Studies show that our choices, actions, and perceptions are all influenced by the emotions we are experiencing at any given moment. There are different types of emotions and different types of emotional beings, it’s important to understand different emotional types to learn effective ways of regulating your emotions and actions.
To pin down your style of how you relate emotionally, it’s important to know your emotional type. This is the filter through which you see the world, the default setting of your personality that you revert to, especially during stress. It represents your basic tendencies. You can build on these by making the most of your best traits and adopting traits from the other types that appeal to you.
In my book, “Emotional Freedom” I discuss four main emotional types that I’ve observed in my psychiatric practice. See which one you identify with the most, though you may also identify with aspects of the others.
Knowing your emotional type can provide insight into how you interact with others and also will help you master your emotions instead of simply reacting when your buttons get pushed.
Dealing with emotions effectively isn’t stuffing them away or feeling them less. It’s about establishing balance, strengthening those areas where you’re most vulnerable, and maximizing your assets.
Which Emotional Type Are You?
Type 1. The Intellectual: Intense Thinker
Intellectuals are bright articulate, incisive analysts who are most comfortable in the mind. The world is powerfully filtered through rational thought. Known for keeping their cool in heated situations, they often struggle with emotions, don’t trust their guts, are slow to engage in anything light-hearted, sensual, or playful.
Are you an intellectual?
Do you believe that you can think your way to any solution? When presented with a problem, do you immediately start analyzing the pros and cons rather than noticing how it makes you feel? Do you prefer planning to be spontaneous? Does your overactive mind prevent you from falling asleep?
If so, try this:
1. Breathe. If you’re mentally gridlocked simply inhale and exhale deeply, in through your nose out through your mouth.
2. Exercise. Whether you’re walking, rollerblading, or lifting weights, exercise creates an acute body awareness that relaxes a busy mind.
3. Empathize. Ask yourself, “How can I respond from my heart, not just my head.” Empathize before trying to fix a problem with loved ones too quickly.
Type 2. The Empath: Emotional Sponge
Empaths are highly sensitive, loving, and supportive. People with this emotional type are finely tuned instruments when it comes to emotions and tends to feel everything, sometimes to an extreme.
Are you an empath?
Have you been called “too emotional” or “overly sensitive”? If a friend is upset do you start feeling it too? Do you replenish your energy by being alone and tend to get exhausted in crowds? Are you sensitive to noise, smells, and excessive talking?
If so, try this:
1. Take calming mini-breaks throughout the day. Go outside for a walk, meditate in your room alone. Focus on exhaling pent-up emotions such as anxiety or fear so they don’t lodge in your body.
2. Protect your sensitivities. Make a list of your top five most emotionally rattling situations, then formulate a plan for handling them so you don’t get caught in a panic. For instance, take your own car places so you don’t get trapped in social situations. (For more strategies see my previous blog “Are You an Empath?”)