What is Emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is a way of understanding your emotions and learning to use this powerful insight to improve all areas of your life. Emotions are feelings that are felt in the body, in response to your own thoughts in your mind.
Your emotions are a reflection of your thoughts. When you think positive, uplifting thoughts; you feel happier in yourself. However, thinking positive all the time eventually becomes exhausting and hard work. It drains your energy and you eventually become self critical as challenging situations arise: I’ve been there myself, some days trying to think positively just doesn’t work.
Emotional intelligence and Yin & Yang
The universe is in a constant state of change, the ‘yin and yang symbol’ above illustrates two opposing energies: The yang energy is bright, expansive and extroverted; the yin energy is conservative, passive and introverted. These polar opposites (positive and negative), the dark and light are interwoven together in the symbol.
The symbol is a microcosm of life, it symbolises how the yin and the yang are interconnected: they are whole. Everything is always in a dynamic state of change and this is also true of human emotions.
It’s important to understand emotions, like thoughts come and go. We all experience a wide range of emotions and some of these feelings are not pleasant. Anger is a toxic emotion that produces chemicals such as adrenaline and noradrenaline.
Anger and Emotional intelligence
Anger is normal, a response to your boundaries being crossed. When anger is triggered, these chemicals produce a boost of extra energy to fuel the body to fight or run away. This primal reaction is what psychologist’s call the ‘fight or flight response’.
The ‘fight or flight response’ was essential for our ancestor’s survival process, in a world full of dangerous predators. Nowadays this emotional reaction can cause chaos in harmless situations. When the adrenaline kicks in, an innocent comment by a family member, can cause a person to over-react and behave aggressively.
What exactly causes the anger?
Specific thought patterns can often trigger the anger that makes you feel toxic ! This is the chemicals released that alters your body chemistry and would have been useful in fighting or running away. Instead this toxic cocktail of chemicals floods your body with an unnecessary adrenaline boost.
If you react more and more, the fear will rise up into your mind producing more angry thoughts, feelings and actions. This releases more adrenaline into your blood stream.
Reactivity, blaming people and circumstances strengthens the angry mindset. Sometimes behaving in this way sabotages many areas of your life. Being angry is normal in certain situations, but it can develop into a habit that is difficult to control.
If you accept anger as a normal feeling in response to a certain situation, it will not take long for it to disappear. Some people get angry and habitually react over and over again. If you take a few deep conscious breaths and just relax, you will calm down. It is only your thoughts and your memory that keeps it alive. The situation that sparked the anger is not happening now. Is there any reason why you can’t let go of it now ?
Increase your Emotional Intelligence
When you recognise the thought’s that trigger your anger as well as the feelings, you are already starting to develop emotional intelligence. The good thing about developing this skill, is it improves so many areas of your life.
For example, having a high level of emotional intelligence increases your ability to communicate effectively with other people. It becomes easier to relate to other people and put yourself in their shoes. People who develop high emotional intelligence, are happier and enjoy greater success in life.
My next post is going to be tips on how to develop and improve your emotional intelligence.