On Monday I hosted a group coaching session all about our emotional intelligence and agility. Did you know that it is now argued that our emotional intelligence can be more valuable than cognitive intelligence as it relates to success? Our ability to be emotionally agile impacts our mental states, our relationships, our adaptability, our ability make informed decisions and how we overcome challenges.
Emotional Intelligence is the way in which we understand, manage and use our emotions for better communication, to forge stronger relationships, and acquire better skills in order to succeed in life. Being able to connect with, process and communicate our emotions allows us to turn our intentions into action and our dreams into plans.
Our emotions are the physical embodiment of our thoughts and our thoughts are rarely neutral. They quickly turn to opinion that we take as fact impacting our current state of reality. The narratives we choose to listen to dictate our outlook on life. You can have a thought that makes you feel anxious, but if you don’t allow yourself to understand the emotion or where it stems from, you will fail to hear the message it’s ultimately trying to communicate: that something in your life is off balance. We also lose the lesson: that anything that has power over us is merely teaching us how to take that power back.
We can either allow our emotions to control us or we can embrace our emotions and learn from them.
So what are some signs that you are an emotionally intelligent person?
- You can recognize your emotions as they arise
- You can challenge your negative self talk
- By knowing your emotions, you can see them in others and relate to them
- You can control your thoughts and feelings to avoid dwelling on the negative
- You can effectively express how you are feeling
- You can receive constructive criticism and grow from feedback
- You are self aware, allowing you to develop areas of weakness
If you are reading this and realizing that you struggle with some of these points, don't worry - you are not alone. Emotional Intelligence can be gained and improved upon at any point in life through skills like self-motivation, emotional regulation, self-management, empathy and impulse control.
Here are some tips to help develop your Emotional Agility:
- Pay attention to your emotions and become more self-aware through mindfulness.
- When triggered take the time to understand it’s roots.
- Challenge your thoughts and “inner critic”.
- Every time you say something negative about yourself, counter it with something positive.
- Learn to process and communicate what you are feeling.
- Connect with your empathy, it is an essential aspect of any mental health-related area of research - and it begins at home.
I'm a highly sensitive person (HSP) and for most of my life felt like I had to hide the way I felt, which in turn made me more erratic with outbursts that I couldn't understand, let alone explain. My inability to register or express my emotions created issues in both my personal and professional lives and made it impossible to live authentically. It's been a long journey, but I now wear my sensitivity like a superhero's cape - knowing that my sensitive nature allows me to feel deeply and through emotional agility, I am better equipped to know myself and see myself in others.
Are you emotionally intelligent?