The elements of emotional intelligence have more going for them than the alliterative way they dance off the tongue. Using the facets of emotional intelligence is vital to assess and create safe spaces to process and protect yourself from threats to your recovery.
What’s emotional intelligence?
Much like intellect, emotional intelligence (EQ) measures your ability to take in, process and respond to emotional experiences you encounter moving through the world. There are five components of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills. Being able to recognize and respond to your own emotions and the things those around you feel or project can be a valuable tool in safeguarding recovery from threats to your progress.
What kind of threats might I face?
The primary threats to your recovery come from inauthentic support (those who may benefit from your relapse), manipulation from your own thoughts (guilt or blame directed at the self from the impact of past decisions) or from others who may feel hurt by your actions while under the influence of your addiction.
Threats to your recovery can often present from inside your own mind: you can be your own worst enemy when it comes to judging your choices and experiencing regret or longing through the lens of a sober life. When you respond to your emotions from a calm place instead of reacting to them, you can activate critical response systems in the mind and avoid a knee-jerk defensive reaction.
Outside of the self, threats like old connections who are still using and lifestyle traps that feel so easy to visit may be the siren’s call that lures you too close to the addiction you’ve been brave enough to step away from.
Protecting your recovery
The right recovery for you is the recovery that fits your life and feels honest for you. While there may be stipulations you’ve heard surrounding the right way to recover, what’s most important is that it’s a series of new habits, choices and decisions that you can continue throughout your life.
Much like a diet, sustainability is key in undertaking a new lifestyle, not a quick fix. Ensure you’re comfortable with the process, even if it looks nontraditional. Set up realistic expectations, including familiarizing yourself with the most common missteps in recovery so you can avoid them. Realistic recovery for you may include arming yourself with knowledge of relapse in order to take action to set yourself up for success.
Just like any other muscle, emotional intelligence is strengthened over time and with use.
You may experience more success responding to pushback or negative emotions. The ability to respond instead of reacting is but a single superpower of emotional intelligence. Applying energy to noticing and experiencing the things you feel and seeking feedback from others can strengthen your emotional intelligence.
Giving your feelings a name can also help you recognize their presence and process them more effectively. Apply genuine energy to understanding the intent of those around you, framing their emotional communication with empathy, as well as a healthy respect for your boundaries.
Utilizing emotional intelligence may be uncomfortable at first, but the freedom you gain from creating space for your emotions and others’ emotions is priceless.
Connect with us today at 844-675-1623 to learn more about the recovery programs we offer here in Texas at The Right Step: