When it comes to intelligence we often think of high IQs, unbeatable brainpower and giftedness for all things academic. However, Intelligence, like most things, is a skill, and one that anyone can harness. With practice, the human brain can learn almost anything but being intelligent doesn’t start and end with a text book. Instead, there are numerous forms of intelligence from academic to artistic, visual to verbal and logical to emotional.
It is by nurturing our emotional intelligence that we can find inner peace from everyday life, for the true mark of emotional intelligence is to be so in control of your feelings that the behaviour and actions of others leave your state of being undisturbed. In theory this is easier said than done. We are, after all, an empathetic species, and this is what sets us apart from rest of the animal kingdom.
But think about this: everyday our thoughts, feelings and behaviours are directly dictated by circumstances outside of us. Ever been annoyed about a delayed train? How about insecure about a comment a work colleague made? Or even angry that your partner took his bad mood out on you? These might sound like little everyday situations, but allowing them determine how we feel in any given moment only ensures that we become a slave to our circumstances. This is when we begin to blame everyone and everything else for what we say, do and feel.
For emotionally intelligent people, however, the situations they find themselves in have no bearing on how they feel. Instead, they remain in their chosen state of being (most likely one of happiness, peace or gratefulness) regardless of whether the world is crumbling around them. This is the ultimate state of inner peace.
Whilst this may come easier for some than others, emotional intelligence is a skill that can be learned by anyone. And here’s how to do it:
- Know that you are in charge of your reactions regardless of what is happening around you.
- Be aware of your feelings throughout the day and ask yourself if they are serving your highest good.
- Take your focus off that which does not feel good and place it on something that does. Repeating this will teach your brain and body to lessen their reliance on those thoughts and feelings you do not wish to experience.
- Be present in each moment and give it your full attention. Focus on what is happening in the now instead of what happen yesterday or what could happen tomorrow.
- Appreciate every circumstance, person and experience. Everything that happens to us is a chance to learn and grow if we allow it to be.
- Practice deep breathing. Breathing through the diaphragm (belling breathing) relaxes our body and thus gives us a greater chance of making a more rational decision.
- Stick with it. You will undoubtedly go through times when your external circumstances affect how you feel, but with practice this will become less frequent.
Being in control of your emotions and your actions is one way to bring a little more peace into your life. Give the tips above a try and comment below with any changes you notice in your life!
photo credit: Ian D. Keating <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/32008328@N08/29672575776″>Self Portrait</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>
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