Our #1 emotional intelligence rule: The body knows.
In a culture that loves to explain everything, we forget to feel our bodies. When we think about emotional intelligence, we think about strategies to have effective conversations, we think about becoming aware of our patterns, we think about defining our needs. The truth, none of this is possible if we don’t listen to and FEEL THE BOD.
How your body feel lets you know if your needs are met. How you react to your bodies needs creates your emotional patterns. And, if your body isn’t relaxed, you can kiss that effective conversation.
Before developing great emotional strategies, you need to build a relationship with your body. What does it need? What does it crave? How can you take care of it?
When that person asks if you want to do that thing, does your body say “heck yes!” or “heck no!” How do you know?
Here is our favorite tool for listening to your body, it’s called Clench/Unclench.
Ask yourself a question. I.e. Do I want to eat ice cream right now?
Notice your bodies’ response. Does it clench? Or, does it unclench? Unclenching is a sign to go for that thing, it’s a sign that your body wants it. Your body relaxing around that thing is a deep, embodied yes. Clenching, on the other hand, is a sign that your body does not want that thing. It’s a pushing away, a closing, an embodied no.
Follow your bodies’ yes. Listen for the unclench and follow it for one whole day. What do you end up doing? How do you feel? How is it different from your normal day?
I bet you’re thinking, if I always follow my unclench, I’m going to be a lazy hedonist who never does anything productive. You’d be surprised. Following the unclench often leads people to do their laundry, go for a walk, and eat green stuff. It might also lead to a cookie or a nap.
Consider this article encouragement for you to follow your unclench and see what happens. At the very least, you’ll start to get acquainted with… YOUR BOD!
Mieka Briejer is the founder of Frankly EQ; brain based emotional education which gives you the knowledge, tools, and hands-on practice you need to become an emotional genius. Got questions for Mieka? Reach out to her here.