To understand Emotional Intelligence (EI) we first need to understand how our brains work. Our brain can be split into three different parts – reptile brain regulates basic life functions, emotional brain which is our emotional centre, housing our values, beliefs, and attitudes and generating the emotions that they trigger, thinking brain which is responsible for thought.
Our unconscious, emotional brain is much more active than our logical, thinking brain and much more “powerful”. The emotional brain is the lion – the thinking brain is the tamer. If the two brains are fighting against each other, the emotional brain will win every time. That’s why your attempts to stop smoking, lose weight or exercise more often fail. Your logical thinking brain knows that not smoking, eating healthy food and exercise are good for you. However your emotional brain governs a set of attitudes, emotions and habits that are not in harmony with this logic.
But since the tamer can train and manipulate the lion in certain ways, distracting it from harmful actions and focusing its attention on more positive ones, the tamer can win! The more you listen to the lion and understand it, the more likely you are to create a succesful tamer and lion relationship 🙂

It’s therefore more accurate to replace the popular philosophical statement of “I think, therefore I am” with “I feel, therefore I am.” Like I mentioned earlier, our emotional brain houses our values, beliefs and attitudes.

What are attitudes? They are things in our unconscious emotional brain that are linked to our emotions and behaviours – the way a person views something or tends to behave towards it. First we make our attitudes. Then our attitudes make us.

Tomorrow’s blog will attempt to answer What are Values and What are beliefs?

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