Emotional Intelligence is the ability to cope with emotions (yours and other people’s) in a healthy, non-harmful way. This includes being in tune with your own emotions and allowing yourself to feel all of them while having the tools to respond deliberately to them instead of being hijacked by them.
Emotional Intelligence requires
- the ability to self-reflect and observe
- self-soothing / being able to calm down
- responding with empathy and a certain degree of detachment to other people’s emotions
- healthy boundaries
- the ability to understand others
- non-identification, meaning you are not your thoughts and emotions
- being able to name and express emotions
- feeling instead of suppressing/ numbing
- having developed a strong sense of inner peace that is independent of outside circumstances
Our ‘emotional brain’, the so-called limbic system, reacts faster than the prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain that enables us to reflect and think rationally. Very simplified that means we have to re-pattern our brain, our body and our nervous system after a traumatic event.
Let’s say you had a car accident: you will initially have a stronger reaction on a seemingly dangerous event as the stored emotional reaction happens way faster than the rational ability to accurately assess the situation.