Do you often feel physically and mentally drained? Do you desire to be happy and successful in your physical, mental and spiritual life? Then you will need to develop your emotional intelligence. Why is it important to develop your emotional intelligence? Developing your emotional intelligence will aid you in building stronger relationships, thereby aiding you to succeed in your physical, mental and spiritual life. This is because good, strong relationships are the building blocks of success in any arena of life, including physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.
There are five pillars that underpin emotional intelligence, namely: know your feelings, control your emotions, explore the incentives of controlling your emotions, recognize other people’s emotions and manage your relationships. All these five pillars are related and are interconnected.
LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE
When you feel physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually tired, then it is advisable to turn to laughter. Laughter is, after all, the best medicine. The famous American writer, Mark Twain is quoted as saying: “The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.”
Chances are that the reason you are feeling physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually tired is because of another human being. We are human. And all humans have faults and weaknesses that, if allowed, can drive someone absolutely insane! So how can you possibly get along with individuals who are guaranteed to either irritate or hurt you deeply simply because they are human? Well, you will be glad to know that laughter is a great way of coping with this problem. Do not take things too seriously. More often than not, you just need to simply laugh away the irritations, rudeness, in considerations and imperfections of the various individuals you relate with. Also, you actually need to learn to chuckle or giggle or snicker at yourself every now and then!
One way of laughing at yourself is by playing the “Time Travel Game”. When something negative occurs, ask yourself “Will this matter tomorrow? Two days from now? Next week? Next month? Two months from now? Next year? Next decade? Next century? The more dire the situation, the more time you will have to add. For instance, if your son or daughter or your employee spills red juice onto your favorite dress or shirt or blouse, ruining it completely, take a moment and ask yourself: “Will this calamity matter tomorrow?”
Probably yes, if it was a shirt or dress or blouse that was a gift from your loved one. “Will this calamity matter next week? Not that much. Will this calamity matter next month? It probably will not. Will this calamity matter next century? A ruined dress or shirt or blouse mattering the next century? Why that’s laughable! The game helps you to put things in perspective and to, therefore, react in an emotionally intelligent way to negative situations and negative people.
Laughter does help to defuse volatile situations. Laughter does allow you to accept people and to forgive them. Laughter IS the most potent medicine for healing broken relationships.
Humor is useful for dealing with the challenges of life. It is a natural antidote to problems and it can lighten your burden and assist you to keep things in the correct perspective. Humor is also helpful when you want to communicate issues that are hard to talk about. Appropriate humor can make challenging discussions go smoothly and can take the burn out of a hard truth or harsh evidence.
One of the most potent spiritual healing practices is unconditional love or agape love. This is the kind of love where there are no strings attached. It is the kind of love you show people without expecting them to do anything in return or even expecting them to love you back. If you do your best to love individuals with unconditional love, then you will notice that your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health will start to improve.
The majority of the relationship and spiritual problems that people experience stem from the selfish and defensive attitude of “what will I get out of this?” With unconditional love, you say to the individuals you relate with “I will love you unconditionally simply because you are a very valuable individual. I do not want anything from you except just to love you unconditionally.”
So how can you go about loving people unconditionally? You can do this by changing your mind about love. Love is not a feeling. Rather, it is an action. Your feelings will constantly change. If your plan is to wait for the individuals you relate with to give you a “lovey-dovey” feeling before you can begin loving them unconditionally, then do not expect to ever love these people unconditionally.
However, if you embrace the concept of love being an action rather than a feeling and then make the decision to love people even when you do not feel like giving them unconditional love, then you will definitely succeed in developing your capacity to love people unconditionally!
Evidence has shown that to maintain physical, emotional and spiritual health, you have to know how to relate to other individuals in a caring way and in a loving way. Doctor Dean Ornish’s 1997 work titled: “Love and Survival. The Scientific Basis for the Healing Power of Intimacy” chronicles some of the findings.
He writes: “…love and intimacy are at the root of what makes us sick and what makes us well… I am not aware of any factor in medicine — not diet, not smoking, not stress, not genetics, not drugs, not surgery—that has a greater impact on our quality of life, the incidence of illness and premature death from all causes.”
The ability to set boundaries is definitely one of the key traits of a person who is physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually healthy. If you desire to have fulfilling relationships and peace of mind, you must acquaint yourself with the word “No”. Just because you relate to certain people does not mean you have to say yes to everything they ask of you.
If you constantly say yes, you will over-stretch yourself then resent these people who are asking too much of you. And overstretching yourself will lead to stress, which lowers your immunity, which in turn leaves you open to diseases. Learn to say ‘no’ when it is required and you will see improvement in your relationships and in your general well-being.
In his book, Myron Rush, the writer of ‘Burnout’ tells the story of Wally Ferguson. Wally was a hardworking businessman but as his business grew, Wally refused to say ‘no’ to the day-to-day details of running his business. He was the janitor, the maintenance crew and even the secretary! What was the result of this? He burnt out and ended up selling his business. Burnout is usually a clear indicator that you have not been taking care of your physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health.
If you want to have fulfilling relationships with the people in your life and good mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health, then begin by saying ‘no’ to the minors. How can you say no to the minors? Well, the Pareto Principle can assist you in doing this. The Pareto Principle – which is also known as the 80/20 rule – says that eighty percent of your success/ happiness/well-being will come from twenty percent of your activities.
This principle applies to all the different areas of life. For instance, twenty percent of a book will contain eighty percent of the important information. In the area of relationships – whether professional or personal – the Pareto Principle also applies. For example, twenty percent of your workers will do eighty percent of the work. In your personal life, bear in mind that only twenty percent of the individuals you interact with will contribute eighty percent to your well-being.
Twenty percent of your relatives and friends will contribute eighty percent to your well-being. When you keep the Pareto Principle in mind, it will become easy to say ‘no’ to the other eighty percent of your relatives, colleagues or friends who only contribute twenty percent of the positive aspects in your life. This does not mean that you should ignore the latter category. It just means that you should say no to these people when you do not have enough time or money. You cannot assist everyone! You have to say no to some individuals some of the time. The Pareto principle will assist you to know who to say no to when you are required to set some boundaries.
Another way of saying no is by refusing to carry people’s issues and problems. Why is saying ‘no’ to carrying other people’s issues important if you want to have great relationships with them? Well, first, you cannot carry everyone’s problems! In fact, you can’t even afford to carry one other person’s issues because you have enough issues of your own!
Secondly, if you decide to carry someone else’s issues, you will very soon discover that you can’t possibly solve all of them. Furthermore, you may burn out. All this will result in you feeling resentful, used and stressed out, which will, in turn, create even more issues for you to carry, not to mention the fact that it will definitely jeopardize your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health plus the relationships with the individuals in your life!
Setting boundaries, especially by saying no will reduce the stress in your life. You don’t have to say no all the time. However, you do need to set boundaries and say no when it is necessary. This will protect you from any toxicity that may compromise your spiritual, mental, physical and emotional well-being. It will also contribute to your emotional growth and development.
Being humble and having peace of mind are two sides of the same coin. It takes so much energy – physical energy, mental energy, emotional energy and even financial energy – to be proud instead of humble. For example, are you aware that desire to keep up with the Jones’ reveals that you lack humility? What are you attempting to prove to the Jones’? Are you perhaps trying to prove that you are superior or better than them?
And if you are, then are you practicing humility? Another way that you may have displayed a lack of humility is when you keep a record – whether mental or on pen and paper – of all the ‘good’ things you have done and all the bad things that different people have done to you.
Do you want to know how to grow mentally stronger? Well, the very first thing you must do is become humble. Be humble enough to accept that you do not know everything. Be humble enough to let go of grudges and distractions such as keeping up with the latest trends. When you let go of these things which take a lot of mental energy and space to maintain, then you free up your mind and you begin to grow mentally stronger. It is no coincidence that many of the people known for their strong mental minds – such as monks – have mastered the art of being humble.Spread the Love