Monday, 8 November 2010

Emotion - the alarm bell of the 4 intelligences

The heart is our image for emotional intelligence. Emotions are our sensitivity to events and act as our alarm for both good and bad. If you think about a set of traffic lights the emotions would be the amber light warning us that something is happening. The emotions have a loud voice, they demand immediate attention like a spoilt child they cannot be reasoned with, cannot understand time, waiting or patience. People whose emotions are dominant in their 4 intelligences can end up being a slave to them. As an emotional person myself I have often fallen victim to my emotional desires and this has cost me. I am now naturally suspicious of my emotions; not their alarm bell but their need to be satisfied without thought for the future or consequences.

If you manage your emotions badly you can end a wreck in your personal and business life, but managed well you can experience great joy. although we call this emotional intelligence emotion has no thought as we have with our intellectual intelligence, in fact emotion is the opposite of thought, it is thoughtless. Though gives us response whereas emotion gives us reaction; fight or flight for instance is our emotional reaction to danger and there is no thinking involved.

Emotion is pure feeling and it can draw you toward what you want and away from what you don't want, this is its job. But those who respond to their emotions too readily can be a slave to them. often I see people who lack control of emotion being overly needy in relationships or drawn to excess in other areas such as drugs or drink.

In martial arts as with any lifestyle choice the emotional content is the reason that we enrol. Confidence, or lack of it is probably the single biggest reason why people take up martial arts and lack of confidence is an emotional issue based on feelings (emotions) of lack or unworthiness. martial arts quietens these emotions through physical exercise and this will always work but exercise alone is not enough to gain control of the emotions its just a response to their noise.

Emotions are often not real feelings either they are controlled often by habits and internal rules that have either been broken or matched. For instance if you get a letter in a brown envelope from the tax office your emotions will be alerted to 'what's this?' Could this be a danger that we have to fight or fly from? when you open the envelope if you find it is a tax demand your rule that says you should be entitled to a nice day has been broken and hence you feel bad. But if you open the envelope and its a cheque for £1,000 your emotions report back that it's a good day. Either way the reaction is based on an internal rule that the emotion is subject to. one way to control emotions so that you get the best from them is to create new habits and this takes time.

The habit of martial arts training is a way to control and understand your emotions though its not the only way. Tomorrow we'll discuss one of the other intelligences and how martial arts can help unite them all. Thank you for reading today and I look forward to talking again. If you would like we to cover any specific topics please let me know.

Tony Higo
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