You've heard of EQ, right?
Emotional Intelligence is the ability to understand and regulate one's own thoughts and feelings.
But what does it really mean, especially when it comes to being in a family?
To begin raising your family emotional intelligence:
1. Observe with curiosity and identify every family members' fears and worries. The fears and worries of families contribute to blocks in healthy communication. Negative confrontations generally occur as a result of fear of negative outcomes.
Looking at and naming fears and worries allows for calmer communication and reduction in fear based confrontations.
Fears and worries can cause us to REACT and make decisions that do not reflect reality.
2. Identify and define family values.
A family value is creating a guide for the family to focus on, creating new ways of thinking, feeling and believing how they can connect as a family so that the family experience is a functioning and cohesive unit.
Values to consider are love, integrity, adventure, compassion, collaboration, loyalty, intelligence, humor, joy, peace, calm, open-minded...simply defining what is most important to your family simplifies and can be used as shorthand in every conversation and decision making process.
3. Flood each other's brains with serotonin, the chemical in your body that makes you feel good, by looking at each other and smiling for 30 seconds. Repeat with each family member. Breathe in and breathe out and smile.
Smiling sends the feel good chemical serotonin into the brain causing an uplift in feelings. Smile with another person and maintain eye contact creates a cycle of good feelings.
If you take the time to do these three strategies, you will experience an immediate improvement in how you feel about yourself and every other member of your family. You will know more about the fears and worries of your family which creates compassion and understanding. Identifying and defining your family value shifts conversations so there is a collaboration on building a healthy family. Plus, you will experience the immediate healing power of smiling!
Tonight, ask your family what they worry about and what they are afraid of. Discuss what everyone values. Share smiling and eye contact. Enjoy!
P.S. Smiling works when you are alone and with everybody that crosses your path in life.