Emotional Intelligence and Spirituality

What is emotional intelligence?

One measure of emotional health is the Emotional Intelligence Quotient, or EQ. This is explained in detail in Daniel Goleman’s popular book, Emotional Intelligence. Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to understand, sense, and effectively apply the right emotions to various life situations. Unfortunately, many people consider their emotional intelligence to be of secondary importance compared to their Intelligence Quotient (IQ). IQ is a measure of competence in work or academics; it’s important, but not to the exclusion of EQ.

The core abilities measured in EQ tests are:

  • Self-awareness
  • Relationship management
  • Self-management
  • Social awareness

The fact that major corporations now test for EQ demonstrates that raw intelligence is of little value if you’re emotionally impaired. No matter how skilled you are in mathematics, history, or computer programming, you won’t succeed if you have poor self-esteem and lack confidence. Knowing your emotional skills is essential, giving you information about which areas you need to improve on your quest to become a better person.

What is spirituality?  

The word “spiritual” comes from the French word “esprit,” meaning to breathe, or breathing. By this definition, we are all spiritual beings. We manifest our spirituality simply by breathing and coexisting with nature and other people. As individuals, we have a degree of control over our thoughts and actions; we can allow these to manifest in harmonious ways.

For some, spirituality means cultivating an active sense of connectedness to all living things. For others, it means being a devoted practitioner of a particular religion; for others, it’s all about relationships with family and friends. Some people meditate, pray, practice yoga, and pursue humanitarian causes. These (and many other activities) are legitimate vehicles for spirituality.

We are all social beings with strong belonging needs. Being part of a group, having the sense that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, is very important for maintaining a sense of meaning and emotional health.

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