and then all the replays come down.
They will all be put into Scholars. So if you didn’t have a chance to look at them all, make sure that you join Scholars. What are you waiting for? Join Scholars right this second. Go to thelifecoachschool.com/join. You’ll get all of these videos plus all of the practices that you can utilize in your life to be able to achieve this emotional health that you totally deserve and that can help you create the results that you want in your life.
Alright, my friends, have a gorgeous beautiful day. I’ll talk to you soon.
Hey, if you enjoy listening to this podcast, you have to come check out Self-Coaching Scholars. It's my monthly coaching program where we take all this material and we apply it. We take it to the next level and we study it. Join me over at the TheLifeCoachSchool.com/join. Make sure you type in the TheLifeCoachSchool.com/join. I'd love to have you join me in Self-Coaching Scholars. See you there.