We are the sum of our experiences. Therefore, as we learn to navigate life, we run into various emotions and reactions to people and events. The goal for emotional intelligence is to learn how to identify, understand, manage, and express your feelings in a way that leads to greater clarity; this nurtures more peace within. While achieving this state will require some effort, the journey will be well worth it! Here are three ways to harness your emotional intelligence and create an inner happiness habit that serves your body, mind, and spiritual wellbeing.
The first way to nurture emotional intelligence is by identifying your feelings. Once you know what emotion you are feeling, you will understand why that particular feeling has surfaced. Let us first define what an emotion is and is not.
E-Motion stands for energy in motion. Your body comprises a limitless energy source that, when directed appropriately, fosters the direction and resources needed to manifest what is only a dream into material reality. Emotions are not moods, even though emotions build the cornerstone of our mood. Suppose you find yourself in a positive or negative state for a prolonged period. In that case, it is imperative to shift the energy to a more desired state. Turning one emotional state to dictate the mood is especially important if your energy state falls into a more negative state. Emotional energy such as anger, sadness, depression, fear, or even hatred acts as a source of dis-ease, not only at the psychological level but also on a physically deteriorating level.
Now that we have a working definition of E-Motion (Energy in Motion) let us simplify the emotional landscape to develop a deeper understanding of Emotional Intelligence (EI).
Five feelings, in particular, tend to guide our emotional journey. These are fear, anger, sadness, happiness, and love. Let us break down each emotion separately to understand the energy currents each feeling creates within our physical and psychological wellbeing.
A widespread feeling that people deal with on a day-to-day basis is fear. Fear can manifest as anxiety and worry, which will create a sensation of tension in your muscles or body parts. This particular emotion creates a feeling of cold within our bodies, frequently causing shivers to occur. Fear can also create a sense of being overwhelmed, leading us to make irrational decisions that may not align with our deepest desires. Fear also creates feelings of helplessness, which may lead to a depressive state if left unchecked.
Fear is also very misunderstood. In its basic form, it keeps us alive when channeled correctly. When you are not afraid of an 18 wheel object moving at you at 60 mph, you will not be around long enough to experience the other emotions.
This particular feeling is a very misunderstood one. Anger can manifest as frustration, irritation, annoyance, and the like when dealing with an individual that has wronged us in some way or another. When we feel angry, it can create an intense body heat that can radiate to our skin tone and create redness in the face. Anger also creates a surge of adrenaline within the body, which underlies the drive to take action.
Now that we have this information, we need to know how best to deal with anger so as not to isolate ourselves from other people and future opportunities. One way can be by doing some deep breathing exercises with mindfulness techniques or meditation. Another way anger serves us is to foster the drive to take action and solve problems. While anger can have adverse effects, its volatility creates active movement when channeled appropriately. Take a problem, for example. You can fear a problem, shy away from it, and does it get solved? Of course not. Sprinkle a little frustration towards working it through, and voila, the problem gets solved. Anger in positive action equals an issue resolved.
Sadness is a feeling of extreme sorrow. Sadness often conjures images of being in the presence of death or loss. Sadness acts as a catalyst for introspection. As an emotion, it invites us to reflect on what we are grateful for in life. When we feel sad, our body’s natural response will manifest as a feeling of heaviness. It may feel as if something is weighing us down. Our skin may become pale, or even our eyes darken with the shade of sorrow.
But sadness is not always bad. Its effects can positively affect us when we allow ourselves to sink into its depths, even if only for a brief time. Sadness allows us to access parts of our memories that we cannot access in a positive state. By accessing unconscious memories, we develop the ability to resolve problems we may not even be aware of as we learn to navigate life in confidence.
The feeling associated with happiness is one that many people seek out, at least at a subconscious level. Happiness makes our bodies feel light and uplifted. When we feel happy, it creates a feeling of being alive or present, leading to increased creativity and an overall positive outlook.
Happiness is not always easy. As a feeling, it will often create quick changes in your energy levels when fluctuating between high moments with euphoria to low periods where you may feel down. One of the most significant setbacks to this blissful emotion is our difficulty sustaining it for any prolonged period.
Most people spend their life chasing happiness. But what they fail to realize is that happiness occurs in those moments where we are simply content.
Happiness comes from content feelings. As an emotion, it is a progressive process that nurtures self-esteem by building upon our successes when defined in this capacity. By effectively solving a problem, we develop an experimental attitude to advance confidently towards the direction we seek no matter what the obstacle. Therefore, happiness acts as an amplifying emotion that builds upon itself over time and the number of successes achieved. But do not fret, for even one win is all that is needed to create a lifetime of future success habits.
The feeling of love can manifest itself in many different ways. Love makes you feel alive instead of feeling empty inside. It is the most potent emotion, having the potential to create lasting change and transformation in your body, mind, and spirit. When we feel love, it is the ultimate sensation of joy and happiness; it gives us a sense of peace and contentment. Love also creates an increased level of self-esteem which makes you more self-confident. In turn, this has a positive effect on those most important to you.
Love has many forms, but they all share one thing in common – it is a feeling that will make you feel alive. It manifests as empathy, compassion, and an overall sense of connectedness to your surroundings. Simply put, love encompasses all emotions, for it is the highest frequency from which we operate.
When we love, we face fear. This fear is most associated with a fear of loss. Furthermore, we would not be angry if we didn’t love. There would be no emotional connection to the person or the event that caused us harm. Even sadness is associated with love. Without love, sorrow cannot exist. When a loss occurs, we go into the deep introspective state needed to work through our emotional grief. Lastly, love is happiness, for if we could not love, we would never feel that more positive state permeating through our body, mind, and spirit.
The second way we develop our emotional intelligence involves finding a healthy expression for those emotions, so they don’t fester and grow into something more significant. Here, communication is critical. There are four types of communication styles, passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, and assertive. Let us briefly break down each communication style to understand how they work and what we can do to adopt more healthy forms of communication with those we love.
Passive communication is a way of communicating where a person does not take an active role in their feelings. Passive communicators present themselves as victims and usually say things like “it makes me sad” or “I don’t want to talk about it.” Passive communication is the most challenging style to decipher because it does not present the communicator’s wants, needs, or desires. In passive communication, it is essential to determine if someone is looking for empathy or real help.
The aggressor is most likely the worst communicator. The person will quickly say they are angry or get upset and justify their action with little to no room for discussion. Aggressors have a hard time seeing things from another perspective. Empathy is not a trait easily accessed. Aggressive communication is toxic at all levels and actively destroys relationships of any nature. This is because aggressors are not very self-aware and have difficulty accepting responsibility for their own emotions or actions.
The passive-aggressive is perhaps the most confusing. These communicators will typically say one thing while meaning another. This communicator will say they are happy but mean that they are sad. Because of this tendency, it is essential to stay vigilant when speaking to a passive-aggressive communicator. Because of the confusing nature of this style of communication, it is imperative not to take things personally.
The assertive communication style is the healthiest way of expressing oneself, for it is an active form of communication. Assertive communicators are honest and direct, which increases the chance of having a beneficial exchange between two parties. These individuals appropriately express their needs while also taking responsibility for their actions and emotions, whether in a positive or negative light.
Finding Balance of Emotional and Thought
The final way we can nurture emotional intelligence involves balancing our emotional intelligence with our cognitive intelligence. Yes, we can be emotionally intelligent but not have the intellectual skills to back up those emotions or vice versa. However, when these two bits of intelligence work together, they create a sense of wellbeing and peace, which everyone strives for in their lives.
The word cognition means to know. Cognitive intelligence is the ability to think, reason, and process information. Our cognition helps us understand how we learn new things, enhancing our communication skills and creating a road map to learn new concepts.
The word emotion has many different meanings, but when used here, it means how we feel. Emotional intelligence is the ability to be aware and to recognize what you are feeling. By identifying your emotions, you develop a greater capacity to understand them creatively, problem-solving capacity. Emotional intelligence allows us to express ourselves in an assertive and affirming manner.
Researchers worldwide have studied Emotional Intelligence (EI) to determine ways to help us feel better and be more successful in our personal and professional life. To be intelligent emotionally, we must first have a roadmap for the emotional landscape present. Here, we explored five key emotions and their effect on our greater wellness. Once we know where we are at, we can better express these emotions in a manner that allows for joint movement forward. Lastly, balance is vital. By employing these three steps, we learn to intermix rationality with the emotional landscape to move us from the problems we face effectively. This creates an optimal environment for body, mind, and spiritual development.
If you find yourself struggling to make sense of your emotions, or if moods are getting the better of you, personal development coaching can help. But, not all coaching methods are similar. Identify a goal. Get to know what emotions are prevalent in your life and how these manifest, for better or worse. These emotions will prompt you towards or hold you away from your goal. Lastly, make sure you work with your coach to develop a mutual direction, complete with steps to assist you in creating the reality you wish to see.
As always, Namaste, my friends. May blessings find you on your journey to advance confidently in the direction of your dreams.