There’s a lot of talk in the corporate world about EQ or Emotional Intelligence. It works itself into discussions on leadership, management, communications and culture diversity. But there’s something that proceeds EQ that is currently being ignored and that’s PQ.
What’s PQ? Physical intelligence. Why do I say that Physical Intelligence is being ignored? Have you taken a look at the Western world and noticed the obesity issue lately? The numbers are staggering. According to the World Obesity Organization, there are over 16 countries, including the USA, Mexico, England, Australia and France, where over 50% of the population is considered overweight or obese.
What does being overweight have to do with Physical Intelligence? And more importantly, what’s its effect on Emotional Intelligence? Glad you asked! Now you’re using your IQ!
Through advances in neurosciences, we know that our physiology is apparent far before our emotions are present. This is why experts can look at micro-movements in your facial muscles and predict what emotion your experiencing. This has been documented by the Paul Ekman Group for decades and was the inspiration behind the TV Series “Lie to Me.” We know intuitively that our physiology affects our emotions. You can try this out for yourself if you want to make sure:
- Sit or stand with your shoulders hunched forward, your eyes down at the ground, and breathe with shallow breaths. How do you feel? Not so great, huh? That’s because this is the physiology of someone who is depressed or sad.
- Sit or stand with your shoulders back and your head up, looking slightly up from the horizon level, and take a deep breath from the diaphragm. Now how do you feel? Expanded? Happy? Confident? Yes, because this is the physiology of someone who is confident, happy, and/or calm.
- Now go back to the depressed stance with your shoulders hunched and your eyes down and tell yourself how happy you are. Really try to convince yourself you’re happy. Something interesting happens. Your mind will call “BS” on you. It’s called cognitive dissonance. It means that you’re telling your mind something it doesn’t believe. It’s at odds with itself. It knows the body isn’t in a happy physiology so it’s not going to believe it’s happy.
You see, your physiology determines how you feel!
Our physical bodies are also responsible for all those neurotransmitters that float around our minds. And we know that these neurotransmitters help produce certain emotions. You know you’re supposed to exercise because exercise releases endorphins and serotonin which make us feel happy, positive & confident. And we know that hugs and sex, both physical acts, produce adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin and give us feelings of energy, reward, and again happiness. These physical acts are releasing the stuff that makes us feel the way we want to feel. They drive our emotions.
If our physiology proceeds emotions, than it’s safe to argue that corporations should be more concerned with PQ than EQ, right? How can you get the EQ correct when the PQ is all messed up?
Imagine you’re overweight. How do you think your body is doing at producing those vital neurotransmitters that give you positive emotions? And what about your physical ability to move and have adequate range of motion? How’s your physical intelligence now? What’s even worse is the processed food that most people have been eating to become overweight is causing all sorts of neurotransmitters to fire without the physical activity. Did you know that food manufacturers hire neuroscientists to make their food more addictive? Crazy, right? Sure, you can continue to get your serotonin hit from the chemicals in your food or you can get it from where it’s meant to come from, your physical intelligence!
It’s time to give up the processed food, get back to whole foods and plants, drink plenty of water and MOVE. Then our PQ will drive an even smarter EQ!