Success in professional and personal life is much dependent on one’s Emotional Intelligence (E.Q). Numerous studies have proven Emotional Intelligence as a Key Success Factor. In other words success in professional and personal life is much dependent upon “how we understand our own emotions and those of others, how we manage our own emotions and relationships with others, and our motivation for achievement and success”. Therein lies the importance of understanding Emotional Intelligence and the factors that positively or negatively affect it. To this end, we will explore some emotional intelligence strategies below.
Factors Affecting Emotional Intelligence
- Physiology viz nutrition; exercise; water use; sunlight exposure; temperance; air exposure; and rest
- Social support
- Evaluation of events
- Views about problems
- Silent self-talk
Items 4-7 above are especially critical in developing a healthy Emotional Intelligence. Poor E.Q is usually the result of “distorted views which have an unhealthy effect on the mind” These distorted views or cognitive distortions can be identified as follows:
- Polarized thinking (All or nothing fallacy)
- Mental filter
- Disqualifying the positive
- Magnification and minimization
- External locus of control fallacy
- Internal locus of control fallacy
- Emotional reasoning (Taking emotional feelings for reality)
- Jumping to conclusions
- Fairness fallacy
- Should fallacy
- Change fallacy
- Global labeling
- Always right etc.
Emotional Intelligence Improvement Strategies
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Now that we have identified some of the common cognitive distortions, let us consider how to deal with them. The following are generally accepted as the steps in addressing cognitive distortions using cognitive behavioral therapy model.
- Identify cognitive distortions
- Acknowledge the harm they do
- Choose to change
- Work through the cognitive distortion
- Deconstruct the cognitive distortion
- Reconstruct thinking to rational thinking
- Change emotions
- Change behavior
Lifestyle Change Strategies
Other changes can be incorporated to strengthen the brain from slipping into irrational thinking, notably lifestyle changes that strengthen the frontal lobe functions of the brain for Emotional Intelligence Improvement. Some celebrated Emotional Intelligence Improvement Strategies are incorporated in the NEW START PROGRAM by Weimar Institute. The program is based on the acronym NEW START as given below.
- Water use
- Sunlight exposure
- Air exposure
- Trust in God
Weimar Institute has used the above 8 components in Mental Health Recovery Programs with much documented success. We explore in detail the Emotional Intelligence Strategies in the Emotional Intelligence Course and use of the 8 components of health in the Health and Wellness course.