Emotional Intelligence or Emotional Quotient: Part 2 of 4

Emotional Facilitation of Thought

Practice distinguishing between what you are thinking and what you are feeling. They are not always one and the same, and we need to recognize this in order to clearly express and understand where our feelings are coming from.

View setbacks as short-lived. Whenever you are feeling overwhelmed and find yourself plunging into negativity, remind yourself that things can get better. If you’re having a hard time in a class you’re taking, for example, or you’re having relationship problems, look at it as temporary. Whatever the situation, you can take proactive steps to deal with the underlying issues. Even if you are faced with something that you will have to deal with for a lifetime (like a health problem or family issue), there is always some way to improve the situation. You will grow stronger, heal, or find better ways to cope.

Refuse to be a victim. Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman, renowned author and noted expert on positive psychology, states that the feeling of being a victim leads to learned helplessness. If you blame your problems on other people or circumstances, you will avoid taking personal responsibility for your life. While it may be true that there are things beyond your control, the majority of what happens in your life is up to YOU. Life may throw you many curveballs, but it is you who decides how you’ll react to them.

Don’t brush aside your gut instinct or intuition. Gut instinct is that voice in your head, that warning bell, that’s trying to tell you that something isn’t right. Some refer to it as a sixth sense. Whatever the label, it can offer us valuable information if we take a moment to listen. Those who ignore this inner voice can often end up regretting it. This doesn’t mean that logic has no benefits. The perfect balance, in fact, would be to think a situation through, and then going with what feels right.

The good and the bad. Both good and bad feelings facilitate the thinking process by allowing us to view things from different perspectives. Did you ever notice how, when thinking pessimistically about a problem, you come up with solutions that are in line with that thinking, and when you think positively, the perspective and solutions change? Our feelings, good and bad, offer us different perspectives on the world. While one perspective may be more beneficial than the other, both angles offer us valuable information about the world around us, and about ourselves.

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