‘Nobody can hurt you without your permission’
– Mahatma Gandhi quote
I’m going to add to this quote and say, that nobody nor any situation can hurt you without your permission. It is only your thoughts about things that can do that. Change the way you think about it and you’ll change the way you feel. This is something I learned as I developed emotional intelligence.
So what is Emotional Intelligence and how can it help us? It is the ability to recognize, understand and manage our emotions in a positive way, which can affect our behaviour and our interactions with ourselves and others. We can learn how to bring our emotions into a state of balance, so that we’re not being tossed back and forth in a sea of uncertainty.
Developing our emotional intelligence can help us to communicate more effectively, become more emphatic, find positive ways to cope, overcome challenges, relieve stress, create healthier relationships, and minimize conflicts, which can lead to a more fulfilling life.
Becoming aware of our emotions, in each moment, can help us to remain calm and focused in unsettling situations and can help us to see how they influence our thoughts and actions.
Most of us are on auto pilot, reacting to present situations, based on experiences we had in the past (see Mindfulness Part 6) if we centre ourselves with our breath, (see Managing Stress & Anxiety Part 8) we can come into the present moment and ask ourselves if this is the appropriate reaction right now, or are we just replaying a script we have been using all our lives.
Say for example you send a text message, and the person doesn’t reply. You might think they are ignoring you. By the end of the day if they don’t get in touch, you might not be in the best of moods. This could end up in a conflict. You’ve allowed an unanswered text to affect your mood and possibly hurt you.
From an emotional intelligence perspective, you notice that the text hasn’t been answered and you consider what might be the reason, a) maybe they are too busy right now, and don’t have enough time to text properly, b) maybe they don’t have credit, c) maybe they are upset with you, but just need some space to think etc…You breathe slowly and ask yourself why you feel ignored, you consider all the options and wait until you hear from them before jumping to conclusions. You distract yourself with something else.
- Calm down, take time out regularly to breathe slowly and practice observing how you feel in each situation, so that you can respond in a conscious manner based on this moment rather than your experience from the past.
- Learn to trust your emotions and how you feel, be true to yourself, and you’ll suffer less.
- Notice your behaviour at different times, and take full responsibility for how you choose to feel and respond, no one can make you angry, that’s a choice you make.
- Be proactive instead of reactive. Try and see a few different possible perspectives to any situation.
- Ask questions: What is important now? What am I learning from this? Do I need to set healthier boundaries? Are my needs being met? What are the consequences if I say or do this?
Part 10 Entrainment
Paula is an Author/ Hypnotherapist / Reiki Healer / Artist in Blessington Co. Wicklow. www.i-want-a-better-life.ie / firstname.lastname@example.org / Phone 086 0848398 All her articles to date are on her blog email@example.com