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Emotional Intelligence is Overrated. Aim for Emotional Fitness Instead.

Get to know your emotions

  • Emotional clarity: Taking the time to deliberately reflect on our emotions, to observe and label them.
  • Emotional myth-busting: Eliminating myths and misconceptions floating around people’s minds about emotions. 
  • Emotional tolerance: Learning to resist short-term gratification and instead invest in long-term values.

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Emotional Intelligence is Overrated. Aim for Emotional Fitness Instead.

Emotional Intelligence is Overrated. Aim for Emotional Fitness Instead.

https://nickwignall.com/emotional-fitness-introduction/

nickwignall.com

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Key Ideas

What Emotional Fitness is

It's the idea that in order to lead healthy, happy emotional lives we need consistent habits and exercises that support our mental health and wellbeing.

The Benefits of Emotional Fitness

  • Decreased stress: you learn to manage your triggers.
  • Better communication in relationships: it helps you to tolerate and manage difficult emotions and then find more productive ways to work through difficulties.
  • Decreased anxiety: you train your mind to stop fearing its own emotional reactions.
  • You stick with your goals: you learn to deal with emotions like anxiety, shame, regret.
  • Increased self-awareness: you learn to build a better relationship with your emotions.

Get to know your emotions

  • Emotional clarity: Taking the time to deliberately reflect on our emotions, to observe and label them.
  • Emotional myth-busting: Eliminating myths and misconceptions floating around people’s minds about emotions. 
  • Emotional tolerance: Learning to resist short-term gratification and instead invest in long-term values.

Cultivate better mental habits

  • Mindfulness: practicing mindfulness means building the mental muscle of awareness and attentional control.
  • Cognitive restructuring: learn how to modify the content of our thoughts. 
  • Mental minimalism: just like we need to be good stewards of the stuff that we let into our lives, we also need to be good stewards of the stuff that we hang on to in our mental lives.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Emotional intelligence (EQ)

EQ is the ability to be able to recognize and regulate your own emotions, while also empathizing with others and maintaining an awareness of their reactions.

EQ can be developed with p...

Know thyself

Having a deep understanding of yourself provides you with more accurate perceptions of how you are coming across to others. 

To increase your self-awareness, make an effort to reflect on your strengths, developmental opportunities, triggers, values, and the like so that you are intimately familiar with what makes you tick. 

Be open to feedback and criticism

Weighing feedback can help you guard against blind spots. It can assist you in recognizing if your behaviors are having the effects you are intending.

If they aren't, you can adjust your actions or apologize accordingly (or mindfully choose not to do either).

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The 'assumption of healthy normality'

There is an assumption that emotional pain and suffering is a deviation from a default happy baseline. However, it's incorrect. Psychological pain is everywhere. 

Resea...

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)

The goal of ACT is not necessarily to reduce one's problematic thoughts and emotions. It is to help people effectively function while they are distressed and to promote more flexible and value-driven behaviors.
In other words, the primary goal is to promote 'valued living.'

Valued living

Valued living is going about your daily life in the service of values you find important. Engaging in these actions creates a sense of meaning and purpose.

The symptoms of psychological suffering are problematic when they are linked to behaviors that draw us away from valued living.

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The social foundation: emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence (or E.I.) is your ability to be aware of your own emotions, to recognize emotions in others and use that information to guide your behavior.

When you develop you...

The general categories of E.I.
  • Self-awareness: Do you get anxious in loud environments? Self-awareness is knowing these things about yourself.
  • Self-regulation deals with your ability to manage your own emotions. 
  • Motivation: You know how to motivate yourself and create or continue projects because you choose to.
  • Empathy: It means recognizing the emotions of others.
  • Socialization: It is your ability to navigate social situations, including conveying your ideas to co-workers or dealing with a conflict in a relationship.
Constructively confront someone

Our own fears keep us from confronting others. We fear that we'll lose something, hurt someone we care about, or that it will accomplish nothing.

  • Recognize that fear in yourself and identify the real issues that led to the conflict.
  • When you are able to discuss the issue, instead of firing accusations, describe your behavior using "I" statements: "I feel hurt that .............................."

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Emotional clarity

It means that we have a good understanding of how we feel emotionally. 

Label your emotions

Use plain language. The more fluent you are with real emotional language, the more clearly you will be able to think about how you’re feeling.

Clarify your emotions

Get used to the idea of emotional complexity. When we feel upset, we're not feeling one single emotion. We are usually experiencing a blend of many emotions.

Training ourselves to look for and see this emotional complexity is key to better understanding ourselves when we’re upset and moving on in a healthy way.

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Gentle morning exercise

Exercising may help alleviate anxiety when faced with a sudden, unpredictable shock.

Spend time with a close friend

According to research, when we connect with friends, we can handle stress better.

Start the day with time outside

According to a study, spending time in nature, or even just looking at scenes of nature, may help you recover faster from subsequent stressful experiences.

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Emotional Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence (EQ or EI) can be defined as the ability to understand, manage, and effectively express one's own feelings, as well as engage and navigate successfully with those of oth...
Reduce Negative Emotions

... so they don't overwhelm you and affect your judgment. 

In order to change the way you feel about a situation, you must first change the way you think about it. 

Increased fear of rejection: “I’m applying for my dream job. I’ll be devastated if they don’t hire me.”
Decreased fear of rejection: “I’m applying for three exciting positions. If one doesn’t pan out, there are two more I’m well qualified for.”

Stay Cool and Manage Stress

How we handle stressful situations can make the difference between being assertive versus reactive, and poised versus frazzled. When under pressure, the most important thing to keep in mind is to keep our cool. 

  • If you feel nervous and anxious, put cold water on your face and get some fresh air. 
  • If you feel fearful, depressed, or discouraged, try intense aerobic exercises. Energize yourself. 

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Emotions

They are basal responses that begin in the subcortical areas of the brain responsible for producing biochemical reactions to environmental stimuli that have a direct impact on our physical state.&n...

Feelings

Feelings are preceded by emotions and tend to be our reactions to them. Emotions are a more generalized experience across humans, but feelings are more subjective and influenced by our personal experiences and interpretations, thus they are harder to measure.

Negative Emotions

They can be defined as unpleasant or unhappy emotions evoked in individuals to express a negative effect towards something.

Although some are labeled negative, all emotions are normal to the human experience. And it’s important to understand when and why negative emotions might arise, and develop positive behaviors to address them.

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Acute Awareness

One of the defining features of emotional intelligence is the ability to comprehend the effects of your feelings.

This is crucial for making sound, objective decisions whe...

Impact Interpretation

Emotional intelligence makes it easier to anticipate and respond to others' sentiments.

Bad news from work can shock or dismay your employees, while good news may make them unreasonably optimistic. Emotional intelligence means you can tell ahead of time how others will react and develop a strategy to keep them grounded.

Mental Health Management

Those with emotional intelligence have an easier time assessing the emotional and psychological state of their employees.

This makes it easier to determine if someone is suffering from: anxiey, depression, grief, trauma or eating disorders. By recognizing these states, you can provide them with the support and professional resources they need to recover.

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"Needing" therapy

By framing therapy in terms of what we need rather than what we could benefit from, many people experience too much shame or embarrassment to try it.

Not everybody needs therapy. But ...

How therapy helps
  • Understanding how the way we tend to think about things affects our moods and emotions
  • Clarifying our values and strategizing about the most effective path toward them
  • Learning to communicate directly and assertively in relationships or the workplace
  • Building self-confidence in social situations
  • Acquiring more effective parenting skills and techniques
  • Working through complicated grief or loss
Therapy and growth

Ultimately, therapy is about growth and creating opportunities for positive change.

And in addition to improving traditional mental health struggles, therapy can also be a powerful and efficient way to make progress on personal goals or aspirations.

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Emotional intelligence

It is the ability to manage our own emotions and react to the emotions of others.

People who exhibit emotional intelligence have the less obvious skills necessary to get ahead in life,...

5 key areas of emotional intelligence
  • Self-awareness: it involves knowing your own feelings. 
  • Self-management: it involves being able to keep your emotions in check when they become disruptive.
  • Motivation, for the sake of personal joy, curiosity or the satisfaction of being productive.
  • Empathy: the skill and practice of reading the emotions of others and responding appropriately.
  • Social skills: this can include finding common ground with others, managing others in a work environment and being persuasive.
Improving self-awareness
  • Keep a journal of your emotions. At the end of every day, write down what happened to you, how you felt, and how you dealt with it. 
  • Ask for input from people who know you well about where your strengths and weaknesses lie, to gauge your perception from another’s point of view.
  • Slow down (or meditate). The next time you have an emotional reaction to something, try to pause before you react.

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