Emotional intelligence and health are key to your over all health, wellbeing and life satisfaction. This is because emotional health is the foundation to effective relationships and as social beings we are dependent on others. This dependence is embedded in our physiology. It is deeply ingrained within our pain, pleasure, survival, and growth aspects. Emotional health is part of our physiological, as well as, our psychological beingness. Emotional intelligence has four key aspects: self-awareness, self-regulation, self-determination and other-awareness or relationship management. Each aspect builds upon the previous.
We need to be self-aware, have self-regulation and determination to be able to effectively be other-aware, so we can have fulfilling relationships. Fulfilling relationships are key to our health and life satisfaction. To move from a place of disconnection to self-awareness, from survival mode to personal growth and life satisfaction we need to Befriend our Emotions and connect with our self and live a self-determined life. This in turn supports us to experience fulfilling relationships and life satisfaction. This is not up for debate it is reality.
While we need to build up from self-awareness, developmentally, I will encourage you to begin with self-determination. This is because as adults we are responsible for our own life. It is essential to let go of any thought that it is up to someone else. As an adult you can and are responsible for making decisions for yourself and take responsibility for the outcome. This is the foundation for ownership of your life. So if you are looking for life satisfaction and fulfilling relationships, begin by give yourself permission to claim your own life, to be yourself, to meet your own needs and desires and be responsible for yourself.
Next, identify your needs, preferences, desires and values. What is important to you? This is the process of being self-aware. To be self-aware is the opposite of the disconnection experienced when suppressing and denying emotions. It requires you to slow down and pay attention; this is paying proper attention, to what your body and emotions are telling you. To develop your inner connection, begin by distinguishing between what feels right or comfortable and what does not. This is the first indication of your needs, preferences, desires and values.
Once you have identified your needs, preferences, desires and values you can begin to fulfill them. You can start with one or two, if you like, just start somewhere. If required give yourself permission to meet the chosen needs or desires. Remember to do so respectfully. As you work with your selection and become more comfortable with the process, other needs and desires will reveal themselves. And so your journey continues.
From there you can begin to distinguish between different emotions and what they are trying to tell you. Start with those emotions that are strongly pushing their way into your awareness. Then move onto listening for your emotions before they become so intense. All the emotions have subtle forms, just many of us don’t recognise them.
Self-regulation really becomes important as we tap into suppressed and denied emotions, we can become rather reactive, rather than respectfully responsive. To be respectful of all it is important to respond to your needs, desires and values effectively. If you don’t these physiological and psychological needs will seep out, cause reactions (unconscious actions) with your loosing the power of choice. Self-regulation is foundational to the Power of Choice.
At the same time be patient with yourself as you move from a place of ‘reactive’ action to one of responsive action by choice. You are developing your ability to practice authenticity; your actions align with your intentions, things won’t always go smoothly. Yet you are still moving forward if you keep cycling back to self-determination and focus on improvement.
You need the skills of self-awareness, self-regulation and self-determination before you can learn to manage relationships effectively. These skills promote your ability to be authentic, fulfill your needs and desires plus distinguishing yourself from others. Becoming other aware, recognising others as separate individuals, will enable you to manage your relationships, respectful cooperation relationships based in equality and mutuality, effectively. All of this is embedded in your physiology such that by developing these skills you will become more comfortable, satisfied, healthier and happier. You will enjoy a more satisfying and pleasurable life.