Emotional Intelligence plays a crucial role in the overall wellness of an individual. In NLP it is taught that there are 3 components to experience: Internal state (emotion), Internal computation (thinking), and external behavior (physiology), and by changing any of those components the others are affected. While in our culture a lot of emphasis is placed on the physical and mental components, emotions are an often overlooked and are just as powerful way to influence the wellbeing of yourself and others.
When I first began to deal with the effects of living with chronic pain, I put a lot of emphasis on working on my physical health. I was interested in what medical practitioners could do for me, what exercises could help, and even what books I could read in order to gain more knowledge on how to manage the difficult situation I was in. The last place that I looked was the effect that emotions played in my overall health.
Not only did being in poor physical health negatively affect my emotions (increasing stress, anxiety, and a whole range of negative emotions), but those emotions actually contributed to the level of physical discomfort and detracted from my overall health.
So what is the point that I am trying to make here? The mind- body- emotion system is ‘holistic’ and deficiencies in just one part of that system can lead to reduced wellness in the other parts of the system. The opposite also holds true, increased wellness in one area of your mind- body -emotion system can lead to increased wellness in the other parts.
Many have the initial reaction to treat a physical problem with a physical solution, an emotional problem with emotional solution etc. however making changes within another area in the system can be effective, and in certain contexts can be even more impactful than working within the same area.
Change can begin anywhere, so be aware which area the problem is in, and if a solution in that same area is not working as effectively as you would like, know that you can intervene in any of the other component areas in order to achieve different results.
The first part of emotional intelligence is just being aware of your emotions, and it has been said that the quality of your life is equivalent to the quality of your state. If your thoughts or physiology are not optimal, you may find undiscovered solutions in working with your emotions. On the flip side, if your emotional state is less than optimal, perhaps you may find that intervening in the areas of your thoughts and physiology will open new roads to increased wellness and optimal living.
Written by Jason R Schneider, NLP Master Practitioner, Global NLP Coach