Emotional Intelligence is the ability to recognise and manage our emotions and those of others, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, use emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour, and manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt to environments or achieve one’s goals.
One of the key components of EI is self-awareness. To be self-aware you need to be able to focus on yourself and how your actions, thoughts, or emotions do or don’t align with your internal standards. If you’re highly self-aware, you can objectively evaluate yourself, manage your emotions, align your behavior with your values, and understand correctly how others perceive you, and also recognize the relationships between the things you feel and how you behave.
Neuroscientists across the globe have studied images of the brain in action and placed emotions in our state’s driver’s seat, asserting that thinking is emotion-based, and while emotions form the basis of thoughts, the five senses (sight, sound, smell, taste and touch) fuel those emotions, wielding the power to persuade, relax and heal. Positive emotions will reduce stress and boost general well-being. A study by Cohn and colleagues, found that positive emotions have a direct effect on resilience, which in turn helps build a strong sense of life and work satisfaction.
If we genuinely desire to improve individual well-being and reduce social ills such as hatred, intolerance, violence, and greed, we must introduce a combination of mindfulness and compassion which should be viewed as complementary practices. A study led by Gaëlle Desbordes at Massachusetts General Hospital indicated that both compassion and a mindfulness meditation training decreased activity in the amygdala (our lizard brain, the center for emotions and survival instincts) in response to emotional images; this suggests that meditation in general can help improve emotion regulation.
Becoming an emotionally intelligent individual will enable you to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict. Emotional intelligence helps you build stronger relationships, succeed in your private and work life, and achieve your career and personal goals. It will help you to connect with your feelings, turn intention into action, and make informed decisions about what matters most to you. Being emotionally intelligent means you can care for yourself and care for others in ways you have never experienced before truly changing your life to strive.
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