To experience and enjoy a better life, you need to know how to enhance emotional intelligence, which is the main objective of this article written and narrated by Dr. Mohammad Hossein Hariri Asl.
Table of Contents / فهرست مطالب
Watch this video on how to enhance emotional intelligence
Why is emotional intelligence important?
Have you ever thought about enhancing your Emotional intelligence? If you don’t have enough knowledge and expertise to do so, don’t worry. Just be seated. Here is the recipe. The word, “EQ” is not the opposite of IQ. Some people are blessed with a lot of both, some with little of either. What researchers have been trying to construe is how they supplement each other; how one’s ability to handle stress, for instance, affects the ability to concentrate and put intelligence to use.
Among the ingredients for success, researchers now generally agree that IQ counts for about 20%; the rest depends on some special skills, such as stress management, people skills, self-awareness, and the like, which are related to emotional intelligence.
New brain research suggests that emotions, not IQ, may be the true measure of human intelligence. High IQ does not necessarily account for who will succeed in life. When it comes to predicting someone’s success in life, brain power as measured by IQ and Standardized Achievement Tests may actually matter less than the qualities of mind once thought of as character.
The main pillars of emotional intelligence
The following are the fundamental principles that shape your emotional intelligence or EQ and the ways they are developed:
The ability to recognize a feeling as it happens is the keystone of Emotional IQ. People with greater certainty about their emotions are better pilots of their lives. However, developing self-awareness requires tuning in somatic markers, literally gut-feelings, which are feelings based on instinct and/or emotion.
These feelings are usually subconscious. Through deliberate efforts, we can become more cognizant of our gut-feelings. But remember that self-awareness is not duck soup. If you have a strong yearning for that, in order not to lose hope, remind yourself of this fact that the most difficult and challenging judgment and appraisal are self-judgment, self-appraisal, self-assessment and self-knowledge.
You should notice that “A closed mind is an empty mind.” Consequently, you are supposed to give as much heed as possible to the ways that contribute to more self-awareness. You can lead your life according to this principle that “I know what I like, and I like what I know”. If you know yourself adequately, you won’t be afraid of what you are and what you want to be; and therefore, you will enjoy being yourself.
Bad as well as good moods spice life and build characters. The key is balance. The following quote from the Buddha can clarify how thoughts — negative or positive — can build up your character and influence your life:
The thought manifests as word;
The word manifests as deed;
The deed develops into habit;
The habit hardens into character.
So watch the thought and its ways with care.
And let it spring from love
Born out of concern for all beings.
— The Buddha
You will have an arsenal of different weapons against bad and foul moods. At first glance, mood management seems to be very unapproachable. However, it requires you to follow the philosophy of “I can…I will” because every problem contains the seed of its own solution. If you take the message of the previous sentence into serious consideration, you will come up with this point that many of your external and internal problems will definitely be obliterated just with a touch of optimism.
In fact, man is not disturbed by the events, but rather by the views that he takes of them. So this is your mood management skills and abilities that play the role of an acid test to endorse your reactions and responses to the environmental stimuli.
You ought to have enough confidence in your managerial affairs. The main problem when people are insecure or lack enough self-confidence is that they imagine everyone else is secure. You are not allowed to put yourself down. Self-underestimation is taboo in the mental dictionary of an intellectual person.
As a result, do not even let anyone come to you without leaving you better and happier. Bear in mind that “No one can make you feel inferior without your own permission” and “You are stronger than any negative desire or temptation.”
Your emotions color what you hear and negative emotions can prevent you from focusing on what is being said and what is happening in the real life. Consequently, this is you who must take necessary action in order to do away with bad and foul moods or emotions. Of all the moods people desire to escape, rage seems to be the hardest to deal with. The following are some techniques of great use to help you manage your mind while dealt with irritable people or situations:
- While you hit the ceiling, remind yourself of this fact that the more you stew, the angrier you get.
- Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.
- To relieve rage, ventilation will make you feel better.
- Expressing anger is among the worst strategies because outbursts of rage pump up the brain’s arousal system, leaving you angrier, not less.
- Another alternative to defusing anger is to do physical exercise, for instance, taking a long walk.
- In any way possible, you should strive to distract your poisoned temper and fury.
- Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, soft music, etc. can help you conquer your wrath.
- “Anyone can become angry; that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose and in the right way, this is not easy. (Aristotle)
- Anger is a thief who steals away the nice moments.
Positive motivation — the marshalling of feelings of enthusiasm, zeal and confidence — is paramount for achievement. One should motivate himself to pursue relentless training routines. To motivate yourself for any achievement requires clear goals and a can-do attitude. No matter how high your IQ is, your self-motivation and determination are important keys to your success.
A psychologist advised an insurance company to hire job applicants who tested high on optimism but failed the normal aptitude test. Compared with salesmen who passed the aptitude test but scored high in pessimism, this group make 21% more sales in their first year and 57% more in their second. From the true example given above, we can arrive at this conclusion that a predisposition to a positive or negative outlook may be inborn, but with effort and practice, even pessimists can learn to think more optimistically.
However, if you have an innate tendency to catch negative and self-defeating thoughts as they occur, you can refrain the situations in less catastrophic terms. A pretty succinct differentiation that is made between optimism and pessimism is that pessimists, as a general rule, attribute their flaws and failures to themselves. In other words, they blame themselves for making blatant mistakes or experiencing failures. Conversely, optimists, generally, ascribe their failures to the external situations.
A practical technique in order to get more intrinsically motivated is to remind yourself of your successes. Remember that “Success gives birth to success.” Now let us bend over backward to elucidate the abstract concept of success. Success is:
- to laugh often and much
- to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children
- to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayals of false friends
- to appreciate beauty
- to find the best in others
- to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition
- to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
Even if you have not been able to be in harmony with your life, do not lose hope because today can be the first day of the rest of your life.
The essence of emotional self-regulation is the ability to delay impulse in the service of a goal. A very feasible technique to manipulate all the transient impulses is that when you are faced with an immediate temptation, think of your long-term goals. Of course, the ability to resist impulses can be developed and strengthened with practice and over the passage of time.
In this regard, you are obliged to develop a firm and strong commitment. You are the person who calls the shots, the one who is in control of all of his/her deeds and behaviors, transient or perpetual. Remember that the best friend and the worst fiend, in the whole universe, are one person, you. If you follow the rules that were discussed in this part of the article, you will be sure of your beliefs and if it happens to you, you need not even fear listening to opposing views.
The capability of knowing how other people feel (i.e., empathy) is of utmost importance. The more adroit you are at discerning the feelings behind other people’s signals, the better you can control the signals you send to them in any interaction. In other words, a sociable person builds a reliable network with a wide range of people. At the current stage of bolstering your Emotional IQ, much importance is placed upon the factors of body language and eye contact.
People need people. This is not a hypothesis. This is a fact that has already been established. Now, let’s review why socialization and human interaction are so crucial for a happier and rewarding life:
- People with more social ties have greater longevity. That’s why the Japanese have the highest life-expectancy and the lowest heart disease rate.
- The greatest of all arts is the art of living together.
- Interrupted social ties effect the body’s defense system so that a person becomes more susceptible to a number of conditions and disease.
- Married people have lower rates of disease than those who are widowed, divorced or single.
- Even owning a pet, an easy remedy for loneliness, can have an effect on health. Pet owners have better survival rates after heart attacks than those who don’t own an animal.
- Hard times make fast friends.
- Feedback is the breakfast of champions.
- Try to hear or more specifically listen to other people’s body language.
In this article, I made a determined attempt to cast some light on the abstract and multi-dimensional notion of Emotional IQ in the hope that the readers of this article would raise their spirits to go through with the five approaches to enhancing their emotional intelligence practically. Those five stages are: self-awareness, mood-management, self-motivation, impulse control and people skills.
After studying this article, one, involuntarily, comes to this conclusion that IQ is not the keystone of one’s success. In other words, the main ingredients of success in life are composed of around 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.