Evidence That It Works
Research has found that greater emotional awareness is related to the use of more effective emotion regulation strategies. Particularly, individuals who express greater clarity about the kinds of emotions they are experiencing and greater ability to shift their attention towards or away from their emotions also report using emotion regulation strategies that have been associated with greater well-being (e.g., reappraisal and acceptance).
Similarly people who report having greater awareness about what triggered their emotions report a lower engagement in emotion regulation strategies that do not contribute to well-being, such as suppression.
In other words, the more aware we are of the emotions we experience, the more likely we are to navigate our emotions in a healthy way.
Why Does It Matter?
Middle school is challenging for many students, and puberty is associated with an increase in intense emotional experiences. Such changes can make it difficult for students to stay focused in class or to build strong relationships with their teachers and classmates.
Thus, helping students to develop greater emotional awareness is important as it influences the kinds of regulation strategies they use, which can affect their overall well-being. This is particularly important given the increased rates of mental health challenges among adolescents in the age of social media.