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"In true sense, we have two minds, one that thinks, and one that feels."
Being self-aware simply means that you’re able to recognize and label your feelings.
For example, when children learn to speak, they usually need to be given the vocabulary first, so if your son is angry because you’re not letting him have candy before dinner, he’ll know he feels bad, but can’t tell you what exactly it is, until you tell him that what he’s feeling is anger.
Socrates said “know thyself”, so developing a keener understanding of our own nature (self awareness) is the first and most important step on the way to Emotional Intelligence.
An important part of the EQ equation is emotional self-regulation.
For example, when you sit in your office and hear a sudden, loud bang, like the sound of an explosion, your emotional processing center will perceive it as a threat and put your body in alert mode. But when your rational brain double checks and sees there’s no actual threat there, it calms you down again, so you can get back on track to what you were doing.
As an adult, being able to look at your emotions on a meta-level is crucial in choosing how to react to your feelings – or if you should react at all.
IQ is usually what we think determines success. But Goleman’s research led him to believe that EQ, emotional intelligence, is just as, if not more important, to find happiness.
For example, in the world of business and careers, students with higher levels of empathy seem to get better grades, even if their peers are just as smart. That’s because they can better manage their feelings.
Your health also highly depends on your EQ, because the more you have of it, the better you are able to mitigate stress, which can prevent a lot, if not all, of the most prevalent diseases of our time.
Here are two really cool exercises to increase your emotional intelligence:
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