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Embodied Emotional Intelligence For Stress Reduction and Resilience

Written by: Carla Cohen, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

“If you're doing something the same way you have been doing it for ten years, the chances are you are doing it wrong.” - Charles Kettering


One of the benefits of the pandemic is that it has created space and time to rethink priorities and motives. This re-evaluation is not just happening with individuals, but within corporations as well. Pandemic working conditions are driving people out of jobs they would have otherwise stayed in.

According to the Department of Labor, in November 2021 a record 4.5 million people left their jobs in the United States. For many, the pandemic added another straw to the cascading impact of job dissatisfaction. A recent Washington Post headline read ‘Micromanaged and disrespected’: Top reasons workers are quitting their jobs in ‘The Great Resignation’.


As a result of The Great Resignation, both individuals and corporations are making a more concerted effort to find tools to increase wellbeing. For once, many small companies and Fortune 500 companies are on the same page - investing in resilience and emotional intelligence to create a more functional, satisfying, and productive workplace.


Making The Shift to A More Conscious Culture


One of the keys to creating a more functional culture is emotional resilience, but how do you cultivate emotional resilience?


The first step is helping people to put possibilities over policies. Nothing is more damaging to the human spirit and innovation than prioritizing the status quo over innovation. Resilience happens when flexibility is cultivated in the mind and encouraged within the culture.


Have you ever wondered how large elephants are held in place by a small rope that is staked to the ground? Elephants are typically tied up at a very early age with that rope and stake. Every time the elephant tries to move, it is kept in place by the rope. As the elephant grows, it doesn’t realize it has grown it strength. It constantly has the same rope and stake keeping it in place, that worked as a baby. The elephant learns to give up; it is trained into submission.


Policies can have the same effect on employees and clients as the elephant’s rope. If someone is told repeatedly why he or she can’t do something, at some point, they will stop asking - even if their idea is better than what exists.


For employees and intrapreneurs to thrive, someone has to cut the rope.


How do you free the elephant?


Any trained pattern of behavior can be turned around with the proper incentives, consistent messaging, and reinforcement. The first step is encouraging an environment that creates a greater sense of connection amongst co-workers and customers. Everyone needs to feel that they are part of the solution, and that no “ask” is too big, too crazy or impossible. There has to be a sense that it is safe to communicate what someone is thinking or feeling.


Emotional intelligence could also be called sensitivity training - the concept is that everyone develops a genuine interest and sensitivity to each other’s feelings and communication - that every person offers something potentially valuable.


The first step in raising Emotional Intelligence is becoming aware that you are unaware of all of your feelings and the feelings of those around you. The good news is, there are exercises to help increase EQ - in other words, the muscle can be developed. Learning to navigate relationships effectively, starts the ball rolling on resilience. It’s amazing to see what happens when people feel heard and valued. When everyone focuses on solutions, resilience is a natural by product; everyone raises each other up, as they move from lack and limitation to possibilities. Thinking in terms of possibilities, creates resilience.


Researchers at Harvard have been able to identify key differences in the makeup of resilient people’s brains. Resilient brains show higher activity levels in the left prefrontal cortex – a region of the brain known for its role in emotional responses, mood regulation and meaning. In his book, “How God Changes Your Brain”, Neuroscientist Andrew Newberg, MD talks about the evolution of the anterior cingulate - which connects our emotions with our cognitive skills, “playing a crucial role in emotional self-control, focused problem-solving, and error recognition.”


Dr. Richard Davidson, a pioneering resilience researcher, wrote in The Emotional Life of Your Brain “the amount of activation in the left prefrontal region of a resilient person can be thirty times that of someone who is not resilient.”


A recent analysis of 65,000 Business Owners found good news for aspiring entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs: Emotional Intelligence is more important for success than IQ, and more trainable too.


One of the skills that is key to a high EQ is being able to identify and name the feelings you are experiencing. Naming emotions activates the left prefrontal cortex, which in turn calms the amygdala (the fight or flight part of our brains). When we move out of the “reactive” to the “responsive” state, we are exercising higher levels of EQ. Responsive also means receptive. A receptive state is key to being resilient.


“No one escapes pain, fear, and suffering. Yet from pain can come wisdom, from fear can come courage, from suffering can come strength – if we have the virtue of resilience.” ― Eric Greitens

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Carla Cohen, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Carla Sridevi Cohen is an award-winning Embodied Emotional Intelligence Healer, Coach and best-selling author. She helps female entrepreneurs achieve wealth without sacrificing their health. She specializes in coaching female entrepreneurs who are struggling with persistent anxiety, stress and pain, to heal patterns that are keeping them stuck, so they can eliminate procrastination, let go of pain, and boost their income. Her career in Hollywood with “A” list celebrities, ended with a two-year health crisis. Since Western medicine was unable to help her, Carla went on a journey to heal herself. She has synthesized her 30+ years of knowledge and experience, to help clients improve their energy, productivity, and immunity. She is the Founder of Women's Health Revolution, where she blends her business and shamanic backgrounds to achieve her vision of helping 200,000 women experience joy, new levels of success and abundance, emotional and physical health, without the use of drugs.

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