The importance of emotional intelligence in learning

Why is Emotional Intelligence a vital component that affects the heightening of awareness and the deepening of learning?

The majority of the worlds educational systems have only ever been focused on IQ, building up knowledge, the test scores that you receive that measures and determines your likely future.

How many times have you heard the famous comedian tell you that his teachers told him he'd never amount to anything? Or the entrepreneur who has a tale of rags to riches with an inability to concentrate at school. The difference is these people have something amazing but they just don't have the high test scores. They have high social skills, emotional intelligence and intangible qualities that are so slight but make them stand out from the rest.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to quantify, control and enhance emotional understanding in yourself. As a child I had little emotional intelligence but it can be learnt, but thats for another blog. There is not one person who I have spoken to about emotional intelligence, social awareness, and general social skills, who when I tell them I strongly believe that if this was built into the curriculum we would be building more rounded humans and for a happier life with less mental illness, that they didn't agree say enthusiastically that so many of their own troubles they encountered would have indeed been solved by being taught and guided through this understanding earlier in life.

The people I am speaking to remember a time before social media. They remember playing in parks or fields, calling their mates from a house phone and making arrangements long in advance. Always honouring and respecting those arrangements as the alternative meant that there friend would assume a life changing circumstance had happened as not turning up was never an option. Now we are in a world away from that, one where the world is holding onto phones for dear life in a desperate need to find approval through technology and as a very wise psychiatrist who I met recently said 'capitalism has lost us our ability to socialise without ego.' We have become so separated from each other that there are people who barely know how to communicate without the use of an emoji. I will hold my hand up to the over use of emojis, I do this because I am so aware that the writing of how you might feel about something into 500 characters does not actually tell the person anything. However I am much more comfortable with the face to face, chew the cud, chat under the stars kind of human interaction.

Emotional Intelligence is born and grown from our social interactions, having someone guide us to to ensure we are able to deal with disputes, trauma and lifes' challenges in a healthy and open way is vital to any persons progression. Without a guiding hand as we grow depression, anxiety and all manner of negative and controlling emotions that we are unlikely to be able to name will over take most of our brains function.

The learning side of our brain needs us to able to control emotions to be able to concentrate to take in all the new information and process it. Our brains are extremely powerful but our fear, fight or flight, sadness, compulsions can stop our bodies from moving in a way we need it to. It can literally stop us eating, walking, leaving the house. This is all for in its simplest terms based around understanding and controlling our emotions.

I am and always will be a huge advocate for emotion intelligence and social skills being taught as part of all curriculums. I am yet to meet a person who does not believe this would have made a difference in the progress of there lives.

There have been countless studies completed on why and how a better understanding of our emotions and having the ability to control them does in fact allow for a clearer pathway for us to walk and therefore learn. Do not mistake control of emotions as a lack of passion, but this is simply a way to ensure that emotions are understood, named, accepted and then eventually let go of rather than them control the person to the point of inability.

Now as they start to trial this into the more advanced educational systems we will start to see a breed of human who will reduce the statistics on mental health concerns, learning challenges, have a higher sense of self worth and contribute to the world more thoughtfully. I for one am so excited to see those changes develop.

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