a "RULER" for Emotional Intelligence
So why is my business called Me, You and EQ?
Well EQ stands for Emotional Quotient or Emotional Intelligence and I LOVE this field for the following reasons:
Liberating our Emotional Intelligence is the first step in realising our potential.
Anyone can increase their EQ! It is not a gift from birth like IQ but something we develop. There is no end to how much we can grow.
Building our Emotional Intelligence benefits every facet of our lives!
Take our work and career for example:
Our emotions are an important and universal part of the human experience. All emotions come and go. We cannot expect to be happy 24/7 and our wellbeing is strongly influenced by our ability to accept ALL our emotions - from the joyous to the painful.
"although emotionality has historically been portrayed as the fiery and foolish nemesis of reason and rationality, emotions are fundamental to our ability to function. They motivate us to act, are essential to social interactions, and form the bedrock of our felt sense of morality." - Helen Brown PhD
Emotional Intelligence helps us to do this in a way that allows us to savour the uplifting and feel more equipped to deal with uncomfortable or painful emotions with healthy resilience and constructive reactions.
Emotional Intelligence is defined as:
“a set of skills hypothesized to contribute to the accurate appraisal and expression of emotion in oneself and others, the effective regulation of emotion in self and others, and the use of feelings to motivate, plan, and achieve in one’s life.” - Peter Salovey and John Mayer
I didn't name my business Me, You and EQ with the words in that order just because it rhymes! With Emotional Intelligence the "Me" comes first. Once we develop our self awareness and have a strong understanding of our bodily sensations and emotional impulses, our values, our triggers, our self talk and thinking habits, we are then more skilled at recognising and responding constructively to emotions in others.
Here's a great framework you can follow as you work on your Emotional Intelligence. RULER is an acronym that describes the five key skills of Emotional Intelligence as taught by YALE University:
R - Recognising emotions in oneself and others.
U - Understanding the causes and consequences of emotions
L - Labelling emotions with a nuanced vocabulary
E - Expressing emotions in accordance with cultural norms and social context
R - Regulating emotions with helpful strategies.
The first step is always to recognise that we are having an emotional response. The first clue is most often feelings and sensations in our body - a thumping heart, prickly skin, heat rising, tense muscles, high or low energy, butterflies, trouble holding still, trouble getting moving.... I could go on.
Taking deep breaths can hold you mindfully while these feelings flow and pass. Mindfully breathing allows you to engage your rational brain to determine the exact cause of the emotion. This could be something in the moment, or could even be something that happened earlier in the day that you are sub consciously (or consciously) holding onto and has increased your sensitivity to an otherwise mild trigger.
Labelling your emotion with as much specificity as possible is the next step. Being able to do this is known as Emotional Granularity. Studies have shown people who are able to distinguish the detail of their emotion are 30% more flexible in their emotional regulation and less likely to respond to their challenging emotions in destructive ways.
Don’t be satisfied with “happy”: seek out and use more specific words like “ecstatic,” “blissful” and “inspired.” Learn the difference between “discouraged” or “dejected,” versus the generic “sad.” - Lisa Feldman Barrett PhD
Practicing these first three steps as you go about your day is a powerful way to start increasing your Emotional Intelligence immediately.