HNP Recommends... These 3 things will make you more Emotionally Intelligent

Posted on 6/13/19

1. Read: How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell  


Ever feel like every inch of your life is being optimized, tracked or recorded in some way?  


In 2019, even the stuff that’s meant to be for our own pleasure/ rejuvenation/ enjoyment gets diced up and seeded out for some sort of external validation. (See: ‘Look at how great my friends are!’ Instagram Stories.) 


Stanford professor, artist and writer Jenny Odell wants to change how you think about all of this. In her book, released this Spring, she argues that distraction and disconnection are fuelling our modern malaise – and that you need to take steps to counteract it.  


How? Jenny herself uses birdwatching. But anything that allows you to truly feel the place and time that you’re in – the season, the time of day – is beneficial. Ideas like going for a walk in your nearest park or wood without your headphones, braving a wild swim in your local pond or simply sitting on your porch and listening to the sparrows chatter are all good places to start. 

2. Listen: The Everyday Gift of Writing, on the Becoming Wise Podcast 


If you’ve ever listened to ‘On Being,’ the podcast that delves into spiritual themes and features seriously interesting people, from rabbis to artists to astronomers, then you’ll be familiar with host Krista Tippett’s dulcet tones.  


This series is a collection of snippets of longer conversations, that are all under 10 minutes long.  


In a chat with poet Naomi Shihab Nye, talk turns to why writing things down – whether that’s journaling, keeping a diary or literally just putting the thing that stressed you out that day to on a page – can make you feel better at the least and energize and nourish you at the most.  


If you’re low on time but in need of a pop of inspiration and guidance, you’ll want this in your earholes, stat. 

3. Watch: Alles Ist Gut, directed by Eva Trobisch on Netflix, from June 6 


Translated as ‘All good’, this powerful German-language film, a graduation project by young director Eva Trobisch, is a powerful account of the trauma experienced by a young woman after she’s been raped.  


So, yes, it’s not the kind of film you’ll have on in the background while you’re prepping dinner - or for TGIF escapism viewing. But, when you’re in the right headspace to handle something heavier, it’s a must-watch, visceral education in the messy and protracted, psychological impact of sexual assault.  


The way the protagonist does her best to move on, pretending as if nothing happened, offers us an important take-home lesson outside of the experience of sexual assault. That is: do your best to be default-kind and empathetic, because you never know what someone may be dealing with. 

by Claudia Canavan & Roisín Dervish-O’Kane, @allupinyourfeelings