According to HelpGuide – “Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict. Emotional intelligence helps you build stronger relationships, succeed at school and work, and achieve your career and personal goals. It can also help you to connect with your feelings, turn intention into action, and make informed decisions about what matters most to you”.
I have talked about seven rainbow rules to increase Emotional Intelligence in my earlier post.
There are four key skills which helps you to increase your EQ – Self Awareness, Self Management, Social Awareness and Relationship Management.
These skills can be developed but prior that it is important to understand how to deal with emotions. If I say it’s our thoughts which creates emotions, I won’t be wrong.
Now there are two common beliefs which contradict each other. First -you should always trust emotions and second – is feelings are irrational and cannot be trusted. In reality both these beliefs are wrong.
People generally ask questions like should emotions be trusted, So if you understand that your thoughts create your emotions, you can learn how to control your thoughts. Emotions are just body reactions to what you are thinking in various situations. They are neither right nor wrongs it is just reacting to your thoughts. Unhappy is an emotion, you can be unhappy because you don’t have something you desire but you are unhappy because of the thought of not having something you desire.
Your unconscious mind is always working , that’s why sometimes people have no idea why do they feel the way they do. Sometimes people’s emotions get triggered by cues which we get from the environment but most of the times it is our thoughts which triggers our emotions. It is our interpretation of the situation that causes emotional reaction to the situation.
There is something called as CBT (Cognitive behavioral therapy) which provide us evidence that we have control over our thoughts and that’s when we can actually control our emotions. This is difficult but this skill can be learned. For that you need to recognize the negative emotion, you identify the thought behind it and then you can change the emotion. If you succeed in doing that , you can have better personal and professional relationships, which in turn can accelerate your success.
There are three ways through which you can change thoughts in order to change your emotions. This really works well if some negative thoughts are not letting you be productive and making your life difficult.
Focus on something else when you are experiencing undesirable emotion or negative emotion and then identify that the cause is what you are thinking about. So basically you are changing the subject of your thinking. For example when you are talking to a person and your view point does not matches his or her , you try to change the topic so that you do not lend up in any kind of conflict or an argument which can cause disturbance in your relationship. We use this strategy to control kids tantrums too. Distraction can shift the focus for a time being and gives you enough space to overcome that negative emotion.
Stop thinking about the thought that are triggering your negative emotions and then the emotion will stop. Try to think positive of the situation for example you feel jealous of someone as you don’t have something which the other person possess. So you are encountering negative emotion because you are thinking of what you don’t have, instead consider it as an inspiration. Try to motivate yourself so that you can achieve or have what the other person has. This is great but sometimes these negative thoughts aren’t going to go away that easily. They have momentum and have strong hold but if you persistently focus, it can actually help you to reach for a new perspective that helps you to think differently about the situation and therefore feel better.
People react differently in different situations. So the difference in the emotional response had nothing to do with the situation but it is their perspective that they took towards the situation.
Ignore/Protect and Observe Thoughts
Do not take negative thoughts seriously, try to ignore people and things which are bringing negative thoughts. Protect yourself from people and things around you who are a negative influence. Lastly observe yourself , what is causing these negative thoughts, take a full control of your self which will take time but eventually with practice you can master this and will be able to interrupt your thoughts before your emotions spiral out of control.
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