Helpful Links Update🦋


A Bounty of Fruitful Helpful Links is Updated on The Emotional Advantage blog!

Read up on the latest research on Emotional Intelligence! From Reading and Play to Emotional Granularity and Nutritional Psychiatry! 


Amazing! What are you reading today? 

“Reading can not only improve cognition, but it can also lead to a refined “theory of mind,” a term used by cognitive scientists to describe how “we ascribe mental states to other persons”—as the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy notes—and “how we use the states to explain and predict the actions of those other persons.” Improved theory of mind, or “intuitive psychology,” as it’s also called, can result in greater levels of empathy and perhaps even expanded executive function, allowing us to better “hold multiple perspectives in mind at once,” writes Brittany Thompson, “and switch between those perspectives.”

Here’s an awesome article describing how Emotional Intelligence influences time management skills. 

“If I were to ask you about your best technique to wisely manage your time, you would probably share a routine you follow at work or home. You might start listing tactics like “Do the hardest task early in the day,” or “Only check emails three times a day.” I’d be willing to wager you wouldn’t say, “I manage my emotions well.”

Playtime is essential to developing Emotional Intelligence! Here’s some examples of how to recognize and measure its development. Stay tuned to learn how playtime benefits adults as well. 

“Emotional intelligence enables people to communicate effectively and relate authentically to others. It also helps us manage our feelings and moods, and high emotional intelligence is believed to provide protection against some mental health issues.

A key part of emotional intelligence is autonomy and feeling in control of your life and well-being. Children should develop the vitally important life skill to be able to cope with the full range of emotions modern life will throw at them.”

Here’s a great article describing how valuable play is not only in children, but also adults! 

“Playful adults have the ability to transform everyday situations, even stressful ones, into something entertaining, Barnett says. She co-authored a study that found highly playful young adults — those who rated themselves high on personality characteristics such as being spontaneous or energetic, or open to “clowning around” — reported less stress in their lives and possessed better coping skills. Perhaps they have these attributes because they are better able to keep stress in perspective, Barnett theorizes.”

Be gentle with yourself and others this holiday season. Here’s some great reminders to carry with you!

“If you have little ones and family in your life, there is the excitement, enthusiasm and anticipation of the magical appearance of gifts and delectable feasts.

There is the fun of honoring friends and family with tokens of love and appreciation — and that of being honored; the gathering of relatives that may be few and far between.

On the other hand, there can be deep sadness — at least for those of us who have lived long enough to have lost or have been separated from beloved family and friends. Their absence during a time when their vibrant presence was depended upon, can be overwhelming. Every Christmas song can evoke a memory, which is like a punctuation mark on the loss.”

Here’s an insightful article describing how diverse and complex emotional expression is! 

“Our various physical reactions to our surroundings, in other words, are preprogrammed. Human bodies work roughly the same everywhere. But how we interpret those reactions, which is essentially what “emotions” are, varies greatly from culture to culture.

Emotions aren’t purely physical. They are interpretations of the physical. And learning new concepts and words for how you feel can, in a very real way, help you feel and respond differently. And that power, used thoughtfully, can help you lead a happier, more successful life.”

Here’s a rock’n article listing 12 reasons for getting outdoors to improve your mental and physical health! 

“But, humans do need to spend time in natural environments if they want to improve their physical and mental health. That could mean taking advantage of hiking trails near your home, playing in the snow, swimming in the ocean, or just spending time every week in a local park.”

Here’s a great article explaining why the act of shaming has no place in the educational process! 

“If I call out a student’s poor reading habits in front of his classmates or tease him about his unending range of excuses for not reading, I commit shaming. Why? Because I am not looking at each day as a new opportunity, but rather, locking the reader in his transgressions. Through shaming, I destroy the interpersonal bridge between me and the reader for a sense of power, moral authority, or for the sake of “teaching him a lesson.” Reading becomes about me, the teacher—not about the student or his potential to interact with text.

I would argue that educators tend to overlook shame and readers’ emotions because of our high-stakes learning environments. If we take time to establish an interpersonal bridge and to ask the reader, “What happened?” the world will open wide. Within the reader’s own story, we can reveal the means to build resilience.”

Here’s a phenomenal article on the latest research about mind-body synergy and it’s connection to neuroplasticity and equanimity! 

“A growing amount of scientific evidence has linked mind-body exercises to improvements in balance, mental health, emotional well-being and stress reduction. These exercises power down the sympathetic nervous system – your fight-or-flight response – and power up the parasympathetic system, which induces rest and relaxation.

Your brain is connected to every single part of the body through the central nervous system, so by bringing your mental faculties of concentration into your movement in exercise, you’re assisting it to work at another level,” says Archer, a health educator and fitness-and-wellness specialist at Stanford University School of Medicine.”

Good reminders! 

“Here is a list of 15 simple things to consider incorporating into your healthy routine to help balance your mind, body, and spirit.”

Here’s an eye-opening perspective on the value of Emotional Intelligence in leadership!

“Studies show that effective communication is 7% the words we say and 93% tone and body language.”

“Emotional intelligence is widely known to be a key component of effective leadership. The ability to be perceptively in tune with yourself and your emotions, as well as having sound situational awareness can be a powerful tool for leading a team. The act of knowing, understanding, and responding to emotions, overcoming stress in the moment, and being aware of how your words and actions affect others, is described as emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence for leadership can consist of these five attributes: self-awareness, self-management, empathy, relationship management, and effective communication.”

Here’s a great article highlighting how gratitude mediates Emotional Intelligence! 

“Whether it’s the sight of a lovely face or a tasty bite of food or good health, there is always something to be grateful for. Even bad experiences at least teach us something. And gratitude is not just a feeling outside your control that arrives willy-nilly. It’s more like a radio channel: you can choose at any time to tune in.

More than any other personality trait, gratitude is strongly linked to mental health and life satisfaction. Grateful people experience more joy, love, and enthusiasm, and they enjoy protection from destructive emotions like envy, greed, and bitterness. Gratitude also reduces lifetime risk for depression, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders, and it helps people entangled with those and other problems to heal and find closure. It can give you a deep and steadfast trust that goodness exists, even in the face of uncertainty or suffering.”

Here’s a moving speech describing how music influences Emotional Intelligence!

Here’s a list of some wonderful ways to develop and benefit from having high Emotional Intelligence! 

“Emotional intelligence can evolve over time, as long as you have the desire to increase it. Every person, challenge, or situation faced is a prime learning opportunity to test your EQ. It takes practice, but you can start reaping the benefits immediately.

Having a high level of emotional intelligence will serve you well in your relationships in the workplace and in all areas of your life. Who wouldn’t want that?”

Here’s an inspiring perspective on emotions and humility from the actor Bryan Cranston! 

“Bryan Cranston: The first thing I look for when I read a script is, does the story move me?

What I truly love about this, and when I talk to audiences about anything I have done or any other movie or stage piece, is that the audience is always right. However you felt, however you reacted to something is always right. That’s how you felt.

And it’s remarkable how you can sit next to someone and watch a movie. I could be weeping, and they’re like, eh. It’s like, really? They say, yes, it missed me.”

Here’s an awesome list about being humble! 

“Humble people can receive a bad rap. Humility is frequently associated with being too passive, submissive or insecure, but this couldn’t be any further from the truth.

Instead, humble people are quite the opposite—confident and competent in themselves so much that, as a result, they seek to self-actualize by helping theirs. Humble people are still self-efficacious; they just don’t feel the impetus to boast about themselves but instead, let their actions speak for their ideals. To be humble is not to think less of oneself, but to think of oneself less.”

Here’s a magnificent article highlighting the concept of emotional granularity and how to construct your experiences in a new way! 

“One of the best things you can do for your emotional health is to beef up your concepts of emotions. Suppose you knew only two emotion concepts: “Feeling Awesome” and “Feeling Crappy.” Whenever you experienced an emotion or perceived someone else as emotional, you’d categorize only with this broad brush, which isn’t very emotionally intelligent. But if you could distinguish finer meanings within “Awesome” (happy, content, thrilled, relaxed, joyful, hopeful, inspired, prideful, adoring, grateful, blissful . . .), and fifty shades of “Crappy” (angry, aggravated, alarmed, spiteful, grumpy, remorseful, gloomy, mortified, uneasy, dread-ridden, resentful, afraid, envious, woeful, melancholy . . .), your brain would have many more options for predicting, categorizing and perceiving emotions, providing you with the tools for more flexible and useful responses. You could predict and categorize your sensations more efficiently and better suit your actions to your environment.”

Here’s an enlightening article about how to protect your emotions and develop an Emotional Intelligence! 

“From politicians attempting to win your vote to companies attempting to win your dollars, everyone works hard to pull at the heart strings. 

So, how can you deal effectively with others’ attempts to manipulate your emotions, to avoid making unwise or harmful decisions?

One of the best ways is by working to increase your own emotional intelligence.”

Here’s a fascinating article reviewing the latest meta-analysis research in neuroscience validating Emotional Granularity!

“If you had been raised somewhere different, you might feel something different. Emotions vary between people (do you simmer when you feel angry or do you break furniture?). And they vary dramatically between cultures.

But if you only have concepts for “anger”, “happiness”, and “sadness” then that’s all you’re ever going to see.

Often we pick these concepts up just from living in a culture, others we’re taught explicitly as children. And they’re transmitted from one person to the next, from one generation to the next.

When we experience a sensation, an emotion concept is triggered like a memory and actually constructed by the brain. It’s nearly immediate and you’re largely unaware of the process.

You’ve probably never thought about learning words as a path to greater emotional health, but it follows directly from the neuroscience of construction. Words seed your concepts, concepts drive your predictions, predictions regulate your body budget, and your body budget determines how you feel. Therefore, the more finely grained your vocabulary, the more precisely your predicting brain can calibrate your budget to your body’s needs. In fact, people who exhibit higher emotional granularity go to the doctor less frequently, use medication less frequently, and spend fewer days hospitalized for illness.”

Here’s a great list of three things one can do to see the bigger picture! 

“It’s easy to assume that the only thing standing between you and career bliss is achieving a couple of milestones — building a successful business, reaching a certain earning potential, or getting promoted. These people seem happy, right?

Often, this idea that happiness at work is only a few “accomplishments” away drives us into an obsession with personal achievement. We become so fixated on attaining the next goal, that it becomes our life’s focus.”

Here’s an article linking some fascinating ways humor relates to Emotional Intelligence! Lol! 

“Albert Einstein attributed his brilliant mind to having a child-like sense of humour. Indeed, a number of studies have found an association between humour and intelligence.

Not only are funny people smart, they’re nice to be around. Evidence suggests that having a good sense of humour is linked to high emotional intelligence and is a highly desirable quality in a partner. 

Neuropsychological studies have found that experiencing positive emotional states, such as joy, fun and happiness, increases the production of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine not only make us feel great, it also opens up the learning centres of the brain, which enables and sustains more neural connections.”

Here’s an informative article highlighting the importance and value of psychological safety in the creative process! 

“Innovation is not just a cognitive process. It’s emotional. It requires doing something new or novel, and that can be scary because it requires the courage to enter the unknown and it involves learning from experimental failures. Many of us learned as children that success comes from making the fewest mistakes. We learned to avoid making mistakes and looking stupid. We also developed emotional defensives to protect our views of ourselves – to protect our ego. Protecting our ego and fear are the two big emotional inhibitors of innovation.”

Here’s an interesting article describing how suppressing emotions increases the control they have over an outcome! 

“Emotions shouldn’t be terrifying in themselves. We evolved to have them for a reason. They’re like our “first intel in a war,” said Neo. If you listen to them, they can tell you exactly what you need to hear.”

Here’s a healthy dose of information outlining the relatively new concept of nutritional psychiatry! Go food!!

“Put simply, what you eat directly affects the structure and function of your brain and, ultimately, your mood.

Like an expensive car, your brain functions best when it gets only premium fuel. Eating high-quality foods that contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants nourishes the brain and protects it from oxidative stress — the “waste” (free radicals) produced when the body uses oxygen, which can damage cells.”

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