Mindfulness to Increase Emotional Intelligence

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Mindfulness to Increase Emotional Intelligence

Mindfulness to Increase Emotional Intelligence

Can you use mindfulness to increase emotional intelligence (or EQ)? The now popular term ‘emotional intelligence‘ refers to your ability to understand the motivations of others, to understand your own emotions and motivations and to communicate these things effectively (Psychology Today, n.d.). While a lot of emphasis, or attention, is placed on the importance of ‘IQ’, it is actually EQ that is in many ways more useful and helpful in day-to-day life.  EQ is what enables you to communicate and get along well with others, as well as to influence those around you and work well as part of a team. It is an important factor for a successful career and also integral to any successful relationship – romantic or otherwise. How do you increase EQ though? There are a few methods, one of the most straightforward is mindfulness.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a form of meditation (Positive Psychology Program, 2017) that is taught as part of ‘CBT’ or ‘Cognitive Behavioral Therapy’ (Psychology Today, n.d.). This is currently one of the most popular psycho-therapeutic approaches for treating a range of mental health disorders such as anxiety, phobias and depression.

The general idea behind CBT is that our emotions and behaviors are controlled by our thoughts. If you are experiencing anxiety for example, then there is a good chance that this is being created by ruminations and thoughts that are causing you to become anxious. Your thoughts go over and over. A phobia of heights, for example, might be caused by thoughts like ‘I’m going to fall’. Counsellors, therapists and others can help people to identify such thought processes through a form of CBT which can teach ‘mindfulness’ as a form of self-reflection. This involves sitting quietly and simply ‘observing’ the contents of your own thoughts as they pass by. Unlike other forms of meditation, you are not trying to ‘quiet’ your thoughts, instead you are just noting them and reflecting on them. The next step is then to try and alter those thoughts by challenging their assumptions and using positive affirmations, ultimately resulting in healthier behaviour. This can be far easier said than done, but once you start successfully challenging and disputing dysfunctional or irrational beliefs, the healing power of CBT can be extremely rewarding and satisfying.

How This Can Help Improve EQ?

What has all this got to do with EQ? Basically, emotional intelligence comes down to your ability to observe the thoughts and feelings of others and then to act accordingly. At the same time, it also incorporates the ability to manage your own emotions. This can be aided by listening to your own thoughts. When you are aware of your own thought processes, you will not only be more aware of how your own mind works (and how to influence your feelings), but you will also have more insight for how the minds of other people work. Learn mindfulness to increase emotional intelligence.

References:

Positive Psychology Program, (2017). What is mindfulness? Retrieved January 6, 2019, from https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/what-is-mindfulness-definition/

Psychology Today, (n.d.). Emotional intelligence. Retrieved January 6, 2019, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/basics/emotional-intelligence

Psychology Today, (n.d.). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Retrieved January 6, 2019, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/therapy-types/mindfulness-based-cognitive-therapy

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Regards,

Paul Inglis.

Mindfulness to Increase Emotional Intelligence

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