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Develop your Emotions for Success and Happiness.
By Shirley Palmer
We probably all know people, either at work or in our personal lives, who are really good listeners. No matter what kind of situation we’re in, they always seem to know just what to say – and how to say it – so that we’re not offended or upset. They’re caring and considerate, and even if we don’t find a solution to our problem, we usually leave feeling more hopeful and optimistic.
People like this have a high degree of Emotional Intelligence (EI). They know themselves very well, and they’re also able to sense the emotional needs of others.
Over the last decade, science has discovered a remarkable amount about the role that emotions play in our lives. Researchers have found that more than Intelligent Quotient (IQ), your emotional awareness and abilities to think, feel and act determine your success and happiness in all walks of life, including relationships.
Being aware of your emotions can be difficult; at times it can be overwhelming. You need to be able to step back and see what you are experiencing, accept the emotion and then choose more positive thoughts and behaviours to enhance your level of happiness.
The key to accepting your emotions is to do what you need to do despite what you are feeling. Accept and learn from your feelings, but don’t let them run your life. By remaining productive during difficult emotional periods, you are more likely to improve your emotional state than if you do nothing. This is why emotional intelligence is a far better predictor of success in life than IQ. If you’ve got a super high IQ and extremely low control of your emotions, you simply will not manifest your highest potential.
“75 percent of careers are derailed for reasons related to emotional competencies, including inability to handle interpersonal problems; unsatisfactory team leadership during times of difficulty or conflict; or inability to adapt to change or elicit trust.” – Centre for Creative Leadership
Here are ten simple ways to improve your emotional intelligence, be more successful and find added happiness:
Journal. Write down your thoughts and feelings daily it can have a profound and positive effect. It’s personal, for you and no-one else.
Ask yourself: How do I feel today? Check-in with your sense of your overall well being and give yourself a daily score from 0 to 10. Notice if on one day they seem very different and explore why. Ideally try and do it at the same time every day.
If you are not sure how you are feeling, ask someone else. From time to time you may be so caught up in your emotions that you cannot assess how you truly feel. Ask someone you really trust, they will notice how you are communicating and coming across to other. You may find the answer both enlightening and surprising.
Connect your feelings with your thoughts. Pay attention to your feelings, if something feels a little out of the ordinary allow yourself to investigate it and fully understand where it comes from and whether it is true or not.
Listen to your body. Ask yourself what that knot in your stomach is about, or the ache in your shoulders. Could it be stress? If so, what from? Noticing butterflies in the stomach – is that a positive feeling? Remember we all have different feelings manifesting in different ways in our bodies, ensure you give yourself time to explore, feel and appreciate them.
Tap into your unconscious feelings. One way to do this is to pay attention to your dreams. Write brief notes and notice where they have recurring patterns or where they are charged with emotion. Alternatively, you can try free thinking, let yourself feel relaxed and allow your thoughts to wander freely, and then watch where they go.
Don’t critique your feelings too quickly. Healthy emotions can rise and fall and fade naturally, allow yourself to acknowledge and think them through rather than just dismissing them. Awareness is key.
Shift your focus. Acknowledge when it is time to shift your focus from a negative emotion or feeling. It is important to be in the present and not stuck in the emotion. By ensuring you are focused in the present moment you are creating from a more active and positive place. Empower your thoughts.
Practice meditation and mindfulness. Whilst this has become a more mainstream activity more people end up talking about it instead of practicing. Considering finding a local community that will support your practice. From as little as 10 minutes a day of meditation will help ease any stress, anxiety, etc. daily and mindfulness will always be an ongoing practice by ensuring you are more aware of your thoughts, feelings and actions.
Walk in nature. Our lives were not made to live in boxes, and it is only when we allow ourselves to be outside, in nature whether it is a forest amongst trees, on the top of a mountain or by the ocean listening to the waves that we can connect fully with a deeper sense of who we are. Consider a daily walk in nature even if it is only 20 minutes it will serve you well.
“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion.” – Dale Carnegie
So, take some time and tune in to how you feel, register your emotional intelligence and you and your business could be much more successful.
Shirley Palmer is CEO of Shirley Palmer International (London and Los Angeles) which focuses on maximising potential in both businesses and individuals. She is a Transformational and Business Mentor, Mindset Master, Speaker and Author (12 Words – Think it. Feel it. Do it.). She works with CEOs, senior management teams, entrepreneurs and professionals positively changing the direction of their business and/or personal life.
Shirley is running a series of “Dream Team” Retreats in UK, Mallorca and California this year. In addition, her new Mastermind Group is open for applications for a June start. More details can be found in the profile links.