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How We Become More Emotionally Intelligent

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You went to school. You earned certifications. You’ve passed boards, you’ve passed licensing exams. You’ve worked hard to join a team, start a practice, and become a recognized professional in your field. You didn’t get there on smarts alone. However, it took a certain amount of intelligence to study, to practice, to organize, to manage, and to create the life you’re living today. Throughout that process, there is one form of intelligence you may not have gained: emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence can be defined as “the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.” We learn in treatment that there is a difference between our thinking mind and our feeling mind. For professionals who have had to dedicate years of their lives to academia and certification studies, our thinking mind often prevails. Each of us is separated from our feeling mind for different reasons, which can include personality, upbringing, or trauma. People with high intelligence commonly struggle with their emotional side. Intellectually, they feel they choose and manage their emotions by rationalizing them, compartmentalizing them, and overall suppressing them. What we come to find is that emotions can be suppressed, by they can not be erased. Our emotional energy piles up until, like a kettle reaching boil, there is nowhere left for the pressure to build. One way or another, our emotions come out. Since we’ve never taken the time to learn how to manage our emotions, the result is usually a bit messy.

Treatment helps us learn how to become as emotionally intelligent as we are intellectually intelligent. We learn how to:

  • Set healthy boundaries with people who trigger us emotionally.
  • Learn how to identify, articulate, and express our emotions fully, without suppressing them.
  • Explore our emotions and emotional triggers instead of respond to them with anger, denial, or harmful coping mechanisms.
  • Excuse ourselves from moments of conflict and give ourselves space to calm down when we are triggered instead of escalating a situation.
  • Respond to people instead of react to people.
  • Look outside of ourselves to the guidance for others to understand emotional reactions which confuse us.
  • Pause before responding.
  • Take time to collect ourselves, and be the first to reach out to the other party for peacemaking when a conflict goes south.
  • Practice gratitude, empathy, and compassion in our lives.
  • Utilize tools like mindfulness and meditation to regulate our emotions and continue building our emotional intelligence.

You can recover by confronting the issues in your life affecting you professionally, mentally, and physically. Call the Center For Professional Recovery today for information on our treatment programs and services: 855-422-4129

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