Buddhism is NOT about the discarding or killing off off of emotions. In fact emotions are one our greatest gifts, but they can’t be left unchecked and allowed to rule the day.
Emotions can make the difference between success and failure in every aspect of life. Enhancing your emotional health and intelligence can help you reduce stress, defeat anxiety, conquer depression, and build better relationships. When we can recognize our emotions and their potential for both good and bad we are beginning to understand the concept of emotional intelligence. Refining the skills of emotional intelligence enable us to override stress and stay healthy and happy, it’s important to first take a look at things we do that can block our ability to acquire new habits.
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to identify, understand, and use your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress and anxiety, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and defuse conflict. When it comes to happiness and success in your relationships, career, and personal goals, EQ matters just as much as the better known IQ.
Emotional intelligence is commonly defined by four attributes:
Self-management – You’re able to control impulsive feelings and behaviors, manage your emotions in healthy ways, take initiative, follow through on commitments, and adapt to changing circumstances.
Self-awareness – You recognize your own emotions and how they affect your thoughts and behavior. You know your strengths and weaknesses, and have self-confidence.
Social awareness – You can understand the emotions, needs, and concerns of other people, pick up on emotional cues, feel comfortable socially, and recognize the power dynamics in a group or organization.
Relationship management – You’re able to develop and maintain good relationships, communicate clearly, inspire and influence others, work well in a team, and manage conflict.
Many of us are disconnected from our emotions—especially strong emotions such as anger, sadness, fear—because we’ve been taught to try to shut off our feelings. But while you can deny or numb your feelings, you can’t eliminate them. They’re still there, whether you’re aware of them or not. And even unpleasant emotions can have beneficial aspects. Sadness can support emotional healing, for example, fear can trigger life-saving action, and anger can mobilize and inspire. Unfortunately, without being connected to all of your emotions, you can’t manage stress, fully understand your own behavior, or appropriately control how you think and act. But whatever your circumstances or challenges, the skills for improving EQ and managing your emotions can be learned at any time.
The techniques for embracing and understanding your emotional intelligence are beyond the scope of this article, but like many things a good meditation practice is the place to start, Simply sit with your thoughts but do not get caught up in them. Observe them, let them pass and just breathe. if you would like to learn more on this topic and/or meditations please drop a comment below.
People whose eyes shine are happy to be alive. They see the beauty of life and its glory, even when things aren’t easy. They see each moment as an opportunity to grow, to learn and to help others – that is emotional intelligence.
Peace and Love, Jim