Posted by Steps to Recovery on December 9, 2012

In the past 2 posts I have discussed ways to develop emotional intelligence in recovery. The first post discussed empathy, nonverbal communication and listening. Yesterday’s post talked about recognizing stress and emotions. Today I will talk about the last 4 things I find important in developing emotional intelligence in recovery.

1) Finding Humor in Difficult Situations – Being capable of seeing the brighter side of life is a big part of emotional intelligence. Not only is humor effective for the individual but can also help those around them who are going through hard times. I’m not suggesting to make a joke out of everything, simply to just appreciate that even the darkest situation will usually have its lighter moments. However, this type of humor should never be at another person’s expense.

2) Mindfulness Meditation and Self Understanding – Mindfulness meditation is an amazing technique for helping the person achieve a higher understanding of their internal landscape. It not only assists people in becoming better at identifying their emotions, in addition it gives them the ability to manage these emotions better. Mindfulness is learning to live in the moment and fully accepting what is happening. With practice, the person comes to appreciate their emotions for what they are, which makes them much easier to deal with. This makes the path of recovery much less intimidating.

3) Conflict Resolution – The ability to deal with conflict is an important life skill. The fact that humans have competing needs and desires means that there will always be conflict of some kind. If the person is not skilled in coping with such challenges, they may experience a life that is full of bad feelings and argumentative situations. By learning to effectively cope with conflict, the person creates a much easier going time in recovery.

4) Face Life as Life Comes – In order to develop emotional intelligence, the person needs to be willing to face life on life’s terms, which means not attempting to take the easy way out or run away when the going gets tough. The challenges in life are what help us grow. By overcoming these challenges as they are presented, the person naturally learns to develop the coping mechanisms that will grow their emotional intelligence.

Using the ten ideas presented over these 3 posts will help guide you in your journey of recovery and developing a deeper emotional intelligence in recovery. Which of these things do you do now? Which do you intend on working on?