While being able to identify negative emotions doesn’t always mean you are able to avoid them, research suggests that teenagers who can describe their negative emotions in details are more resilient when negative emotions arise. Emotional intelligence, or being more aware and understanding of your feelings, is associated with better emotion regulation. This may mean they’re more in touch with physical sensations associated with feelings and are better at noticing when they begin to feel overwhelmed, but it also means they have developed the skills necessary to process these emotions and move forward. Developing emotional intelligence can help teens reduce suffering associated with their emotional issues. 

What is Emotional Intelligence?

  • The ability to recognize your emotions
  • Understanding why you’re experiencing those emotions
  • Managing your emotions and reactions to emotional experiences
  • Being able to choose a different mood or feeling when you dislike the way you feel
  • Understanding how others might feel and why
  • Showing empathy towards others

While these are all important life skills, teenagers are still developing parts of their brains that allow them to develop this awareness. However, the emotional side of their brain has developed substantially in the past few years with their undeveloped rational side of their brain struggling the balance. This explains why many teenagers may claim to be very “in touch with their feelings,” but struggle to control the emotions they feel when they are affecting them negatively. 

According to the study, which aimed to investigate whether emotional intelligence was a result of depression or a protective factor against it, teens who struggle to differentiate between types of negative emotions are at a higher risk of experiencing symptoms of depression following stressful life events. 

How is it Beneficial?

 “Adolescents who use more granular terms such as ‘I feel annoyed,’ or ‘I feel frustrated,’ or ‘I feel ashamed’ — instead of simply saying ‘I feel bad’ — are better protected against developing increased depressive symptoms after experiencing a stressful life event,” explains Lisa Starr, a professor at the University of Rochester. “Emotions convey a lot of information. They communicate information about the person’s motivational state, level of arousal, emotional valence, and appraisals of the threatening experience. Basically, you need to know the way you feel in order to change the way you feel.”

Some outcomes of increased emotional intelligence may include:

  • Increased confidence
  • Healthier coping skills
  • More resilience
  • Healthier relationships
  • Improved social skills
  • More assertiveness
  • Better problem-solving and decision-making abilities
  • Less impulsivity

Solstice Can Help

Solstice West RTC  is a residential treatment program for young girls ages 14-18 who struggle with issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, and/or relationship struggles. This program provides three types of therapy: individual, group, and family therapy to allow girls to explore themselves in a variety of ways. Through groups on various topics, girls learn to become more aware of their emotions and to express them appropriately to others. Solstice Residential Treatment Center is dedicated to teaching young women how to incorporate healthy habits into their lives. Students will leave with the skills they need to transition into the world feeling confident, happy, and able to manage their emotions. 

For more information about our how Solstice helps teen girls build emotional intelligence, call 866-278-3345. We can help your family today!