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Lately, I have been in a course of study with the Gottman Institute up in WA, USA. This led me to study with Daniel Goleman who wrote a book entitled, “Emotional Intelligence”. This led to several YouTube searches and more research. This made me research the functional parts of our emotional brain. And this led to much more research on research done. All of this as a small part of an understanding of PTSD, and related alternative cognitive discernment. In sum, I find hope in what I study.
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Using our emotions, enjoying our emotions, rather than becoming held at the mercy of our emotions, can be a learned skill. In fact, channeling emotions for personal and social good has become a trend being taught at many K5 through grade 9 schools across America. Statistically, children who grow up through adolescence, understanding the skills of “thinking” things through, and considering everything from alternative actions, consequences, WWJD, their feelings and what feelings they are really feeling, and what other people may feel that they are feeling at times, properly recognizing the emotional expressions of others, and how to hold emotions stemming from the amygdala led “reptilian” brain in check, through training our prefrontal cortex to “catch” habitual patterns of upset, anxiety, fear, sadness, & anger, have what is now called a higher EQ, or Emotional Intelligence Quotia.
[ Explanation Sidebar – Was that last sentence long enough? Understanding emotion should start before school age and gives your children competitive advantage in their world, and a chance for happier relationships with their peers, their marriages, their parents and their children. ]
People who have a better understanding of emotional intelligence, and how emotions are recognized, patterned and socially acceptable, will have much advantage over other people who lack these skills. For years, our educational systems have looked at the “IQ” of math, language, and intellectual skills. And these are important. But in the real world, wiser employers and business analysts, and more wise sexual mates, are looking beyond a level of intelligence that is expected, and toward the social skills necessary to carry the “clan” to excellence and more permanence.
We give our best so our children will have their best chance at “the good life”.
Emotional intelligence extends beyond what we might term as common sense. It is a recognition that everything from memory is better reinforced through emotional experiences. And because memories are linked to emotional experiences, understanding will lead to knowing when and which emotions need to be stimulated to lead a person, self or significant other, toward healthier resolutions, greater alternative solutions, and advanced leadership through empathy, as well as correct decision making.
Amazingly, Does it seem that our emotions may seem to drive us into fear, anxieties, depressions, aggressions, and other negative impacts? Fight or flight response has been linked and habituated into so many action/reaction incidences. But, unless there have been certain surgical cuts, disconnecting the limbic system parts from our cortex structure, or parasites cysting in our brains, (and these are very rare), we can train alternative responses to previous stimuli, and future stimuli. We can have fun recognizing what triggers people in which direction, (especially ourselves), and how to be a friend, by helping buds with alternative responses to stuff that might otherwise drive them “nuts”.
Not just for children: This emotional recognition might be just the course of study which may impact your life as no other has until now. From better study skills to better sex, from closer relationship with your God to knowing which choices to work towards and which to best flee, from reducing procrastination to empowering delegation, emotional intelligence will be one of the skills you need to better balance life and experience it to the fullest.
One key to emotional intelligence is timing. The earlier we can begin teaching emotional recognition, and response, the further ahead a child, or an adult can lead themselves and others. Even in Fifth Grade in the New Haven Social Competence Promotion Program, evaluated in New Haven Public Schools, grades 1-5, impulse control is displayed on a “stoplight poster”. Red Light – 1. Stop, Calm down, and Think before you act. Yellow – 2. Say the problem and how you feel. 3. Set a positive goal. 4. Think of lots of solutions. 5. Think ahead to the consequences. Green Light – 6. Go ahead and try the best plan. (Thanks & a Hat Tip: Daniel Goleman and Roger Weissberg)
[ Sidebar – I advise that you enjoy reading Daniel Goleman’s best seller: “Emotional Intelligence – Why it Can Matter More Than IQ”. The book has more info than the audio, but I have done both. ]
What is marvelous is that with the right skill sets, we can understand where our emotions come from. We can understand why we act and react as we do. We can own our past and if necessary, thank it and bid it good bye. We can then move forward with use of our emotions for better learning environments, for easier learning and application of things learned, and to feel alive in ways we really want to feel alive!
If you would be interested in learning more about emotional intelligence and how it will enhance your love life, your spiritual life, your career, and your health, send me an email to my personal firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below. I would be interested in knowing if there is a group of us who would be interested in a group study, and group interaction via Skype, or teleconference, and/or a curriculum developed for better use of emotional intelligence at home and in the workplace. Learning is best achieved when we share, and by teaching each other the lessons we just learned!
God Bless All, ChuckyT