Dr. Sylvia Hart Frejd

Hand raised

In our digital age we are having less face-to-face interactions and real life conversations and this is causing a reduction in people’s EQ. When it comes to happiness and success in life, studies are telling us that emotional intelligence (EQ) can actually be more important then our intellectual ability (IQ). If you have high EQ (emotional intelligence) you will be able to recognize your own emotional state and the emotional states of others, be able to read body language and engage with people in a way that draws them to you. You will know what to say and what not to say and will be able to use this understanding of emotions to relate better to other people, form healthier relationships, achieve greater success at work, and lead a more fulfilling life. And do you want to hear the best part? These skills can be learned.

5 Skills to Raise Your EQ

1.     Reduce stress in the moment in a variety of settings.

2.     Recognize your emotions and keep them from overwhelming you.

3.     Connect emotionally with others by using nonverbal communication.

4.     Use humor and play to stay connected in challenging situations.

5.     Resolve conflicts positively and with confidence.

 

Reduce stress in the moment in a variety of settings.

 

If you haven’t learned how to manage stress, it’s important to do so first. Research has found that it can take as little as five seconds of conscious deep breathing to short circuit a ‘neural highjack’ which occurs when the primitive and reactive part of your brain (the “Amygdala”) overtakes the thinking part of your brain and triggers a fight-flight-freeze response. When you can manage your stress, you’ll feel more comfortable reconnecting to strong or unpleasant emotions and changing the way you experience and respond to your feelings.

 

Recognize your emotions and keep them from overwhelming you.

 

Many people are disconnected from their emotions—especially strong core emotions such as anger, sadness, fear, and joy. But emotional awareness can be learned at any time of life. Recognize your emotions and try not to dismiss your feelings before you have a chance to think them through. A healthy way to process emotions is to journal what you are feeling. Neuroscientist Dr. Caroline Leaf says, “Journaling encourages both the left and right side of the brain to work together to process your positive and negative emotions.”

 

Connect emotionally with others by using nonverbal communication.

 

Try to connect emotionally with others by accurately reading and responding to the nonverbal cues that other people send you. Pay more attention to small cues – from the expression on a person’s face to what they are saying and, just as importantly, what they are unwilling or unable to say. Try to put yourself into their shoes and imagine how they see and feel about themselves, their situation, their challenges and future.

 

Use humor and play to stay connected in challenging situations.

 

Humor can be used to diffuse challenging situations. It is also a great stress reducer and will help to resolve conflicts more positively. Laughter has been shown to release oxytocin, which not only makes us feel more bonded, but can also make us feel more connected and builds trust. What did the worker at the rubber factory say when he lost his job? Oh snap!

 

Resolve conflicts positively and with confidence.

 

Some conflict and disagreements are inevitable in any relationship. We can’t possibly have the same needs, opinions, and expectations as someone else all the time. Resolving conflict in healthy, constructive ways can strengthen the trust between people. When resolving conflict is viewed as more of a positive thing it can bring freedom, creativity, and safety in relationships.

 

The more digitally involved we become as a society the lower our EQ will fall. Let’s all work hard to raise our EQ and in turn help others to raise theirs.

Resource: Christian Relaxation CD by Dr. Archibald Hart at www.TheDigitalInvasion.com

 

Research: http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevecooper/2013/03/18/look-for-employees-with-high-eq-over-iq/

Who Switched Off My Brain Dr. Caroline Leaf, Thomas Nelson, 2009.

http://www.emotionalintelligencecourse.com/increase-your-eq/