Sunday, December 10, 2006

Emotional Intelligence

The book Emotional Intelligence has been a watershed in helping me place a number of unclassified notions of mine. The basics of the book is the importance of being able to define your emotions accurately, and then to act in ways that are beneficial to you and those around you. The book is hopeful too. If you are laden with emotional scars from younger days there is certainly hope that one can re-wire the circuitry of the brain to deal with these out of control emotions in different ways. It was interesting to learn that bulimia and anorexia nervosa are not the result of over demanding parents as earlier studies indicated. Later studies have found that the cause of these illnesses are more likely to result from teenagers who have not been able to define their feelings accurately and then coupled with the societal pressure to be skinny becomes a dangerous mess of emotions. The desire for food is confused and becomes a negative trigger rather than a natural response for nutrition. There are countless examples across the board of emotional problems and the book ends with the ways in which emotional imprinting can be reworked through repetitive acts of positive re-inforcement. I am convinced after reading this book that the importance of emotional intelligence learning is critical during the teenage years. A comment in this book that did not surprise me was that one of the factors contributing to the escalation of childhood depression is the breakdown in religious education. Amongst other factors children are not seeing their lives within the greater framework of a God and how their lives have meaning regardless of their circumstances. They are not sure that they can be a greater person or for that matter be forgiven and thus move on to be something different. The Christian faith in my estimation is one of the greatest contributors of emotional intelligence. Let alone the connection with ones creator, but the repetitive disciplines of prayer, mediation, worship, communion etc, are excellent means of re-wiring the emotional and brain circuitry to help people live more adjusted and productive lives.

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