I know with the news of Robin Williams suicide running rampant over the internet and in the news that mental illness has taken a front seat and it’s about time. It’s unfortunate he is gone, he was a talent and a man who will be greatly missed. But his death has gotten people talking. For now anyway. My hope is that people will keep talking, long after the news has died down. People die from suicide everyday everywhere. Famous people, average people, old and young, rich and poor. Mental illness just like cancer has no specific requirements as to whose life it attacks. Just like cancer genetics can play a part. So can diet, life style and just bad luck of the draw. Mental health should start at an early age and be available and deemed as important as going for a yearly physical check-up or to the dentist every 6 months. Why is our brain, the control center of our body, put on the back burner only to be looked at when things go wildly awry?!
Feelings are real. We all have them and we need them, so why are we not supposed to show them or share them or sometimes even feel them? This weeks WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge is to create a Manifesto.
Here is my Emotional Intelligence Manifesto
1. Acknowledge that everyone has feelings and they are normal.
2. There are a wide range of emotions we feel and one is no less important than another.
3. All feelings have names. Anger, Sadness, Frustration, Jealousy, Pride, Anxiety, Fear, Happiness, Excitement, Confusion, Love, Pain, Resentment, Loneliness, Isolation, Hope, Guilt, Peace…(to name a few) Use them!
4. Use “I statements” and share your emotions. If you are angry say “I am angry because…” If you are sad say “I am sad because….” Talk about what you are feeling!
5. Feel comfortable talking about emotions.
6. Build a toolbox full of strategies to cope with the wide range of emotions you will undoubtedly feel at some point in your life.
7. Do not be afraid to ask for help.
8. Have a list of people or professionals who you can call to talk to if you need to. A good friend, family member, your doctor, counselor…
9. Seeking mental health help is normal. (See my post The Stigma of Mental Illness)
11. Children, adolescents and adults need to be taught about their emotions and learn skills to deal with those.
12. Emotions we feel should not be hidden, stuffed down, or let become something that control us.
13. No-one should tell you not to feel the way you do. Own your feelings.
14. Let people own their feelings.
15. Listen when people talk to you. Don’t try to fix their feelings. Let them feel them.
Your Emotional Intelligence is more important than your I.Q. It’s never to early to start building up your Emotional Intelligence …It’s also never too late!! Embrace and learn about feelings. With education and coping strategies in place they won’t seem as scary or powerful. whether they are yours or someone else’s.