What is Emotional Intelligence & How To Be More Resilient

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The journey of life is like a roller coaster that comes with many ups and downs.

As a result, our emotions are constantly being tested which can cause us to experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. 

If you think about it, every big decision we make in life - whether it be to get married, to start a business, or to chase a serious dream or goal -  in the beginning, usually has a high level of positively charged emotion attached to it.  But over time, particularly as the going gets tough or if things don't go to plan, negative emotions can set in and even uproot out lives if we allow it. 

Likewise, our simple day to day lives are filled with mini experiences that can impact our emotions in both positive and negative ways.  And it's how we manage these emotions that ultimately determines how we feel and even our trajectory in life -  and this is where emotional intelligence comes in.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is otherwise known as the Emotional Quotient or EQ, and is defined as your ability to understand, use and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, anxiety, overcome challenges and to effectively and empathetically, communicate with others.

Being emotionally intelligent means that you don't let your emotions get the better of you, to the extent that these emotions end up ruling your life in a negative way. Or in a way that makes you less resilient to life's normal ebbs and flows.

The good news is that Emotional intelligence is something we can always continue to work on and improve.  The key is being conscious of the common triggers that cause you to become emotionally fragile and to begin reshaping your perspective and approach to how you respond to these situations.   

What Are The Main Signs of Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is made up of a number of different components; including: self awareness, social awareness, self management and relationship management.

All of these aspects are important and contribute significantly to the feelings we experience and how we show up for ourselves and those around us as we move  throughout life.

Emotional intelligence is vital because it affects our self esteem, how well we interact with others, how we respond to life's inevitable challenges and traumas, and our ability to create or visualise a compelling future for ourselves.

Clear signs of emotional intelligence include:

  • Calmness
  • Empathy
  • Adaptability
  • Resilience
  • Perspective
  • Communication
  • Positive Thinking

The list goes on.

The point is, some of these qualities may not necessarily, inherently be a part of your make up, but with a more consciousness approach to managing your emotions, being emotionally intelligent can become a learned skill.

How to Improve Emotional Intelligence

The biggest secret to being emotionally intelligent is being able to find the positives in every situation.

Developing this kind of perspective rarely happens by default, so it will most likely require you to consciously create this framing for yourself.

From every crises or challenge, there are always positives to be drawn if you search for them. Of course, if it involves loss or personal trauma, this can be extremely painful, but ultimately once you've grieved, you get to choose to live in continued suffering or to free yourself from the trauma.

Being emotionally intelligent also depends on you deciding to not be a victim and being resourceful enough to find solutions to problems.  There is not a problem you can face that has not already been experienced and overcome by someone else already. 

Realise that it's not the problems and challenges you face that make you unique, it's the way you respond to them that does - and this requires a high level of conscious, emotional intelligence.

Simple Tips To Help You Boost Your Emotional Intelligence:

  • Whenever you are triggered towards a negative emotional response, try to STOP before you react.  In the past, a certain trigger may cause you to feel anxious, angry, frustrated or stressed, but by pulling yourself up first, you have the opportunity to take a few deep breaths and really assess the situation and how you should consciously react.  Ask yourself, is it really that bad? What can I learn from this? If I was emotionally intelligent, how would I handle this situation?;
  • Look for the positives in everything.  It's easy to always look for what's "wrong", but the secret to being emotionally intelligent is to spend more time looking for what's "right".  This simple shift in perspective can work wanders in just about any situation in your personal and professional life;
  • Be open to the thoughts and opinions of others.  Emotional intelligence comes from being open minded and aware of your surroundings and the thoughts, ideas and opinions of others.  It doesn't mean you have to agree with everything they say, but by seeing things from another side, you will develop a broader, more holistic perspective of the world;   
  • Work on your personal development.  Being mentally strong and emotionally intelligent requires ongoing personal development if you want the benefits throughout your life time.  Seek out opportunities to feed your mind and emotions with positive uplifting fuel, like online education and groups, self-help books, podcasts and more.
  • Take responsibility.  One of the greatest ways to build your emotional intelligence is to take responsibility for your experience and outcomes in your life.  It's very easy to blame situations or other people for difficult circumstances we encounter.  But by accountable for the result and our own experience in every situation, gives us a personal power that is a hallmark of being emotionally intelligent
  • Feed your emotions with whole foods.  It's fascinating to realise that nature's table provides all 7 colours of the rainbow in the foods that she offers.  This abundance of colour delivers electrical frequencies of light and intelligence that are like music to the cells, that feed us not just physically, but emotionally as well. Learn more in Feeding Your Emotions With Whole Foods
  • Use Essential oils. Because they contain plant intelligence that calms the emotions and targets the cells for overall health and wellbeing, be sure to include pure essential oils as part of your self care lifestyle.

Learn more in Aromatherapy & Essential Oils:  How They Can Help Manage Emotions.

The Key Take Away

Life is full of constantly changing dynamics and experiences that cause us to respond emotionally in different ways.  These emotions not only impact how we feel, but also how we respond and the actions we take.

It's been said that the quality of your life is directly related to the quality of the decisions you make throughout your life, so for this reason, it's so important to bring greater consciousness to your emotions and to learn to be more emotionally intelligent in every situation.

Learn more in Why Emotional Health Matters. 

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