Do you practice Emotional Intelligence?

 

“If you will change, everything will change for you. Don’t wait for things to change. Change doesn’t start out there, change starts within …all change starts with you “ Quote by Jim Rohns mentor 

Our mental health plays a major role in how we think, feel and act. Emotional Intelligence is the ability to monitor your emotions and the emotions of others and distinguish between emotions, and use emotional information to guide your thinking, behavior and influence on others. 

It allows us to connect with others, understand ourselves better, and live a more authentic, healthy, and happy life.

We are born hardwired for connection, we deserve to understand ourselves on a fundamental level, and when we do that we are inherently impacting those around us. Here are the five elements of Emotional Intelligence we use to enhance our understanding:

  1. Self awareness – ability to recognize and understand own emotions 
  2. Self regulation – ability to express, regulate and manage own emotions (Self Control) 
  3. Motivation – internal motivation – motivated for personal reasons 
  4. Empathy – sensing others’ feelings and perspective
  5. Social Skills – skills that allow us to interact with others 

Through the journey of growing and enhancing your life you can heighten your emotional intelligence. People who are highly emotionally intelligent aren’t afraid of change they understand it’s in the flow of life, they are committed to quality but also acknowledge that perfection is impossible and they excute curiosity, gratitude, happiness and are open minded. 

As humans we are born highly emotional and social creatures but due to paradigms we can loose that, it’s important to build this mental muscle because being emotionally intelligent will help you connect with others, boost your performance at work, improve your communication skills, become more resilient, and more. It turns out that having a high level of EI can make you successful in just about every aspect of your life.

Tools to enhance your EI

Mindfulness is a tool that enhances all areas of your life, and is extremely important when it comes to EI. Learning to become aware and stay in the present moment will help you along your journey, 

Some tools or reframes can include any of the following : 

  1. Be the observer of how you react to others – being open and accepting of others perceptions 
  2. Self audit – identifying weaknesses and seeing an honest picture of self 
  3. Notice how you react in stressful situations and work on responding and staying cool and calm 
  4. Take responsibility for your own actions 

“ Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change” Jim Rohn quote

Blue Zones- A Culture of Living Longer

Blue Zones- A Culture of Living Longer

What factors do you attribute to your physical wellness? What steps do you take to maximize your health and lifespan?

For centuries, people have obsessed over longevity. Throughout the world, health and the human lifespan are viewed through a variety of lenses. Some consider environment and lifestyle to be a primary factor for longevity, while others focus on science and medicine. Spirituality is another way that groups interpret and enhance health. While the highest potential for human longevity probably lies within all of these concepts, we are often told that our health is predetermined by our genes. However, a Danish study on twins concluded that lifespan for individuals is only about 20% determined by genetics. This research suggests that there is significant potential for us to take control of our health and maximize our longevity through beneficial lifestyle practices.

Blue Zones is a study that was aided by National Geographic. The study has identified several communities throughout the world where people seem to have mastered the art of living longer. Researchers have found that these communities achieve the highest average lifespan, with more people living past the age of 100 than anywhere else in the world. So, what sets these communities apart from others? And since these Blue Zones occur throughout differing parts of the world, what commonalities do they share?

The Blue Zones study concludes that these long-lived communities share some significant traits, all predominantly driven by cultural identity and lifestyle. One such trait is dietary habit. All Blue Zone diets are dominated by plant-based meals, with little to no consumption of processed foods. Meat is part of the diet, but it is consumed sparingly. All of the groups drink coffee every day (coffee enthusiasts rejoice!). Similarly, most of the Blue Zone groups consume 1-2 servings of alcohol each day. People within these zones also share a similar philosophy about food intake. They dine in moderation, typically adhering to a tradition of eating until they feel 80% full. Many do not eat at night.

Another commonality within Blue Zones is a strong sense of purpose. Each of the groups enjoys a rich intrapersonal life where individuals are deeply identified with familial bonds. Psychological studies have long concluded that loneliness and dissociation are terrible for your health. In Blue Zones, communities tend to be smaller and people tend to stay active and connected within them. Where many societies bolster an individualist, isolationist mindset, Blue Zones are characterized by social cohesion. This trait appears to be a recipe for longer lifespans. For example, research suggests that Grandparents who frequently babysit their Grandchildren tend to live longer. Other studies show that an honest commitment to loved ones may lower disease and mortality risk for all family members, young and old. In Okinawa, Japan (a Blue Zone), social cohesion is so important that it has its own name, “Moais”- a group that is bound together for life.

Creating and honoring this deep sense of purpose likely empowers Blue Zoners not only to live longer, but to live with more vitality as well. In the United States, many adults experience a sharp decline in activity after retirement. Researchers believe that staying active after retirement could decrease your risk of mortality by as much as 10%. While numerous factors may contribute to this trend, it’s likely that many Americans experience a loss of fulfillment once their working days are over. Whether it’s through mastering a craft, raising a family, or tending to a farm, the Blue Zone study suggests that having a sense of purpose can increase the quality and length of life. Okinawans refer to it as “Ikigai”, or a reason to wake up in the morning.

Finally, people in Blue Zones always make time to quiet the mind, destress, and go inward. Stress is a known killer. It causes inflammation, chronic disease, and a myriad of other ailments that contribute to early death. Blue Zone populations practice mindfulness and stress management every day. The specific practice varies from place to place, but it is typically engrained in the sociocultural fabric. For example, Okinawans take time to honor their ancestors, while Seventh Day Adventists (another Blue Zone group), use prayer as a means of quieting the mind.

The Blue Zones study concludes that people could increase their lifespan by 10-12 years by adopting the right lifestyle practices. A closer look at Blue Zones may help us examine our own lifestyle practices and assess our connection to health, longevity, and wellness through new eyes.