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  • Writer's pictureCraig Ali

Building Emotional Intelligence

Updated: Jun 7, 2021

It has been a challenging few months that we have all faced whilst for some it has also been nice to have a slower pace of life. However it has hit us, it definitely has it’s challenges moving forward for all of us but we also have the capacity to deal with this and one of the key factors that will help us deal with these stressors is our attitude. A couple of quotes that remind me of this are from psychiatrist and holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl:

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

Below I have also shared the fundamental pillars of mindfulness that I have used to help me and my clients over the years when faced with challenges. You may not want to be in these attitudes all of the time but I find they never fail me when I am finding something challenging. See how they work for you.

Beginners Mind: The world is about to move into the next phase of transitions with this pandemic and some things will never be the same as they were. While this can create a lot of stress and anxiety, we can also try to see this as a chance to innovate, learn and improve. Some people will also be feeling negative about going back to the way things were. By adopting an attitude of beginners mind, this can help us notice the potential in change or the novelties in our daily routines. Notice when you are falling into old unwanted habits and break that cycle with some new choices. Or notice when you contract with fear, worry, anxiety when facing new beginnings and see if you can open up to the potential opportunities.

Patience: Very rarely do things move at the pace that we like it to. Our striving nature wants it all to move faster and take us towards our goals or away from discomfort as quickly as possible. Patience can ease the suffering by not needing things to change right now, being ok with where we are at and can help provide us with resilience to deal with whatever is present.

Non- Judgement: One of the hardest things to do in life is not to judge. We do it all day long and at times we need to. We need to make a quick judgement when driving, we need to weight things up and make a quick decision, we need to make judgements on people to gauge if we can trust them etc. Our judging mind is very useful but just like everything when talking about wellbeing, we need this to be in the right balance. How quick are we to judge people for one act or ourselves for that matter. How often do we compare ourselves to others and their achievements unreasonably? Non-judgement is an attitude that can save us from the constant torture that we put ourselves through and open us up to others in a curious manner.

Non-Striving: This interlinks very closely with patience. Our striving nature helps us move forward, gain achievements, more resources, take our lives in a new direction and make a difference to others. Striving is a fundamental part of the human experience and very much a part of the pleasure of being human. BUT if we don’t come out of it at the right times and take ourselves into soothing then we head for burnout and neurosis. Non-striving is essential for the striving to work, just like rest is for exercise. We don’t gain the physiological changes in the body when exercising, it’s during the recovery period and this can often be the same with striving and non-striving. We reap the benefits of our striving once we have taken the foot of the gas, move into recovery mode and we are open to receive rather than head down and getting on with it.

Acceptance: Unfortunately there are some things in life that we just need to accept and if we don’t then we cannot move forward or gain any control of our lives. This doesn’t mean lay back and accept everything that is thrown at us but we know when ‘it is what it is’ and a situation is no longer in our control. Then we can channel our focus and intentions in the right areas rather than wasting energy on those that we can’t accept or control.

Trust: Sometimes we have to trust that we have done enough, that we have put the work in and let it unfold in it’s own time. Sometimes we have to trust that WE are enough! The more that we trust ourselves, the more we fall into awareness and intuition that can lead us into a state of flow. Yes, we need to strive, judge, work hard, get the head down and create opportunities but then we need to trust that the hard work will pay off or that we will be ok no matter what happens. We have to trust that we have the resilience and insight to deal with what life throws at us, we just need to get out of our own way!

Letting Go: Letting go is not detachment. Letting go is an awareness that nothing is permanent, we cannot control anything but our thoughts, attitudes and actions, we cannot hold onto things or people too tightly. Letting go is loosening the grip so you can open up to everything and everyone and love fully!

If you would like to embody these attitudes and understand how regulate your mind and emotions in any circumstance you may be interested in our Embodied Practitioner Course

To your health, Craig

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