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Emotional Awareness - A Comprehensive Guide For Women

Personal Development Guides By: Katie Lister

January 06, 2024

What is emotional awareness? What are the benefits of being emotionally aware? How can I become emotionally self-aware? Are you curious about these questions? This article will answer them for you!

Hi, I am Katie Lister, a practicing Registered Nurse and founder of Growth Gals, an interactive supportive network by a woman for women! In this article, I will tell you everything you need to know about emotional awareness as a woman and how you can become emotionally aware. 

Research shows that only 10 to 15% of people fit the criteria for being self-aware. This article will tell you everything you need to know and how to become part of the 15%.

Table of Contents

What Is Emotional Awareness?

Emotional awareness (EA) means your ability to understand your own emotions as well as the emotions of others, how to process emotions and how they affect you and others around you. You know why you feel a certain way and how your emotions impact your actions.

Emotional self-awareness is understanding how other people perceive you. In the emotional intelligence theory by Daniel Goleman, self-awareness is one of the four competencies of a person with a high emotional quotient. The others include:

Empathy: the ability to see things from other people’s perspective

Self-regulation: Ability to regulate your emotions

Motivation: Emotionally intelligent people are motivated, adaptive and productive, making them very efficient in whatever they do.

Social skills: People with higher levels of social skills have strong communication and conflict resolution skills

Self-awareness has two categories:


When you have internal awareness, you know who you are, your values, and your behavior patterns. You can recognize and reflect on your emotional state and approach your feelings with introspection. For instance, you are going for a job interview. Take note of any physical sensations (trembling hands, queasy stomach, etc.). When you are internally self-aware, you understand that this is due to anxiety.


External awareness correlates with how the world sees you. This consciousness makes us follow the expected social norms and behave in socially acceptable ways. With external awareness, you must be careful as you may become self-conscious and worry too much about what other people think.

What Are The Benefits Of Being Emotionally Aware?

Self-awareness is an ongoing process. It takes a lot of strength and humility to introspect. When you are self-aware, you can regulate yourself, which has a ripple effect on your life. Self-awareness has numerous benefits, such as:

  • Better decision-making: You have more self-confidence, and you make better decisions. Communicating clearly and intentionally becomes easier.
  • You have power over outcomes: When you understand your feelings, you have self-control over your emotional responses, changing outcomes in different situations.
  • Helps to build better relationships: Research shows that self-aware people are happier and develop better relationships. They are aware of their feelings and can perceive the feelings of others.
  • Stress reduction: Self-aware people are happier and less stressed because they are aware of their limitations. They know what to do to improve their life.

Signs Of High Emotional Awareness

Being emotionally aware is critical in building better personal and work relationships. Some of the signs of an emotionally aware person include:

Controlled thinking

We instinctively experience emotions and cannot control how we feel. However, emotionally intelligent people recognize these feelings. They hold back on their emotional reactions by controlling their thinking and avoid overreacting to situations. Controlled thinking is an effective tool when learning how to let go of anger and other emotions.  

Thinking before acting

An emotionally aware person knows intense emotions are short-lived. People make impulsive and emotional decisions, leading to regrets. Self-awareness means thinking before acting, especially in emotional situations.

They know enough never to make permanent decisions based on fleeting emotions. Children and adolescents struggle with this, but they get better at it as they develop and learn self-regulation.

Identifying feelings

A self-aware person can identify difficult emotions and recognize how they influence thoughts, actions, and words. They do this by quietly observing themselves and others and sharing their thoughts if necessary. This reflection allows them to see what goes on behind the scenes and identify the ‘why’ behind their actions and other people’s.

Learning from mistakes

No human can fully control emotions. We make mistakes, but an emotionally aware person learns from these mistakes. They study themselves and their behaviors, identify what triggers them, and cultivate habits to help them balance their emotions.

Being empathetic

A self-aware person practices empathy by avoiding labels. They work hard to try and see things through other people’s eyes. The self-aware person practices social awareness and listens to understand without judging, leading to deeper relationships.

Social skills

Social skills allow you to communicate verbally and non-verbally, including watching facial expressions. These skills enable you to build meaningful relationships and allow you to understand yourself and others.

What Are The Five EA Levels?

There are various emotional awareness models and frameworks. Richard Lane and Gary Schwartz developed a model known as “levels of emotional awareness skills” which includes:

  • Awareness of physical sensations: This level comprises bodily sensations. At this level, the emotional experience is awareness of physical feelings, such as muscle tension or elevated heart rate.
  • Action tendencies: In this level, you are aware of the action you would like to take as the result of a felt emotion. For instance, you may say, “I want to get out of this situation immediately,” which could be because you feel anxiety or fear.
  • Single emotion awareness: You are aware of one emotion at a time. The distinct and specific emotions may be “I feel sad “or “I feel angry.”
  • Awareness of a blend of emotions: At this level, you can feel opposing feelings, such as angry, yet happy. Despair, yet hopeful, but you don’t understand other people’s feelings.
  • Blends of Blends Emotional Experience: You experience higher emotions and can appreciate complexities in your experiences and with others. You empathize and put yourself in other people’s shoes, regardless of your emotional state. You can compare one person’s feelings in one situation versus another.

How To Develop Emotional Awareness

Whether or not we know it, our emotions are behind how we think, feel, and behave. When you are unaware of your feelings, they can hold you hostage.

Emotional awareness dictates how open-minded you are toward life and whether you take risks or navigate conflicts with yourself and others, etc. When we can identify, understand, and accept our emotions, it has a positive impact on our physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Here is how you can develop your self-awareness.

Practice mindfulness

Mindful meditation means attending to your thoughts, feelings, and sensations. It means giving all your devotion to the present moment with zero judgment. Practicing mindfulness makes you more aware of your emotions and thoughts. This helps you to recognize any triggers and patterns that make you behave a certain way.


Writing down your emotions and thoughts allows you to gain clarity and become more self-aware. Write down negative feelings and what triggered them. Also, note the positive emotions. Looking back at the journal entries helps you to see patterns and identify how to improve.

Ask for feedback

Ask family members, trusted friends, or co-workers for honest feedback on your behavior. Ensure you trust these people to help you identify the areas you need to work on.

How insecure are you? Here is a helpful guide. 

How Can I Improve my Emotional Awareness?

You can improve your self-awareness by doing a few things:

Identifying your emotions

Accurately identifying and labeling your emotions improves your awareness. Human emotions are overwhelming, but you can gain control if you express them appropriately. Distinguish between the primary emotions like sadness, joy, or anger and those they trigger, i.e., secondary emotions like shame, pride, or guilt. By identifying these feelings, you understand yourself better and avoid reacting negatively.

Understanding your triggers

Understanding your triggers and how they impact you makes you aware of the external and internal factors affecting you, like your beliefs, thoughts, expectations, values, etc.

Managing your emotions

Manage your emotions and use them to your advantage. When your feelings do not control you, you can practice emotional regulation and channel them into something positive. Use these emotions to communicate and motivate yourself and others.

Emotional awareness plays a significant role in stress management.  When you identify emotions connected to stress like frustration, you can employ better coping mechanisms, improving your emotional and mental wellness.

Seek therapy

Seeking professional psychotherapy will help you to identify and change your negative emotions, behaviors, and thoughts. Therapy also helps you deal with any mental disorders arising from the breakup like anxiety and depression.

Here is a comprehensive guide on how to not be insecure and lead your best life. 

Growth Gals Can Help You Become More Emotionally Aware!

We are calling out to all the women striving to become better versions of themselves! Are you seeking a means to self-discovery? Growth Gals is a compassionate and encouraging community of women who can assist you in your emotional awareness journey.

Follow @growthgals_ on Instagram to stay updated on our journals, coaching, and support groups. Be sure to check out our newsletter for the latest tips and tricks on personal growth. Join us now and start your journey towards self-improvement and improving your emotional awareness!


Emotional-awareness is honing your emotional skills as an ongoing process, not a destination. This encompasses investing in yourself, adapting healthy emotional intelligence examples and striving to become the best version of yourself. 

Most people claim to be emotionally aware, but only 15% fit the bill. Once you identify your triggers, learn how to manage your emotions, and seek feedback, you will be on your way to being self-aware. Join Growth Gals today or reach out to a mental health professional for help.

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