How to Improve Our Emotional Intelligence

Growing up we were taught that our IQ score would determine how intelligent we are. The higher the IQ the more successful we would be in life.

However, there is more to intelligence than the intellectual level. In fact, most successful leaders, such as billionaire Warren Buffet does not have a higher IQ than the rest of us. Instead he shows a tremendous amount of emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence, (EI) is the ability to control and express our emotions in a clear and well thought out manner, while also having the ability to recognize emotions in others.

Individuals who have high levels of emotional intelligence are good listeners who show empathy to others. They are a person that others seek out for support or advice due to their compassion and open mind. Due to having their emotions under control they are also adaptable to change and able to express themselves clearly.

Now, we may be asking, how do we improve our emotional intelligence?

The best method out there is to practice mindful meditation.

Mindful meditation is being aware and staying in the present moment. In other words, let go of the past and stop thinking about the future. Just simply enjoy and pay attention to this present moment we are in.

According to John Darwin from the Centre for Mindful Life Enhancement, “Regular practice of mindfulness meditation can enhance our ability to understand our own emotions” By calming the mind through meditation, our ability increases to recognize our own emotions.

As we begin to become aware of our emotions, we are able to recognize and control them under intense or upsetting situations. This allows us to think deeply upon our actions and words before subconsciously blurting them out.

This is one of the main reasons why highly emotional intelligent people are more successful in the workplace and build more meaningful and beneficial relationships with others.

The best part is that we can practice mindful mediation any time and any place.

Mindful meditation doesn’t require any special instructions.

Find a comfortable pose in a quiet space and choose any amount of time.

Relax the body, (including facial muscles) and close the eyes. It may be helpful to play calm music or concentrate on the breath, as a tool for staying in the present moment.

Think of daily mediation practice as important as preparing for a meeting or test.

This daily practice will lead to a higher level of emotional intelligence, which only increases our ability to find success and happiness in our lives.

Does the Weather Affect Our Body?

I remember being 8 years old, sitting on the front porch with my grandma on a summer afternoon.

“It’s going to rain,” My grandma spoke out-load as she touched her rigid knees. “I can feel it in my bones.”

I looked down at her wide arthritic fingers rubbing her smooth knees and wondered if she could really feel something…or was just saying things.

My grandma said a lot of things.

“If you don’t clean your ears…corn will start growing out of them.”

“I saw video of what you did on the news.” She matter of factly stated, when she assumed we did something wrong but couldn’t prove it.

“Purple is the color of death.” She said whenever we had anything purple on.

“Put that candy bar down, you’ll get acne.”

So, when my grandma said she could feel the rain in her bones…I seriously doubted it.

Later that night as I was sitting around the coffee table, I began to hear the soft patter of rain hitting the roof of our house.

Bewildered, I got up and peaked through the blinds.

“My grandma is a weather psychic.”

A lot of time has passed since this moment.

I was reminded of it a few days ago when rain began to suddenly down pour here in Phoenix.

A few days before, I noticed that it was painful for me to move my left hand. When I tried making a fist, my hand curled in slowly and it felt tight.

I shrugged it off, chalking it up to too much typing and hoped it would just go away.

But now, as I sat at my desk with the sudden rain drops hitting the window, the memory of my grandmother came into my mind.

I made a fist with my left hand and now found it easier and less painful to do.

“Did I feel the rain coming on?” I thought to myself. “Is this a real thing?”

What is it about the weather that affects our bodies?

While I was hoping the answer would be that I have a magic power, I learned this wasn’t the case.

Oddly enough, the answer is actually due to the barometric pressure.

The pressure change in the air, also changes the pressure on our joints. For this reason, joint pain can occur; especially for those who suffer from arthritis.

The pressure change can cause headaches for people as well.

While there is no “cure” to this barometric pressure phenomenon…luckily, the effects are only temporary.

Preventive Care

If this happens, the best thing to do is to relax our bodies.

If our muscles are tight the pain may increase. For this reason, you will want to keep them loose and comfortable.

Keeping these joints warm with a heating pad or blanket should help reduce pain and also aids in relaxation.

So, next time that feeling of pain sets in, relax and grab the umbrella.

Labor Day in Phoenix

Walking into the Frys grocery store, the red plastic awning was stretched out in front calling customer’s attention from the parking lot.

The closer I approach to the entrance of the automatic sliding doors, the smell of barbeque flows under my nose. The loudspeaker blaring a familiar song that I’m sure has the words, “USA” somewhere….is playing in the air.

The last summer holiday weekend is here and everything you need for a great party is just inside these set of doors. The ribs being cooked outside under the speakers, are just $6.99 a pound.

Thoughts fill my head.

Thick green blades of grass filling up a back yard. A game of friendly competitive cornhole being played among friends drinking out of red solo cups. The smell of that barbeque drifting from the smoky grill, off to the side of the cornhole game.

Kids wearing goggles and floaties along their arms, jumping in unison into a bright blue refreshing pool. At the table on the patio more friends sitting around with their red solo cups, smiling and laughing.

And in this backyard, somewhere in the background, a song playing. A familiar song that you are sure will say USA at some point.

This is how the perfect Labor Day weekend is sold to us. Friends gathering outside. Eating ribs, chicken, burgers or brats. Anything that is cooked on a grill. Cold fruit and cold drinks sitting around a cold pool.

This is the last official holiday weekend of the summer, so you need to enjoy every second of it.

As this daydream dissolves from my mind, I feel sweat forming on the back of my neck. The sliding glass doors open and I walked through feeling instant relief of the air conditioning blowing upon my warm skin.

The reality of my situation sets in.

In Phoenix, Arizona there are no smiling faces playing cornhole in a backyard filled with grass. The truth is….is that it’s just too damn hot.

And while yes, I will be making ribs this weekend. But I will be eating those ribs, inside my air-conditioned house…while watching Mind Hunters on NetFlix.

Labor Day is a sign that summer is almost over. And here in Phoenix, we can’t wait until that’s a proven fact.

Because the truth is….in a few months when everyone is stuck inside due to cold weather and snow, us Phoenicians will be out grilling and enjoying a game of cornhole on a winter’s day.

No holiday needed for that event. No marketing tactics needed to sell us the perfect barbeque party.

I for one, can’t wait.