How to Get HappinessWritten by Susan Dunn, MA, Emotional Intelligence Coach
I’m a coach who works with clients on personal and professional development issues. While no client has ever specifically asked me to help them become “happier,” I think it’s purpose, yes? Our goals, plans and dreams are all designed to make us happier.
But what happens when we achieve a goal? Well, have you ever talked to someone who finally got a book published, or won a political campaign, found partner they wanted, had new baby, or got big promotion and found them somewhat down in dumps after a week or so?
It’s a law of physics and a law of emotions that what goes up must come down. We need our successes, and certainly to have our goals and to reach them. This makes life interesting, allows us to explore ourselves and our potentials and talents, gives us a livelihood, and enriches our lives. We celebrate our successes with great joy and happiness, but this can only be a temporary state. What then?
Authentic and lasting happiness is a state of being not a state of mind. It must come from inner states, not external events. When you develop your emotional intelligence, you’re more likely to achieve this state. It allows you to conduct yourself in happiness, in a positive state, through all ups and downs of life.
Why develop your emotional intelligence? As W. L. Shirer wrote, “Most true happiness comes from one’s inner life, from disposition of mind and soul. Admittedly, a good inner life is hard to achieve, especially in these trying times. It takes reflection and contemplation and self-discipline.”
These are all emotional intelligence competencies which you can develop. It’s well worth your time. Instead of focusing on “time management,” or “stress management,” or “leadership,” or “communication,” go to foundational level and develop your emotional intelligence. Instead of taking a part, grab whole. It will keep you off “pleasure roller coaster,” where you expect momentary highs to last forever, or to sustain you through inevitable challenges.
If you expect highs to continue indefinitely, you’re going to be disappointed. You have to be able to appreciate, as well, slow days, calm days, boring days, and ordinary day because on some days that’s reality, and all we have is day we have. You can stay present, instead of going into future or back into past.
The Key to a Great RelationshipWritten by Susan Dunn, MA Psychology, Emotional Intelligence Coach
We all want great relationships but they seem so elusive. What can you to strengthen yours? The key is communication, but try taking it up a notch. Communicate at all levels with your partner – emotional, mental, physical and spiritual.
Make time for communication with your partner, and remember that greatest gift you can give someone else is to listen to them. Here are some tips for listening with love.
GIVE YOUR UNDIVIDED ATTENTION
This means look at your partner, quiet background noise, and rid your mind of distractions. Don’t be thinking about your day, or thinking about what you’re going to say – next, or ever. Just still your mind, and make it receptive for taking in what other person has to say.
ASK ABOUT FEELINGS
Ask you partner how they’re feeling, but include all levels – emotional, mental, physical and spiritual. This will help them get in touch with their center, and will also bring you closer to know how they’re feeling in all areas.
INDICATE WITH NONVERBAL EXPRESSIONS THAT YOU ARE GENUINELY INTERESTED
In doing this, you will generate interest. It’s not always easy to listen to what your partner has to say. You may have heard this, or another version, many times before. Often we have recurring things at work, for instance, that we need to talk about. Maintain active eye contact, add “uh huh” or “really?” or “oh my” from time-to-time, and try your best to keep still. Fidgeting may not mean you’re not interested, but it may be taken that way.
Learn to express love and concern on your face. It’s very important. This is natural when you look at your baby, for instance. Your heart melts … your eyes soften … you can’t help a big smile. Give this gift to your partner. Show that you love them. It’s in eyes, first and foremost.
It’s also nice to add, “I love you,” or “I enjoy listening to you talk.” These reassurances are loving, and can’t be overused.
MAKE IT YOUR PARTNER’S TIME TO TALK
It’s better if you can take turns. This will allow your partner time to talk it out completely, without you feeling pressure to get on to your turn, and your concerns. In a good relationship, you can be sure your turn will come.
DO “TALK STORY”
This is a Polynesian term for a special kind of communication between two lovers. It means couple sets aside a special time and one partner just talks and talks until they are through. It can go on for quite a long time. The other person just listens. This is harder than it may sound at first, but you can develop habit, and it will greatly enrich your relationship.