Did you know Emotional Intelligence is the top-rated soft skill of the 21st century?
So, what is emotional intelligence? EI is the ability of an individual to understand, manage, and regulate emotions, thereby allowing an effective exchange of thoughts and feelings. Though the term “EI” was coined in the ’90s, its relevancy dates to the start of civilization. Modern psychological research has provided us with some brief insights into this domain, but let’s understand its significance from an ancient standpoint.
What does Vedic science say?
Ayurveda describes two types of “Prakritis,” namely “Deha Prakriti” and “Manas Prakriti.” Deha Prakriti refers to the composition of our bodies, whereas manas Prakriti refers to the composition of our minds. A balanced development of Prakriti is crucial. Just as the Tridoshas of Deha Prakriti, the Manas Prakriti of an individual could be determined by the predominance of Trigunas, namely Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas.
Sattva: Its characteristics include consciousness, pleasure, lightness, and mental clarity. It is responsible for cognitive and sensitive perception.
Rajas: Movement, energy, and stimulation prevail in the Rajas guna. They are the most active of all. Desire and fickle-mindedness are obtained as a result of this guna.
Tamas: Its characteristics include heaviness and resistance. Its preponderance can cause disturbances in the perception and functioning of the mind. Laziness, lethargy, apathy, and delusion can stem from it.
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The predominance of one of these asserts the type of Prakriti of a Manushya (human). Understanding our Prakriti can help us determine our lack of either of the components of EI.
What are the components of Emotional Intelligence?
Let’s look at the five components of EI from an Ayurvedic perspective.
Ayurveda preaches conscious interpretation of one’s feelings, thoughts, and actions with objectivity. This expedition cultivates self-awareness, an integral component and the steppingstone of EI. Once aware, we gain the power to flip the switch from reaction to response and take charge.
At this stage, the implementation of our own behavioral knowledge begins. In accordance with Ayurveda, self-regulation is an activity where we actively make an effort to work on the healthy outlet of our emotions while practicing self-compassion.
Our lifestyle affects our drive for motivation. This is in turn determined by the balance of Tridoshas. Therefore, in the true sense, motivation in Ayurveda is attained by balance—the universal law of nature. When our inner self harmonizes with the vibe of positivity, an influx of energy is witnessed that is perceived in the forms of optimism and resilience.
A core belief of Ayurveda is our interconnectedness with one another and nature. When we practice empathy, we acquire the ability to pick up on the energies around us. Furthermore, this allows compassion to root in our hearts, and purity blossoms from it.
After the establishment of interconnectedness, it is important to assert that balance may be disrupted because of a lack of social skills. This is the ability to listen actively and communicate verbally as well as non-verbally. Meaningful relationships and great professional choices potentiate well-being. Therefore, it is necessary to be able to develop an understanding and a rapport with your social circle.
An enhancement of all components creates a healthy passage for the efflux of mental ama (toxins) and establishes a balance between mind, body, and soul.
Ways to Enhance/Boost Your EI
• Play Scattergories with your feelings
Every time you go through an emotional turmoil or even feel a weird vibe, try naming it. Happy, sad, numb, angry, disappointed, anything at all! Give it a name. If it doesn’t have any, make one. 😉
• Get an outsider’s perspective
Have a chat with your family, friends, peers, and superiors. Ask them to describe your response to different types of situations. Assess their feedback and watch out for red flags.
• Read compositions
Reading compositions with complex protagonists from a third-person perspective offers clarity, enhances understanding, and has been shown to increase empathy. Furthermore, situational circumstances in plots help us familiarise ourselves with our emotions.
• Think before you speak
This trick will be of higher relevance in professional settings. Every time you respond, frame your thoughts in line and speak with clarity. This will exude confidence and assist in respecting boundaries.
• Practice mindfulness
Dhyana facilitates decluttering. It increases mental acuity and helps build self-awareness. This clarity of mind helps one find answers through the divinity of intuition and insight rather than external stimuli.
There exists a direct correlation between contentment and emotional intelligence. No, it isn’t a workplace-exclusive soft skill. EI is of immense importance at every level of our lives. It assists in stress management, ensures good mental health, and makes communication easier no matter the setting, academic or professional. Not only this, research shows that people with a high IQ and an EQ are bound to be more successful than people with a high IQ but low EQ. Be it the Vedic period or 2022, being emotionally intelligent has never been out of fashion!