Emotional literacy is relatively a new term and is based on Emotional Intelligence (the ability to process emotional information). The emotional processes such as the regulation of attention, pain, self-control, flexibility, reactions, empathy and self-awareness are dependent on the environment.
“Emotional Literacy is made up of the ability to understand your emotions, the ability to listen to others and empathize with their emotions, and the ability to express emotions productively. To be emotionally literate is to be able to handle emotions in a way that improves your personal power and improves the quality of life around you. Emotional literacy improves relationships, creates loving possibilities between people, makes cooperative work possible, and facilitates the feeling of community” (Steiner, 1997).
- Set clear rules or guidelines for appropriate behavior.
- Learn how to resolve conflicts.
- Practice how to cooperate with others and enhance problem solving skills.
- Extend your support and appreciation for others around you.
Tell the truth.
Respect each other.
Understand and accept others.
Share thoughts and things.
Treat others how you want to be treated.
Extending compassion to one’s self in instances of perceived inadequacy, failure and suffering is a great start to get a hold on self and to keep on moving.
Self-compassion refers to the practice of approaching your setbacks, failures and short comings from a non-judgmental and warmer perspective. Self-compassion includes kindness and forgiveness. Self-compassion helps in building a positive relationship with self and with others. It helps us in tolerating the difficult feelings that we experience and keeps distractions at bay.
Self-compassion supports us to move away from criticism and rigidity while developing curiosity and flexibility. When we are self-compassionate we have better coping skills which keep our depression and anxiety away. Evaluate yourself honestly, focusing on your actions, motivations without any external validations. It will help you to be gentler with yourself, when something has gone wrong.
Reflect on the day ahead of you, what challenges you have to face and how you will be supporting yourself while you are moving on rough patches. Alongside you will be thinking of ways to navigate through your day and possible ways to deal with difficult situations.
Self-compassion seems to help in keeping us motivated and resilient in face of setbacks and leads to greater positive efforts than when we punish ourselves for failures.
We experience anxiety when we lose control over a situation, or when we are in a stressful situation. For some of the students the anxiety triggers while taking a test. The anxious feeling can start before the test or while attempting the paper. It can range from sweaty palms, forgetfulness, stomach pains, headaches etc. Slight amount of anxiety results in improved test performance. But when it increases it affects adversely on test performance. Reduce your anxiety when it interferes with your performance in three steps:
- Mentally preparing for test helps in dealing with the test; be thoroughly prepared, gain confidence in knowing the course material. Be test wise and have a plan for taking the test. Initial stress or tension is normal, but relax once you get the paper in your hand. Take deep breaths and it will surely do wonders in calming you. Pace yourself in answering the number of questions you are required to do. Do not spend most of your time on questions that have less weightage.
- Physical preparation helps in reducing anxiety. Start preparing for the tests or exams right from the beginning and develop good study skills or habits. Rest is important for any part of the study program. Sleep early so that you can be attentive in class. People tend to face more anxiety and frustration when they are tired. Pick the time of the day when you are fresh and have high energy level for preparing for tests.
- Practice for exams. When you do something that is familiar it tends to lower anxiety. Take practice tests at home, it provides the opportunity to prepare and become familiar with the topics and the way you have to answer them.
Practice, practice and practice; the more you practice, the more you have command on your subject, the more confident you will be, and will improve in topics or areas that you are weak in. Engage in positive self-talk, irrational negative thinking diminishes the confidence. Instead of saying, “I can’t pass no matter what I do” or “I can’t learn” adopt realistic attitude: “I have prepared for the exam, and I can do better by putting in all my effort” or “I am working hard and will get good numbers”. Work hard and think realistically. Do not wait till the last moment to prepare for your test.