and how can they help us improve our EQ?
We often find ourselves upset when things don't turn out the way we expected.
More often than not we have had nothing to do with the outcome. Although we may have contributed, sometimes circumstances, other people or just plain bad luck have played a part. Whatever the reason, we feel bad. Depending on the consequences, we could even be in a state of stress and anxiety which is not good for our health or wellbeing.
We have thrust ourselves into a state because of our thinking.
Shakespeare’s Hamlet said, “....a thing is neither good nor bad but thinking makes it so….” Clearly, for all of us, our thinking impacts our feelings.
The philosophy of Buddha teaches that “desire is the cause of all suffering”. This again tells us that the desire for a particular outcome has created unhappiness in ourselves because what we wanted did not come to pass.
In our state of unhappiness or anxiety it may seem over simplistic just to say, ‘calm down it is all in your mind’, but it is actually true.
We know from neuroscientific research that we cannot just rationalise ourselves out of our state of anxiety, nor does telling ourselves to calm down work. Our brain is wired differently - the frontal cortex which controls rational thought is bypassed and we are driven by the primitive brain - the amygdala.
We need to calm down by managing our breathing, forcing us to change our physiological state that balances the dopamine and adrenaline levels in our body thereby putting us in a state of relaxed alertness. Once we have done this we can then deal with our thoughts and feelings exactly along the lines of Buddha and Shakespeare.
In a state of calmness we can look at the situation more objectively. We can give our full attention to the issue at hand. In doing this, we will be seen by others as having a higher level of Emotional Intelligence.
The next time you’re upset by something – breathe deeply 8 to 10 times to calm your heart rate and then think about the wisdom of Shakespeare and Buddha before you discuss the problem. The people around you will love your approach and the decision making will be clearer and less emotional.