School teaches you things from the basics of math to the world’s capitals. You end up knowing geography, famous literature, or foreign languages, which are useful information to have in your life. But who do you learn from on how to deal with emotional situations that will inevitably show up?
Nurturing your mind is an inherent part of healthy development, but sooner or later, you may realize that the soul needs love, too. And learning how to do so boils down to your emotional intelligence.
So, besides the existentialist theories and the advanced physics that you may have been taught, there is more. Things like taking care of your emotional health, communicating efficiently, and connecting to your deep wisdom within can vastly improve the quality of your life.
And for this reason, you can discover more about:
- What Is Emotional Intelligence?
- Why Is Emotional Intelligence Important?
- 5 Tips on How to Improve Emotional Intelligence From Mindvalley Trainers
The educational system should indeed provide this kind of knowledge. But when it doesn’t, it lies within your power to fill in the gaps and take care of the most delicate parts of yourself.
What Is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence (also known as EQ) is usually defined as people’s ability to understand, use, perceive, develop, and communicate their emotions in a healthy and efficient way. This skill supports a thriving relationship with yourself and others.
Famous psychologist Dale Goleman wrote the world-known book Emotional Intelligence. In it, he defines EQ as “the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships.”
EQ vs. IQ
While your EQ measures your capacity to deal effectively with emotions, your IQ refers to your intellectual capacity. Here’s a compare and contrast of the two:
|Dealing effectively with emotions||Planning and strategizing|
|Communicating your emotions healthily||Using language properly|
|Caring for your emotional states by making decisions accordingly||Solving problems by being logical and rational|
|Letting yourself “feel” the beauty of art, poetry, and literature||Understanding abstract concepts|
|Listening to your intuition||Adapting to change by learning new mental skills|
IQ develops over time as you acquire more knowledge and information; therefore the average IQ score varies by age. There’s no doubt that your logical reasoning is important in the well-functioning of a thriving human being. Still, the problem appears when today’s society puts more focus on rationality rather than emotionality.
And the truth is, they are both equally important. Emotions and feelings bring up the most humane aspects in people, which cannot be denied, nor neglected.
Why Is Emotional Intelligence Important?
Here is my secret. A very simple secret. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.— Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince
Just as The Little Prince says, your heart has the ability to know a truth that your mind could never understand. And the way to connect to the wisdom of your heart is by nurturing your emotional intelligence.
Emotions are a gateway to an undiscovered world deep within that can show you the path to different aspects of your life. And even more importantly, emotional intelligence supports:
- Interpersonal and social skills
- Connecting to your intuition
- Developing healthy communication abilities
- Learning how to deal with confrontation
- Nurturing self-love practices
- Coping with stressful or traumatic events
Imagine how your life would be if you had unshakable trust in your own capacity to process, listen, follow when it’s needed, and nurture all of your emotions. And the good news is that this ability can be learned and trained to perform.
Emotional intelligence examples
Some examples of EQ in your personal life can look like this:
- You feel and process hard emotions
- You know how to deal with triggers effectively
- Open communication with others has become natural
- Your ability to be vulnerable is accessed easily
- Self-love is an important part of your usual routines
- You are open to different points of view without getting overly emotional over some topics
- You hold space for your feelings and have genuine compassion for other people’s emotional hardships
Your professional life can benefit from high levels of emotional intelligence as well. And it can look as follows:
- You cope with feelings of procrastination and work anxiety
- You don’t take everything personally
- Teamwork is easy and enjoyable for you
- Resilience is evident when you need to start over a project
- You show flexibility and adaptability to change
- Boundaries are clearly communicated
- You know how to take in constructive feedback
- You understand the importance of Money EQ (and how your emotional relationship with money will manifest in your reality)
All of these examples may portray an ideal picture of your emotional state. It’s definitely easier said than done, but that doesn’t mean one shouldn’t try. And very much like how the first time you rode a bicycle or swam was challenging, developing your emotional intelligence can bring up a similar feeling to it.
5 Tips on How to Improve Emotional Intelligence From Mindvalley Trainers
EQ could be a natural aspect of growing up if one had a healthy, loving, and supportive environment. Unfortunately, today’s society has been running for many years on dysfunctional patterns that prompt us to repress emotions, cope ineffectively, and hide away from unprocessed trauma.
However, this is your time. And here is the space to consciously choose a different path.
Mindvalley teamed up with pioneering experts to deliver tips on improving your emotional intelligence skills. They can guide you through discovering a new journey within to better grasp the importance of your emotions.
Tip 1: You don’t have to feel good all the time | Kristina Mänd-Lakhiani
We keep blasting ourselves with the message that you have to feel good all the time.— Kristina Mänd-Lakhiani, co-founder of Mindvalley and trainer of 10 Questions for Self-Love Quest
Kristina Mänd-Lakhiani, co-founder of Mindvalley and trainer of Live By Your Own Rules and 10 Questions for Self-Love Quests, underlines the importance of allowing yourself to feel discomfort and painful emotions.
Our current society unconsciously encourages the idea of positivity tyranny, which means not acknowledging bad emotions and feeling wrong for having them. You may feel broken and like you don’t correspond to an ideal of perfection that you think you should achieve.
However, the truth is that learning how to feel the whole spectrum of your emotions plays a huge role in your emotional intelligence abilities. Why is it important to understand all of them?
Kristina explains that there is a medical concept called congenital analgesia, meaning one’s inability to feel physical pain. When this happens, the body slowly breaks down because physical pain has the role of signaling the parts of your body that may need healing and care.
We are prompted to go into a state of emotional analgesia. Not feeling bad emotions and constantly running away from discomfort.
But what if your so-called negative emotions are also trying to tell you something? Maybe your sadness, anger, or apathy signal more vulnerable parts of yourself that need healing. And oftentimes, you’ve probably been told to ignore that crying for help coming from a deeply hidden corner of your psyche.
Set up a timer at a random time during the day and when it goes off, just ask yourself: “What am I feeling right now?” Sometimes you may be tempted to say “nothing.”
But that nothingness might actually be numbness, boredom, or apathy. And once you name it and build a practice of recognizing what you’re feeling, your emotional awareness will expand.
Tip 2: Learn when to put emotionality or rationality in the forefront | Mahatria
When we are emotional, our intelligence takes a back seat. When we are too rational, our emotions take the back seat.
In the sway of emotions, intelligence does not work.— Mahatria, trainer of Mindvalley’s A Journey to Infinitheism Quest
Renowned spiritual teacher and trainer of Mindvalley’s A Journey to Infinitheism Quest, Mahatria emphasizes the importance of knowing when to let your emotions lead your way and when to use the power of your reasoning.
For example, let yourself go in the flow of your emotions to be creative, in the sense of wonder, to enjoy novels and poetry. Because they open up a beautiful space within where grace can happen, and the rational mind might have a hard time understanding this “elegance” of the soul.
On the other hand, when it comes to communicating efficiently with others around you, letting your emotions lead the way may not be the best solution at all times. Especially when you get into an argument, speaking up from a place of highly emotional reactivity may have an effect on the quality of your relationships.
And so it goes the other way around. It won’t benefit communication if you try to make sense of the other person’s emotions using your rationality when they are high on emotional adrenaline. However, by using your logical mind, you’ll know when is the best time to have the needed conversations.
When dealing with emotions properly, always remember these seven principles:
- Human beings are designed to have either emotions or rationality at the forefront.
- Only if emotions are at the forefront will you be able to be in a state of wonder and creative expression.
- When emotions are at the forefront, your sense of judgment is impaired.
- In the sway of emotions, intelligence does not work.
- In a highly emotional environment, abstain from action and decision-making.
- Emotions have a time span.
- The power of direct communication (using your rational mind) either helps you clarify or get clarified.
Tip 3: Listen to the wisdom of your emotions | Jon and Missy Butcher
Jon and Missy Butcher, creators of Mindvalley’s Lifebook Quest, believe that “emotions can be your best friend or your worst enemy — the choice is yours.” Simply put, your emotions are a call to action. You can listen and learn from them.
To do that, you need to get in touch with what you’re feeling first, so you can decide what to do from the moment you “hear” the call to action. You can take into consideration what each emotion can signal. For example:
- Uneasy feeling in the gut. Your intuition is telling you that something is off.
- Fear. You should run away.
- Anger. Your boundaries have been violated.
- Love. It signals that you’re doing something good for yourself.
Emotions are body wisdom. They are innate intelligence. They are signals from deep within us.— Jon and Missy Butcher, trainers of Mindvalley’s Lifebook Quest
Jon and Missy’s tip
Practice getting in touch with your emotions and creating the space for them to just be by following this exercise:
- Find a quiet place, close your eyes, and take 5-10 deep breaths.
- Ask yourself: “What am I feeling right now?” Try to name the feeling.
- Accept the feeling exactly as it is without reacting to it. Know that it is absolutely normal to feel this way.
- Take a few more deep breaths, and continue to sit in silent acceptance of your feelings until they give away and transform into something new.
- Write down any thoughts or observations to keep for future reflections.
Tip 4: Practice your emotional self-assessment | Jeffrey Allen
Jeffrey Allen, trainer of Mindvalley’s Unlocking Transcendence and Duality Quests, puts emphasis on the value of nurturing your emotional intelligence by creating more awareness within.
And that can help you learn what triggers different emotional states and what you have to do more of to create the ones that you’d like to experience often.
All of your emotions are inside you. They are playing all the time like different radio frequencies. And with practice, you can choose how to dial up the emotion that you want to feel.— Jeffrey Allen, trainer of Mindvalley’s Duality Quest
Close your eyes and bring into your imagination your emotional self. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How does it feel right now?
- Can you see it?
- How does it look?
- Are you friends with it?
- How do your emotions impact the quality of your life?
- What about your personal or professional relationships?
- How do you look at your emotions?
- What behaviors come up from different emotions like anger, sadness, shame, love, joy, etc.?
When you create some clarity surrounding your emotional states, you nurture the skill of paying more attention within. It’s like taking an emotional intelligence test and seeing what score you’re at.
This will take you out of your default emotional states and make you realize how much power you actually hold within in creating the life you’d like to live.
Tip 5: Practice EFT tapping to balance your emotional system | Jennifer Partridge
Mindvalley’s Tapping Into Emotional Mastery Quest focuses on the fact that one of the basic principles of tapping is listening to your emotions.
And Jennifer Partridge, EFT tapping expert and trainer of the Quest, suggests that instead of blocking and running away from your emotions, it’s essential to listen and take care of them, just like a mother caring for her beloved children.
Additionally, understanding that emotions serve a higher purpose for your safety and well-being may change your perspective on how you treat them.
If you were to look at the deep roots of your emotional patterns, you’d discover the biological reason why you’re experiencing any of the emotions that come up in your life. They are built into your natural responses to environmental triggers because emotions are one of the ways that your body and mind have evolved to escape danger and stay connected to the tribe.
Nowadays, there isn’t danger at each and every corner, and you probably won’t have to run away from lions or wolves to stay alive. However, you can still connect to your emotions and hear the call they’re sending to you for a reason. Always.
Emotions make us beautifully human.— Jennifer Partridge, trainer of Mindvalley’s Tapping Into Emotional Mastery Quest
Practice EFT tapping for regulating your nervous system and making space to feel your emotions. You can look over these 5 Steps to Heal Your Pain and Traumas With Tapping.
Connect to the Wisdom Within
Focusing more on your emotional intelligence journey is easier said than done, and we get it. However, if you’re looking for a little guidance and support along the way, here’s where Mindvalley comes into play.
You can check out the wisdom from various quests, guided by experts in the personal growth field, and discover more about:
- How to practice and nurture love for yourself with the 10 Questions for Self-Love Quest, guided by Kristina Mänd-Lakhiani
- Your intuition and connection to your higher self with A Journey to Infinitheism Quest, guided by Mahatria
- How to create the life you desire with the Lifebook Quest, guided by Jon and Missy Butcher
- Connecting to the spiritual and material duality of your being with the Duality Quest, guided by Jeffrey Allen
- EFT tapping and how to practice it daily with the Tapping Into Emotional Mastery Quest, guided by Jennifer Partridge
And by unlocking your free access, you have the opportunity to try out sample classes from all the quests above and many others. The best part of it all is that you don’t have to do it alone. You can be part of a like-minded community of people going through the same challenges and achievements as you are.
It’s also the togetherness that develops your emotional intelligence. So take the first step.