Building Your Emotional Resilience: 4 Habits of Emotionally Intelligent People
Picture Source: Mindful Leadership Vietnam
Emotional intelligence is not something you are born with, it is a skill that you can improve over time. But when it comes to improving your emotional intelligence, it's how you try to do it that matters. Emotional intelligence is not something you learn from books, but something you build with good habits.
Here are four good habits that will improve your emotional intelligence:
1. Let go of unhelpful thoughts
Thinking more isn't always a good thing - and often that's what makes us unhappy. Emotionally intelligent people understand when a situation could benefit from more thinking and when it will only make things worse. Of course, it's not enough to understand whether thinking more is the right tool for the job. But few of us have been trained in how to stop thinking! If you want to become emotionally intelligent, commit to a training program to train your mindless muscles:
Practice letting go of unnecessary thoughts, even if they are true.
Practice refocusing your attention, instead of letting it wander where it wants to.
Try to be aware of your thoughts without thinking about them further.
It is difficult to let go of unnecessary thoughts. And there is no magic formula to make it easy. Because like any important skill in life, it takes practice and patience.
2. Accept difficult emotions
The human brain is a learning machine. And he is especially sensitive to what you teach him. Specifically, how you react to things, especially emotional ones, will teach your brain to think about those things in the future. When you try to escape feeling pain, you teach your brain that it's dangerous to feel bad, which only makes you worse. Emotionally intelligent people understand that just because something feels wrong doesn't mean it's wrong:
Just because your muscles hurt after a workout doesn't mean something is wrong and you should never exercise again.
Likewise, just because you feel nervous about public speaking doesn't mean public speaking is dangerous and you should avoid it in the future.
But more than understanding this difference, emotionally intelligent people also train themselves to respond to painful emotions with acceptance, not avoidance. If you want to feel better in the long run, you have to train yourself to accept feeling bad in the short term.
3. Handle your mistakes with compassion
If you want to become emotionally intelligent, you must avoid the trap of self-criticism. Instead of blaming yourself for a mistake as a false form of motivation, try this:
Admit the error whatever it is.
Accept that you are powerless to change the past.
Focus on what you can actually control in the future.
Self-compassion simply means treating yourself after a mistake the way you would treat a friend with kindness and encouragement. Fortunately, most of us already know how to be compassionate. Just remember to apply it yourself.
4. Choose values over feelings
At the core of emotional intelligence is the ability to subordinate your emotions to your values. Nothing special or emotionally authentic compared to any other part of your experience. Learn to be skeptical of your feelings when they conflict with your values. To become more emotionally intelligent people, train yourself to recognize conflicts between emotions and values. And then ask yourself a simple question: 'What do I really want now?' If you want to become more emotionally intelligent, train yourself to choose your values over your emotions.