You’ve probably heard of “IQ” scores. Really smart people say, Albert Einstein, have really high IQs. A standard IQ measures your ability to think logically and rationally. However, there’s another important IQ concept, commonly referred to as “emotional IQ”.
Emotional IQ refers to the capability to recognize both your own emotional state and other people’s emotional states and to use this information to guide your own actions and to influence other people’s emotions. Emotional IQ is sometimes simply referred to as “EQ” and has become a popular topic in recent years.
While a genius might have a high IQ that allows them to work with complex thoughts, people with strong emotional IQs generally have excellent “people” skills. Let’s take a deeper look at emotional intelligence.
The Four Attributes of Emotional Intelligence
Emotional IQ is generally broken into four key attributes. The stronger you are in each area, the higher your EQ. These attributes will also have a major impact on your lifestyle choices. Let’s take a look.
Self-Management: This refers to your ability to control your emotions and impulses. Are you an impulsive person? Can you manage your emotions in a healthy manner? Are you able to commit and see things through? Strong self-management skills are vital for achieving sobriety and avoiding addiction to drugs and alcohol.
Self-Awareness: Can you objectively analyze your own situation and condition? Do you understand how your emotions impact your actions? People with high self-awareness recognize their own strengths and weaknesses and often have high self-confidence.
Social Awareness: People with high social awareness will quickly recognize power dynamics and other factors in groups and organizations. They also understand the emotional needs of others and feel comfortable in social settings.
Relationship Management: Can you inspire others? Are you able to manage relationships in a healthy fashion? People with good relationship management skills can not only maintain great relationships, but they can also influence others through their relationships.
People with high emotional IQs tend to be more empathetic as well. Not only do they understand other people’s emotions and their own emotions, they can relate to people.
All of the above factors can play a vital role in maintaining sobriety. Strong relationships, for example, can make it easier to remain sober. Understanding your own weaknesses, likewise, will help you avoid pitfalls and succumbing to temptation.
High Emotional Intelligence Can Lead to Success
When it comes to personal lives and careers, high emotional intelligence is very important. In fact, some studies support the notion that emotional IQ is actually more important in many settings than intelligence.
Take leadership, for example. While you might think being a traditional genius is necessary to be a truly great leader, one study found that emotional intelligence actually accounted for 67 percent of the abilities necessary for great leadership. Ultimately, EQ matters twice as much as technical expertise and traditional IQ.
Outside of your career, high emotional intelligence will also pay off at school, while volunteering, and elsewhere. No matter the setting, high EQ will help you navigate social situations. If you want to move into a leadership position or otherwise advance, a high EQ will help tremendously.
High Emotional Intelligence Will Improve Your Physical and Mental Health
High emotional intelligence will also yield a lot of health benefits. If you understand your own emotions and know how to navigate social settings, for example, you can reduce stress and anxiety. This will lead to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of serious medical conditions, such as heart attacks and strokes.
High-stress levels have even been linked to increased aging. By reducing stress, you may live longer and enjoy a healthier life. While emotional intelligence may not reduce stress on its own, having a high EQ will help you develop ways to manage and reduce stress.
Obviously, stress has a huge impact on your mental health. So too do other factors related to high emotional intelligence. By managing your emotions, you can reduce anxiety both inside and outside of social situations. You can also train yourself to recognize errant emotions and to increase mental focus.
Reducing stress and anxiety also makes it easier to maintain sobriety. Many people drink and use drugs because they are stressed out, struggling with relationships, or are anxious. A high emotional IQ will help you manage these factors without the need to drink or use drugs.
Your Emotional IQ and Sobriety
Maintaining sobriety can be difficult. However, a strong emotional IQ will make it easier. You’ll be able to develop better support networks, understand your own weaknesses, and also reduce stress and the risk of being overwhelmed by your emotions. This, in turn, will make it easier to stay sober and to avoid drug and alcohol abuse. So as you strive for sobriety, make sure you work on your emotional IQ as well.