One of the foundations of emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize your own feelings. When you you’re aware of your feelings, it’s easier to make skillful decisions about how to behave in a situation. E.g., if you’re in a meeting, and someone says that something that you disagree with — virulently — being able to recognize your own anger (perhaps by a burning sensation in your throat or a sudden tension in your jaw) can help you resist the urge to blurt out something like, “but that’s the most idiotic thing I’ve ever heard!” or “that’s total BS and you know it!”
Learning to recognize your feelings takes practice, insight, self awareness and, for some people, therapy (even years of it). But one way you can start is to just pause periodically throughout the day and check in with your emotional state. Ask yourself, “how do I feel right now?” and then be ready to accept whatever feeling you discover. It may be boredom. It may be sadness. It may be frustration. It may be rage, or anxiety, or happiness, or contentment, or anticipation, or restlessness. There are dozens of what some psychologists refer to as “feeling states” and being able to recognize them helps you become more aware of how you tick, more empathetic to how others’ feel, and better able to monitor your own behavior.