Our ‘Emotional intelligence’ refers to our ability to understand what motivates behaviour. When we communicate well as part of a team or keep a positive outlook despite poor circumstances we are using our emotional intelligence. Being able to predict or manipulate our own emotions benefits all of our relationships. Similarly this deeper understanding can be use to predict the behaviour of others.
Emotional intelligence is available in trainable bites of information and today we will focus upon Mindfulness.
Mindfulness is a popular form of meditation often taught as part of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Together these form one of the most popular approaches for treating a range of mental health difficulties including both anxiety and depression. Therefore the chances are you know someone who’s had CBT.
Mindfulness focuses upon our thoughts because these control emotions and behaviour. For example, thinking that you are going to fail a test is what generates fear, anxiety and panic. As a result you to enter ‘fight or flight mode’ to desperately try to change what they believe is about to happen. Sometimes this can be experienced simply from imaging the situation. In this instance the thoughts aren’t relevant to what that individual is dealing with now. Rather the expense of this wasted energy is. Mindfulness can help them overcome this anxiety to enable them to live their life in the present.
Through self-reflection you become able to identify problematic thought processes in order to unlock a calmer and more successful life. This contrasts other forms of mediation which aim to‘quiet’ thoughts. Instead, mindfulness involves sitting quietly and letting your thoughts pass by whilst looking at their usefulness to you.
Mindfulness follows an ABC basis:
Awareness – Knowing what your thoughts are and how your body is responding
Being – The act to just be
Choice – Looking at events as distance from the reactions to them because then we can choose how we wish to respond
You might have seen the mindfulness colouring books widely available in shops. This trend is based around the fact that everyone can benefit by practicing mindfulness because we can all do with a little less stress in life!
Emotional intelligence boils down to observing and adapting thoughts, feelings and actions to your advantage. Mindfulness helps you to do this by creating an awareness and way of manipulating your thought processes. As a result you can unleash a happier, healthier lifestyle.
For more information about mindfulness see: http://www.mindfulnet.org/page2.htm