What is a high EQ? Emotional Intelligence or EQ is the ability to recognize, to identify and control your emotions and the emotions of others.
EQ has now been recognized as being just as important as IQ because possessing a high EQ affords us certain benefits in today’s society.
When we think of what EQ entails, we generally include:
- Emotional awareness
- Harnessing emotions
- Applying emotions
Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., writer of ‘Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ’ says:
“If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.”
Those with a high EQ are much more aware of how their emotions affect them and as such can control and use them more effectively. They are also better at reading the non-verbal cues from others that give away people’s emotions, which can give them valuable insight into that person.
These benefits are relatively well-known, but what about the unexpected powers that come along with having a high EQ?
Here are five examples of the unexpected benefits of the emotionally intelligent:
1. You are not bothered about criticism
Anyone with a high EQ is not bothered about criticism, they tend to focus on harnessing any negative emotions and applying them in a positive way. They tend to already know their strengths and weaknesses and don’t need a third party to inform them of what they are bad at. They will work on them in their own time and be their own judge and jury.
2. They tend to be high earners in the workplace
People who have a high EQ can manage their emotions well and are better at communicating with their colleagues in the workplace. This means that they tend to be more successful at forming and maintaining relationships. People that are easy to get along with at work are always popular. This makes them ideally placed to be mentored and supported in their careers in order to ascend and, therefore, earn higher salaries.
3. EQ training can increase academic performance
EQ has also now being recognized as a benefit if taught whilst children are in education. There are now programs that deal with social and emotional learning (SEL). Scientific evidence has proved that the SEL programmes were the important catalysts in improving their academic performance.
Data collected from SEL programmes showed that there was a strong rise in academic accomplishment, as up to 50 percent of children had improved test scores whereas up to 38 percent improved their overall grade-point averages.
4. High EQ can affect the brain’s neural pathways
High EQ not only benefits our behavior in the workplace and schools, but it can actually change the way our brains function. Research shows that when younger students learn about EQ, it shapes their neural circuitry, in particular, the executive functions of the prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain is responsible for managing the working memory, which is the stuff we keep in mind when we are learning.
It also stops us from acting out disruptive behavior. This shaping of the neural circuitry suggests that the improved attention from the students and a better working memory is a factor of the increased academic performance.
5. High EQ has direct links to our physical and mental health
Finally, the level of our EQ has a direct link to how we manage the stresses of our everyday lives and the way we take care of our bodies, including our physical and mental states. Our awareness of our emotional state is key to keeping us well, both mentally and physically.
If we allow stress to build up, this increases the amount of the hormone cortisol in our bodies. An accumulation of this hormone is harmful, so being able to recognize when we need to relax and let go is crucial to keeping our bodies well.
Studies have also shown that high EQ affects both our outlook and attitude to life and this impacts on everyday living. A high EQ level is positively linked to good moods and a happy outlook on life.