Gratitude Bolsters and Supports Emotional Intelligence

Gratitude Bolsters and Supports Emotional Intelligence

Before we dive in though we need to start by clarifying our terms.

We know that 'gratitude' is a positive reaction to an act of kindness. Until recently gratitude has been seen as a passive reaction to our environment, whereas the classical poet John Milton once said:

Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.

For centuries we have been aware of the power of gratitude as a force of positivity, but it seems that using it as a proactive force is a recent discovery!

'Emotional Intelligence' is defined as the ability to understand and manage our emotions, as well as recognise and influence the emotions of those around us.

With the rise in popularity of emotional intelligence, gratitude has been linked to neural activity associated with moral cognition, perspective-taking and fairness.

Studies continue to show that gratitude builds and strengthens relationships and makes us more empathetic. Implementing practices of gratitude makes us more aware of our emotions, helps us to focus on our strengths and helps us to understand others more fully.

Our emotional intelligence is bolstered through the power of gratitude. It aids us in reflecting on our feelings and emotions and helps us to focus on our goals; and the goals of others.

Emotional intelligence is often split into 5 key areas:

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-regulation
  • Social skills
  • Empathy
  • Motivation

Gratitude plays a huge role in each of these areas.

With self-awareness, gratitude increases our awareness of positive emotions, and helps us to focus on these emotions in order to reach our targets, objectives and life goals.

Gratitude acts as a displacement activity, replacing a negative mindset with a much more positive one. It regulates our thought patterns and makes us focus on what's going well, and what positive emotions we're experiencing.

Gratitude improves our social skills by encouraging more prosocial and less anti-social behaviour.

Gratitude increases our compassion and empathy, by training us to actively listen to others and encourage them to believe that their actions are appreciated and validated.

Gratitude raises our aw​​areness of our purpose in life, it improves self-care, and gives us the motivation to use our strengths at the optimum level!

Gratitude creates time and space; it helps us to take a step back from our daily routine and view our lives through a new, more positive perspective. It makes us focus on what we are grateful for. We begin to seek out moments to reflect on what is positive in ourselves and in others.

If we live in a positive present moment, we will bolster our emotional intelligence on every level and lead happier, more fulfilled lives!