By Travis Bradberry | Expanded Consciousness 

Emotional intelligence is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions to achieve positive results.”

When emotional intelligence (EQ) first appeared to the masses, it served as the missing link in a peculiar finding: people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs 70 per cent of the time. This anomaly threw a massive wrench into the broadly held assumption that IQ was the sole source of success.

Decades of research now point to emotional intelligence as being the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack. The connection is so strong that 90 per cent of top performers have high emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions to achieve positive results.

Despite the significance of EQ, its intangible nature makes it very difficult to know how much you have and what you can do to improve if you’re lacking. You can always take a scientifically validated test, such as the one that comes with the Emotional Intelligence 2.0 book.

Unfortunately, quality (scientifically valid) EQ tests aren’t free. So, I’ve analyzed the data from the million-plus people TalentSmart has tested in order to identify the behaviors that are the hallmarks of a high EQ. What follows are sure signs that you have a high EQ.

1. You have a robust emotional vocabulary

All people experience emotions, but it is a select few who can accurately identify them as they occur. Our research shows that only 36 per cent of people can do this, which is problematic because unlabeled emotions often go misunderstood, which leads to irrational choices and counterproductive actions.

People with high EQs master their emotions because they understand them, and they use an extensive vocabulary of feelings to do so. While many people might describe themselves as simply feeling “bad,” emotionally intelligent people can pinpoint whether they feel “irritable,” “frustrated,” “downtrodden,” or “anxious.” The more specific your word choice, the better insight you have into exactly how you are feeling, what caused it, and what you should do about it.

2. You’re curious about people

It doesn’t matter if they’re introverted or extroverted, emotionally intelligent people are curious about everyone around them. This curiosity is the product of empathy, one of the most significant gateways to a high EQ. The more you care about other people and what they’re going through, the more curiosity you’re going to have about them.

3. You embrace change

Emotionally intelligent people are flexible and are constantly adapting. They know that fear of change is paralyzing and a major threat to their success and happiness. They look for change that is lurking just around the corner, and they form a plan of action should these changes occur.

4. You know your strengths and weaknesses

Emotionally intelligent people don’t just understand emotions; they know what they’re good at and what they’re terrible at. They also know who pushes their buttons and the environments (both situations and people) that enable them to succeed. Having a high EQ means you know your strengths and you know how to lean into them and use them to your full advantage while keeping your weaknesses from holding you back.

5. You’re a good judge of character

Much of emotional intelligence comes down to social awareness; the ability to read other people, know what they’re about, and understand what they’re going through. Over time, this skill makes you an exceptional judge of character. People are no mystery to you. You know what they’re all about and understand their motivations, even those that lie hidden beneath the surface.

6. You are difficult to offend

If you have a firm grasp of whom you are, it’s difficult for someone to say or do something that gets your goat. Emotionally intelligent people are self-confident and open-minded, which creates a pretty thick skin. You may even poke fun at yourself or let other people make jokes about you because you are able to mentally draw the line between humor and degradation.

7. You know how to say no (to yourself and others)

Emotional intelligence means knowing how to exert self-control. You delay gratification, and you avoid impulsive action. Research conducted at the University of California, San Francisco, shows that the more difficulty that you have saying no, the more likely you are to experience stress, burnout, and even depression. Saying no is indeed a major self-control challenge for many people. “No” is a powerful word that you should not be afraid to wield. When it’s time to say no, emotionally intelligent people avoid phrases such as “I don’t think I can” or “I’m not certain.” Saying no to a new commitment honors your existing commitments and gives you the opportunity to successfully fulfill them.

8. You let go of mistakes

Emotionally intelligent people distance themselves from their mistakes, but do so without forgetting them. By keeping their mistakes at a safe distance, yet still handy enough to refer to, they are able to adapt and adjust for future success. It takes refined self-awareness to walk this tightrope between dwelling and remembering. Dwelling too long on your mistakes makes you anxious and gun shy, while forgetting about them completely makes you bound to repeat them. The key to balance lies in your ability to transform failures into nuggets of improvement. This creates the tendency to get right back up every time you fall down.

9. You give and expect nothing in return

When someone gives you something spontaneously, without expecting anything in return, this leaves a powerful impression. For example, you might have an interesting conversation with someone about a book, and when you see them again a month later, you show up with the book in hand. Emotionally intelligent people build strong relationships because they are constantly thinking about others.

10. You don’t hold grudges

The negative emotions that come with holding onto a grudge are actually a stress response. Just thinking about the event sends your body into fight-or-flight mode, a survival mechanism that forces you to stand up and fight or run for the hills when faced with a threat. When the threat is imminent, this reaction is essential to your survival, but when the threat is ancient history, holding onto that stress wreaks havoc on your body and can have devastating health consequences over time. In fact, researchers at Emory University have shown that holding onto stress contributes to high blood pressure and heart disease. Holding onto a grudge means you’re holding onto stress, and emotionally intelligent people know to avoid this at all costs. Letting go of a grudge not only makes you feel better now but can also improve your health.

11. You neutralize toxic people

Dealing with difficult people is frustrating and exhausting for most. High EQ individuals control their interactions with toxic people by keeping their feelings in check. When they need to confront a toxic person, they approach the situation rationally. They identify their own emotions and don’t allow anger or frustration to fuel the chaos. They also consider the difficult person’s standpoint and are able to find solutions and common ground. Even when things completely derail, emotionally intelligent people are able to take the toxic person with a grain of salt to avoid letting him or her bring them down.

12. You don’t seek perfection

Emotionally intelligent people won’t set perfection as their target because they know that it doesn’t exist. Human beings, by our very nature, are fallible. When perfection is your goal, you’re always left with a nagging sense of failure that makes you want to give up or reduce your effort. You end up spending your time lamenting what you failed to accomplish and what you should have done differently instead of moving forward, excited about what you’ve achieved and what you will accomplish in the future.

13. You appreciate what you have

Taking time to contemplate what you’re grateful for isn’t merely the right thing to do; it also improves your mood because it reduces the stress hormone cortisol by 23 per cent. Research conducted at the University of California, Davis, found that people who worked daily to cultivate an attitude of gratitude experienced improved mood, energy, and physical well-being. It’s likely that lower levels of cortisol played a major role in this.

14. You disconnect

Taking regular time off the grid is a sign of a high EQ because it helps you to keep your stress under control and to live in the moment. When you make yourself available to your work 24/7, you expose yourself to a constant barrage of stressors. Forcing yourself offline and even–gulp!–turning off your phone gives your body and mind a break. Studies have shown that something as simple as an e-mail break can lower stress levels. Technology enables constant communication and the expectation that you should be available 24/7. It is extremely difficult to enjoy a stress-free moment outside of work when an e-mail that will change your train of thought and get you thinking (read: stressing) about work can drop onto your phone at any moment.

15. You limit your caffeine intake

Drinking excessive amounts of caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline, and adrenaline is the source of the fight-or-flight response. The fight-or-flight mechanism sidesteps rational thinking in favor of a faster response to ensure survival. This is great when a bear is chasing you, but not so great when you’re responding to a curt e-mail. When caffeine puts your brain and body into this hyper-aroused state of stress, your emotions overrun your behavior. Caffeine’s long half-life ensures you stay this way as it takes its sweet time working its way out of your body. High-EQ individuals know that caffeine is trouble, and they don’t let it get the better of them.

16. You get enough sleep

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of sleep to increasing your emotional intelligence and managing your stress levels. When you sleep, your brain literally recharges, shuffling through the day’s memories and storing or discarding them (which causes dreams) so that you wake up alert and clearheaded. High-EQ individuals know that their self-control, attention, and memory are all reduced when they don’t get enough–or the right kind–of sleep. So, they make sleep a top priority.

17. You stop negative self-talk in its tracks

The more you ruminate on negative thoughts, the more power you give them. Most of our negative thoughts are just that–thoughts, not facts. When it feels like something always or never happens, this is just your brain’s natural tendency to perceive threats (inflating the frequency or severity of an event). Emotionally intelligent people separate their thoughts from the facts in order to escape the cycle of negativity and move toward a positive, new outlook.

18. You won’t let anyone limit your joy

When your sense of pleasure and satisfaction are derived from the opinions of other people, you are no longer the master of your own happiness. When emotionally intelligent people feel good about something that they’ve done, they won’t let anyone’s opinions or snide remarks take that away from them. While it’s impossible to turn off your reactions to what others think of you, you don’t have to compare yourself to others, and you can always take people’s opinions with a grain of salt. That way, no matter what other people are thinking or doing, your self-worth comes from within.

This article was originally featured on* Waking Times**. *

About the Author

Travis Bradberry is an award-winning co-author of the best-selling book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and the co-founder of TalentSmart – a consultancy that serves more than 75 per cent of Fortune 500 companies and is a leading provider of emotional intelligence tests, training and certification.

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Full Moon in Sagittarius, 9th June. Set your sights high and aim for the Moon!

By Vivienne Micallef-Browne

Set your sights high and aim for the Moon!

Full Moon in Sagittarius, 9th June at 18 degrees.

This Full Moon in Sagittarius brings the promise of a new chapter and exciting new adventures on the horizon!

Sagittarius, the adventurer, inspired by breadth of vision, aims his bow high.

It’s time to reach your highest potential and set your goals and visions high.The fire sign of Sagittarius blazes a courage trail towards the unknown and illuminates his path ahead through inspiration.

Aim for the moon, if you miss you may hit a star

The Sun in Gemini in opposition, shines his brilliant light onto the Moon in Sagittarius, lighting up our highest ideals with enthusiasm and joy, no longer prepared to settle for a false concept of truth.

The Full Moon in Sagittarius is exceptionally potent as the ruler of Sagittarius, the planet Jupiter, stations direct on the same day and is therefore at its most powerful. Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system and the most beneficial planet of all. Jupiter expands everything he touches and bestows us with more fortune, happiness, joy and optimism. Jupiter rules over fun, generosity, teaching, knowledge, philosophy and spiritual seeking. Sagittarius is the sign of great sages, wise-men and women and spiritual teachers. Open-minded and seekers of wisdom and truth.

Saturn who represents the wise old soul, is conjoined to the Full Moon, helping us to access our inner wisdom and to discern our truth, which is the very basis, for making wise decisions that we may find ourselves confronted with, as the Sun in Gemini offers us many options. The influence of Saturn, urges us to take responsibly for creating a better future and to make conscious decisions based on sound judgement and wisdom instead of dogmatic opinions and delusions.

Saturn makes a wonderful grand trine to Uranus and the North Node of fate until October. Uranus is the awakener and the North Node our destiny. We are destined to awaken to a higher consciousness, that is triggered by this Full Moon. The more awake we are, the more we recognise and embrace the Truth.

The Sun and Mercury in the intellectual sign of Gemini gather`s information from many diverse sources, which the polar sign of Sagittarius integrates into deeper knowledge and wisdom. The most important knowledge and wisdom of all, is the knowledge of self.

Reclaim your power by getting centered and realigned with your Wisdom Self/Soul.

“Discover yourself, otherwise you have to depend on other people’s opinions who don’t know themselves.”- Osho

Only when we have accepted ourselves through self-love and knowledge, can we then communicate our truths to others.

“Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling.” ― C.G. Jung

Be your own hero! Saturn reminds us to rely on ourselves, first of all, to make things happen. To take responsibility for our dreams and turn them into reality. Helping us to get highly motivated and determined, with staying power for the long haul.

With Neptune square the Sun and the Moon, we need to be aware of some choosing to manipulate through deception and delusion. However, Saturn can make this a time of reckoning for our past actions, while Jupiter in Libra is balancing the scales of justice. We need to question the true motivations and honesty of any information being presented to us. We are no longer prepared to accept things at face value. We need to stay aware and determine what our inner truths are at every step of the way.

Sagittarius is all about expanding our horizons through travel, new experiences, creativity, higher learning and spirituality.

We can feel the urge to be more sociable, have fun, meet new people and to experience different cultures, traveling to new countries or new places that can help to stretch our horizons, inspire and motivate us.

Sagittarius is the seeker of truth and freedom lover, who needs to stretch his bow and aim his arrow high onto a new goal that is just out of his reach, yet within his sights.
It’s what he needs to feel truly alive.

You may find that you need a new goal or challenge in your life, to inspire and expand your talents and creativity, as well as expanding and seeking more fun and joy in love.
We have the self-confidence now, to rise to any challenges in life and love.

Sagittarius has a great sense of humor and can be the life and soul of the party.

They can seem larger than life as their ruling planet Jupiter has a tendency to expand their personality traits, including going to excess at times. It’s their way of testing and expanding their own limitations.

So there could be a tendency to go over the top as Venus now in the pleasure seeking sign of Taurus, loves to indulge her pleasures and senses. We will find now, and over the next few weeks, we are calmer and more grounded than in recent times as Venus in Aries had an unusual long stay in Aries since 3rd February to the 6th of June due to her retrograde phase, has been an exciting but at times a wild and erratic ride.

Venus in Taurus until the 4th of Juli, together with Jupiter and her later meet up with Pluto, ensures we will find support for our ventures and a wealth of hidden resources, with the potential to attract good luck and promising opportunities to expand our projects, gaining more power and influence.
Saturn, Venus in Taurus and now Mars in cancer, will help us to focus more easily, on our goals with a much more calmer and patient approach.The earthiness of this sign gives the grounded vision necessary to turn dreams into reality. The recent weeks, while Venus was in Aries and Mars in Gemini, have been at times, fast-paced, exhilarating and full of surprises and we may have felt as if we have lost our direction and grounding.

Saturn calls upon us to take a more realistic look, to make a better judgement call on the priorities, It calls upon us to get more ambitious, to take better, more deliberate aim, and to accomplish something of true and lasting significance.

Jupiter, the ruler of Sagittarius, is optimistic and knows no boundaries or limits, making us feel anything is possible now in love. Jupiter now direct in his last four-month phase of his twelve-month stay in Libra, the sign of relationships, is eager to fulfil his promise of working magic in love. Many have already made a deeper commitment or will have brought their relationship to the next level. For some still looking they may well still find “the one” by October. Jupiter in the sign of Libra since last September has been bringing many karmic lovers together. Others have discovered the pleasures of being happily single as Jupiter has improved our feelings of self- love.

Jupiter in Libra is working particularly strongly now, to right all the wrongs, in the Libra and Sagittarius themes of justice and fairness. In particular, on a political level, exposing the manipulation, delusion and untruths.

It’s time now, to no longer hold back and live life to the fullest!

“The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

We no longer have time for small, mindedness, drama, untruths, or being defined by other`s expectations and opinions.

Pushing the limits is easier now, and you can extend your influence much farther than ever before. When you know your destination, we can demonstrate an unwavering determination to arrive there.
No matter what the difficulties, we can overcome whatever is in our path, trusting in what is positive regardless of conditions. This period can reawaken your faith in the best that life and you have to offer.

"You are essentially who you create yourself to be and all that occurs in your life is the result of your own making”.” – Stephen Richards, Think Your way to Success: Let Your Dreams Run Free

Uranus in a flowing trine to the Moon and Sextile the Sun, is giving us an out of the box thinking mode enabling us to see everything from a new clear perspective. Helping us to find new solutions to old ways of thinking

The Sagittarius full moon will be making us feel optimistic, self-confident and adventurous.Sagittarius loves to spread joy, laughter and good vibes.

Traveling, meeting new people, expanding our horizons, moving out of our comfort zone, higher learning, spirituality and creativity are all being supported by the universe right now, taking us to where we are meant to be.

“Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.” -John Lennon

By living by our truth, we will find freedom and liberation

© All rights reserved, Vivienne Micallef-Browne

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New Study Reveals Medical Cannabis Users Consume Less Opioids, Antidepressants and Alcohol

A new study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology reports that patients suffering from chronic medical conditions used less opioids, antidepressants, sleep medications, alcohol, and other substances after using medical cannabis to treat their symptoms.

“So what we found is that after starting medical marijuana that many of the patients that were previously using opioids reduced the use of those agents,” said Brian J. Piper, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience in the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine and lead researcher for the study.

“So over three-quarters of the medical marijuana patients who were using opioids decreased the use of those agents.”

The numbers make a pretty strong case in favor of medical cannabis. The final results from the study show a 76.7% drop in regular opioid use, a 37.6% drop in antidepressant use, and a 42% drop in alcohol use. They also discovered that almost 72% of patients took less anti-anxiety medications, 67% of them used less migraine medications, and 65% of them used sleep aids less after beginning a medical marijuana treatment regimen.

Chronic pain, however, is by and large the main reason people seek out medical grade marijuana in the first place.

“Over two-thirds (70.4%) of patients in Maine and Rhode Island listed intractable or chronic pain followed by post-traumatic stress disorder (25.5%), severe muscle spasms (12.2%), or nausea (10.6%) as their qualifying condition,” reads an excerpt from the study.

Additionally, subjects of the study reported that medical marijuana provided the most effective treatment for pain following incidents of trauma. On a scale from 0 to 100% (100 percent indicating “complete relief”), subjects were asked to rate the effectiveness of medical marijuana in treating the conditions listed below and this is what they found:

  • 77.9% relief in the treatment of pain following trauma
  • 77.5% relief in the treatment of menstrual pain
  • 73% relief in the treatment of neck and back pain
  • 72.3% relief in the treatment of neuropathic pain
  • 75.8% relief in the treatment of cancer pain
  • 72% relief in the treatment of post-surgery pain

At the moment, only eight states in the United States have legalized the recreational use of cannabis. Thankfully, 28 states across the country have legalized the use of medical marijuana. Yet, the substance is still classified by the government as a Schedule I drug, sitting next to heroin in its description of having "no medical value."

Do you think it makes sense that cannabis and heroin are in the same category of substances? Maybe it's time to reevaluate the potential medicinal benefits of cannabis and its effectiveness in treating some of the most common chronic conditions that exist among the population today.

h/t Saludmovil

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Coincidence Vs. Synchronicity - Signs You Should Do Your Best Not to Ignore

Sometimes things happen in life and our first reaction is to think “Wow, how lucky was that?” Seemingly small events that many of us consider merely coincidental are actually synchronicities at play.

For example, a few nights ago I thought to call a good friend of mine that I hadn’t spoken to in a while. Oddly enough, he was calling me at the sametime! We hadn’t seen each other for years, and yet, here we both were, trying to reach out for one another.

Synchronicity is a reflection of one’s interconnectedness with the rest of the world. People who are highly interconnected will experience these subtle moments where things just seem to perfectly align. This is because on the spiritual plane, everything is connected somehow.

So, next time something perfect happens to you--whether it’s a newly opened parking space or a random, incredible job offer--recognize that it is because of your interconnectedness, and not merely coincidence.

Signs of synchronicity that often get written off
Now that you’re aware of synchronicities, you’re going to start recognizing them more often. Here is a brief list of signs of synchronicity that you should pay attention to.

1. Looking at the clock only to see a pattern of numbers. For example, 11:11, 12:34, 12:12, 22:22. While any particular set of numbers will only last for 60 seconds at most, somehow you glanced up exactly when it was set on this brief period of time. This type of synchronicity is believed to be representative of purpose.

2. You’re whistling or humming a certain song and then the song suddenly comes on the radio or television.

3. You’ve been contemplating big decisions or questions in your life for a while, when you realize that the world is trying to give you hints about what choice you should ultimately make. The universe knows what is right for you, and it’s trying to communicate this through synchronicity.

4. You randomly meet certain people who somehow have the best advice or information regarding the problems you are currently trying to solve. You probably didn’t even have to mention exactly what is wrong, yet this person you just met seems to have the answers you are looking for.

5. A friend or loved one gifts you an item that you’ve been thinking about getting for yourself, even though you never spoke a word of it to anyone.

These are all signs of synchronicity, and synchronicity is a sign that you’re on the right track, so embrace it!

h/t Mystical rave

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What Is Your Biggest Fear in Life? According to Your Zodiac Sign

Turning to the stars to learn more about who you are and what life has in store for you is a ritual that has been done for centuries. The zodiac is chock-full of insight and wisdom, making it a good place to start when trying to find yourself.

Here’s what the zodiac has to say about your biggest fears in life, according to your sign!

Aries (March 21 - April 19)

Although fiery and somewhat fleeting at times, Aries absolutely cherish their close relationships. Your biggest fear is having these close relationships end. But, because you so fear that your relationships will end, you become much more thoughtful, caring and loving towards these people.

Taurus (April 20 - May 20)

As a sign that values stability very highly, the Taurus does not like the unknown. They feel most comfortable when it’s smooth sailing, and things go exactly as expected. Turbulence causes the Taurus to overthink, ultimately causing anxiety.

Gemini (May 21 - June 20)

Gemini have a strong inclination towards perfection. They want things to be done and done right. Failure is by far the biggest fear that Gemini have, so they make up for this with a solid work ethic and organized goals. Unfortunately, this can also lead to them feeling as though they never do enough.

Cancer (June 21 - July 22)

Cancers are sweethearts who want nothing more than to be included in life. They hate feeling vulnerable and their worst nightmare is being rejected by their friends, family and loved ones.

Leo (July 23 - August 22)

Always one for the spotlight, Leos enjoy receiving praise when they go above and beyond. And while they are good at exceeding expectations, their biggest fear is not being recognized for it. They work hard and do well, so it stings when no one pays attention to them.

Virgo (August 23 - September 22)

Virgos are known for their organizational skills and strong need for independence, which means their biggest fear is that they’ll one day become dependent on someone else. They never want to find themselves dating someone who is unorganized and unmotivated.

Libra (September 23 - October 22)

Libras tend to have strong empathic traits, meaning they enjoy caring for and nurturing others. Their biggest fear is that they will somehow hurt the people closest to them, even though this is highly unlikely.

Scorpio (October 23 - November 21)

Scorpios can be a mess of emotions at times, even though they like to portray the image that they are completely invincible. It is emotional pain that scares the Scorpio the most. Being betrayed is the probably the most painful thing a Scorpio can experience, which is why they often choose to build their emotional walls high.

Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21)

The free-spirited Sagittarius is deathly afraid of being tied down in any way. They need the freedom and space to be spontaneous, to make mistakes, and to live life the way they want to live it. Which is why they tend to find partners and jobs that are like-minded.

Capricorn (December 22 - January 20)

Capricorns have big dreams and put forth a determined effort to turn those dreams into reality. Their biggest fear is that all of their hard work and effort will be rejected, belittled or dismissed by their peers.

Aquarius (January 21 - February 18)

A natural protector, the Aquarius enjoys being strong, for themselves and others. They enjoy being the cool-headed, dependable, pillar of strength that others can lean on in times of need. This leads to their biggest fear being that they won’t be able to find their strength or courage when they need it most.

Pisces (February 19 - March 20)

Rejection and abandonment inspire the utmost fear in a Pisces. They cherish all of their relationships greatly, so even thinking about being shut out is enough to rattle them to the core. Though there’s not much that phases a Pisces, being cast out by friends and loved ones will do the trick.

h/t Urbo

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