5 Ways To Upgrade Your Emotional Intelligence

When most of us think of intelligence, we associate it with IQ – how smart a person is. And that’s true, but intellectual intelligence isn’t the only type of intelligence we possess. Let’s talk about emotional intelligence – what it is and how we can become more emotionally resilient to face the challenges and struggles of life. Here are 5 ways to upgrade your emotional intelligence so you can enjoy relationships and life more.

5 Ways To Upgrade Your Emotional Intelligence - Red Candle

Emotional intelligence, or resiliency, is the ability to cope with the ups and downs of life that we all go through. The degree to which we possess emotional intelligence, will most certainly factor into how we adapt to, and even thrive, in adverse circumstances. It also factors in to how we relate to difficult people. 

Here are 5 ways to upgrade your emotional intelligence and resiliency: 

1. Contemplative prayer: This type of prayer is my favorite. It’s simply sitting in quiet awareness and presence with ourselves and divine love, God’s very essence and being. It’s being fully present to the NOW in heart, mind, and body, without judgement or analysis. Our emotional skillset begins with an awareness to what is.

Contemplative prayer is about developing a new consciousness – a new way of thinking.  This type of non-verbal prayer focuses on bringing the thinking and calculating mind, down into the heart, the very center of our being, where we notice our thoughts and feelings without attaching judgement or duality. We live in a dualistic world where everything has its opposite: good or bad, fair or unjust, pleasing or disgusting.

During contemplative prayer, we accept our feelings, both good and bad, without identifying with them. Feelings are fickle, they come and go. Feelings are not trustworthy. During a contemplative practice, we acknowledge our thoughts and feelings, attach a name to them, and then lovingly let them go by envisioning them floating down a river away from us.

Contemplative prayer, also called centering prayer, puts down new grooves in our brains. We all get stuck in thought patterns. In fact, most people have a handful of thoughts that they think repeatedly, due to these automatic grooves that get wired in our brains. This is why older people talk about the same subjects over and over again. I bet you have a grandparent that has told the same stories for years…

If you commit to a contemplative practice for 20 minutes everyday, you will gain a new clarity in regard to what to pray for in your verbal prayers, along with creative solutions to the problems you’re facing.  You’ll also feel less stress, while deepening your connection to God and an inter-connectness to all humanity.

We hear better from God when we’re in a place of surrender, rather than striving. Contemplative prayer is an act of surrender where we enter a new realm of freedom and pure grace where love abounds. “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalms 46:10). The word “still in this context means to “cease striving,” to “surrender,” to “stop fighting.” This is the contemplative mind.

2. Acceptance: Next comes acceptance. We must first come to an awareness (reality check) of what we are facing before we can fully accept our circumstances.  Denial, procrastination, and viewing life with rose-colored glasses, isn’t helpful when faced with challenging situations. Accepting what is is an important step in developing emotional resiliency.

If you can change the situation, do so, if you can’t, accept that this is the reality you are facing at this time. Trying to change something that isn’t within your power to change, doesn’t help anyone, and will only exhaust you in the process. Use that energy somewhere else where you are more likely to achieve breakthrough.

Not accepting what is happening is futile, kind of like swimming upstream. No progress is made. It’s actually very freeing to accept what is, and move forward from there. Disappointment is the result of unmet expectations. Manage your expectations by accepting what is, and you’ll have less disappointment.

3. Extend grace to others and to yourself: Grace is unmerited favor given to us by God, along with His life, righteousness, and power. It is through this marvelous gift that God is able to change our hearts. Changed hearts lead to changed lives, this is why we are instructed to guard our hearts. Grace is receiving what we don’t deserve.

Every single person on this planet is struggling with something. Get good at giving people grace. It will come back to you. This isn’t to say that we repeatedly tolerate bad behavior, it’s that we extend grace out of love to people who are trying their best, but fail to miss the mark. We all fall into this category.

Don’t forget to wrap yourself in grace. Stop being hard on yourself. Ditch perfection and the need to be a certain way. Get things done, but don’t hold yourself to an unreasonable standard. In light of eternity, most of the things we fixate on on a daily basis, don’t really matter. 

We can all extend grace to others, while keeping our boundaries firm, which is the best way to give grace to ourselves. We are stewards over our own lives. One of the best ways to steward our lives well is to set and maintain firm boundaries. Say the loving “No” often. Remember that everything you say no to you are saying yes to something else. And vice versa. Time is our most precious commodity so be judicious in what you commit to.

4. Embrace a healthy perspective: Hard times don’t last forever. The Bible says: “And it came to pass,” not “it came to stay.” This means that all things end, eventually whatever it is you’re going through, will end. Another way to say “And it came to pass,” is “it is finally over.” Take heart when you hear those words.

The problems we face in life are not easy – some will shake us to our very core. Adversity is one of the best teachers. It’s how God gets our attention and purifies our hearts. We learn some of our most precious and priceless lessons when we’re in the refiner’s fire.

Don’t waste your trials, learn from them and embrace the gifts they leave behind. Have faith that in the midst of your darkest hours, the lights will eventually go back on. This life, in the grand scheme of things, is a momentary blip on your timeline. Remembering that will give you the strength and perseverance you need to continue on. 

5. Find your tribe. Connection with others is so key for our lives to be rich and meaningful. Nurturing relationships improve our physical, emotional, and mental health. They help us regulate our emotions and self-esteem, and give us a healthier perspective and more realistic outlook to life.

Develop relationships with people who “see” you, who are validating, and whom you come away from enriched. The world today is in a state of disconnection. We need to re-establish this vital piece if we want to be emotionally, and otherwise, healthy. Make nurturing relationships a priority. They really are the secret sauce. 

Emotional resiliency is not a magic wand that prevents problems or makes them go away. We all experience stress and strain, and will continue to do so as long as we’re on this earth. The gift of resiliency allows us to face our problems more effectively, and without crumbling under the weight of whatever it is we’re going through. We’re better able to roll with the punches, instead of crumbling underneath their weight.

Follow the tips above to develop your emotional intelligence and teach others to do the same. The world would be a much gentler place to live in if we all upgraded our emotional intelligence. 

5 Ways To Upgrade Your Emotional Intelligence - Holly

What practices do you put in place to increase your resiliency? Please share below…

P.S. If you’re ready to join a powerful, transformative community where women can heal and connect,

click here to join my private Facebook page

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Translate »