Self Awareness – being able to identify and say how you feel
Self Regulation – manage and work through emotions
Internal Motivation – persistence, working towards a self-determined goal
Empathy – understanding how others feel
Social Skills – interpersonal interaction
Journaling is a great way for us become more attuned to how we feel. This is a great practice to begin at any age, but it can especially be a helpful way to connect with younger children while teaching them skills to help them throughout their lifetime. All we need to get started is a book. In the video below, composition books were used, but any type of blank book will work. Encourage kids to draw and doodle in their journal. Not only will it help them access their emotions (sometimes, it is hard to put into words how we feel), it’s great for kids who are pre-writers and emerging writers.
While the video focuses on journaling for kids, but adults can benefit from a child's viewpoint. It can help simplify the process while adding creativity and fun into this journaling practice. There is no wrong or right way to journal but it is helpful to think about the five levels of emotional intelligence each time you create an entry. For example:
Self Awareness – identify how you feel
Self Regulation – what makes the emotion more or less intense?
Internal Motivation – list things that may help your emotional intensity
Empathy – how might your emotions affect others around you?
Social Skills – share your journal entry with a trustworthy friend, counselor, or parent