If you struggle with rationalizing your emotions, Nuñez says it’s super important to practice being present in order to identify what’s really going on with you emotionally. That might look like practicing mindfulness to help boost your emotional intelligence and really feeling into how emotions are presenting in your body. “What we want is the cognitive development and the social/emotional development to match,” she explains.
And according to Neo, you don’t have to worry about becoming overly emotional or your negative emotions overtaking you. “Many left-brained people’s biggest reservation about mastering anxiousness is that they’ll become overly emotional and too ‘soft.’ That’s just not true,” she says.
In fact, being mindful and in touch with your emotions can help you make more rational decisions, according to Neo. “It’s about training your feelings and brain to work with each other, instead of against each other,” she explains.
Once you get better at getting in touch with your emotions, she adds, it comes down to trusting them. “Know that your nervous system can regulate itself and that your negative feelings are really signals that guide you toward what to do next. Your body is wiser than you believe, and if you partner with it, you’ll master yourself,” she writes.