"All Emotions Have Their Value": 5 Questions With Marc Brackett
Marc Brackett, PhD, is director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. His research focuses on the role of emotional intelligence in decision-making, relationships, mental health, and both academic and workplace performance, as well as the impact of emotional intelligence training. He has published more than 100 scholarly articles and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Joseph E. Zins Award for his research on social and emotional learning. He regularly consults with school systems and corporations around the world, and his research has been featured in the New York Times and Time magazine. He is also a frequent guest on National Public Radio.
1440: What do you mean by an emotion revolution? What are you and your colleagues at Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence trying to do?
Emotion Revolution is an initiative to shift the mindset of the nation around the value and importance of emotions.
It includes large-scale studies which demonstrate how people across the workforce, people who work in education, and students feel at home, at school, and in the workplace, as well as how they hope to feel. It includes campaigns to shift the mindsets and strategies that schools and workplaces can implement to support the healthy emotional development of everyone.
1440: What are the greatest emotional challenges you are finding for both students and educators, based on the Emotion Revolution surveys of teens and educators?
Marc Brackett: Top emotions experienced by teens and educators are stress and frustration.
1440: You’ve mentioned in your writings that a healthy environment is critical in schools to foster positive emotions and learning. Can you tell us about the characteristics of a healthy environment?
Marc Brackett: In schools a big component of a healthy environment has to do with the relationship between and among students, teachers, and school leaders.
As part of the Emotion Revolution we want to create learning environments where students and teachers have the permission to feel all emotions.
1440: In what ways are emotions, cognitive development, and physical well-being inter-related? What are implications for teaching and learning?
Marc Brackett: Emotion, cognition, and well-being inextricably link to how we feel and implement our thoughts. Our thoughts influence our feelings, and our physical health and well-being influence our thinking and our feeling. One implication is that teaching of social emotional learning has to be tied to children’s cognitive development, and that we need to create learning environments that focus on enhancing all three of these domains in order for optimum functioning to take place.
1440: How might mindfulness or other contemplative practices support the development of healthy emotions, minds, and bodies?
Mindfulness is one tool that helps us develop greater focus and attention to our emotions.
In addition, mindfulness principles remind us that all emotions have their value and that one primary goal for healthy mind and body is to embrace or accept all of our emotions rather than deny or suppress them.