The Benefits of Emotional IntelligenceWritten by Susan Dunn, MA, Emotional Intelligence Coach
While we all, at some level, understand that we’re motivated by pain and pleasure, it’s amazing how we can learn, especially in our Western culture, to ignore concomitant fact that moving toward pleasure makes us feel good, and is good for our health, while moving toward pain does opposite.
Yes, “no pain no gain” has its place. It fits for cognitive learning experiences, like struggling to learn a new language, or new theory; and physical endeavors, like weight lifting and increasing your ability to jog, but when it comes to emotional experiences, we don’t benefit from negative. It takes a tremendous toll.
One of immediate goals of emotional intelligence is to increase your self-awareness. Not to point where you spend all your time analyzing yourself and looking inward, but enough so you can assess quickly your emotional states, and, more importantly, cost they have for you.
WHAT DO YOU FEEL?
At rudimentary level, you can learn by asking yourself several times a day, “How am I feeling?” Don’t answer it superficially, but rather at level of how you’re feeling physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. In this way, you can learn physiological signals to your own emotions. For instance, I have talked with people who didn’t realize their stomach was “in knots” because it always had been, and that’s way they thought it should be. Or you may not connect that sudden pain in your neck with proper antecedent. I remember driving back to town with a friend after a weekend away, and as we got closer to home, she started talking about her boyfriend, and not in very positive ways. As she did, she started stroking, twisting and ‘cracking’ her neck, which was evidently getting tighter due to fact that her boyfriend was sounding to me, at any rate, like proverbial “pain in neck,” though she wasn’t aware of it until I put two together for her. Up to that point in trip she had been pain-free. This is not a good sign re: relationship!
WHERE DO YOU FEEL IT?
When you begin to recognize physical signs quickly, you can do what it takes to protect yourself. We say that certain people “drain us,” and this means drain important energy we could be using elsewhere to better advantage.
WHY DO YOU FEEL IT?
The next step is to ask yourself WHY you feel that way. Emotions are often complex and when you learn to sort through them, you find that some variables that contribute to them can be changed or avoided, such as being too hot, or too lonely; but that in other cases, there’s nothing you can change, such as a person or situation that continually drains your energy. No matter how else you’re feeling, even if you’re completely rested and feeling great, you find this person or situation always has same result. In that case, if toll is high, and you pay price every time, wise choice would be to eliminate this situation or person.
How Distressing is Social Phobia?Written by Michael G. Rayel, MD
I remember a friend in college who would blush, sweat, and tremble when required by a teacher to speak in class. A few weeks before presentation, he’d be anxious, agitated, and couldn’t sleep. Because I was still a student then, I didn’t have any clue what he was going through. But I knew that something was terribly wrong.
A few years ago while in airport, I noticed a man who’d wait for everyone to leave washroom before he’d use urinal. He wasn’t comfortable that someone would see him urinate.
In retrospect, I can say (now that I’m a psychiatrist) that those two individuals might have suffered from Social Phobia or Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). I just hope that they are doing well now but symptoms that they manifested at time were consistent with this devastating illness.
How bad is Social Phobia or SAD?
Social Phobia or SAD is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by extreme fear, anxiety, or distress when exposed to a social gathering or when doing something before a group of people.
Public speaking is most common situation that exposes individual’s social fears. An individual suffering from this disorder develops significant anxiety symptoms such as sweating, fast heart beat, tremulousness, and restlessness when making a presentation or giving a minor talk. Even small corporate or committee meetings can cause grave distress.
Urinating in public washrooms, eating in fast food restaurants, writing in front of people or signing documents in a bank can also trigger feelings of fear and discomfort. Individuals with this illness are preoccupied with being embarrassed or criticized by others. Some patients feel that people are so focused on them and are only waiting for blunders to happen.