The amygdala in the emotional center sees and hears everything that occurs to us instantaneously and is the trigger point for the fight or flight response.
If you do a practice and train your attention to hover in the present, then you will build the internal capacity to do that as needed - at will and voluntarily.
I would say that IQ is the strongest predictor of which field you can get into and hold a job in, whether you can be an accountant, lawyer or nurse, for example.
But there has also been a notable increase in recent years of these applications by a much wider slice of psychotherapists - far greater interest than ever before.
I think the smartest thing for people to do to manage very distressing emotions is to take a medication if it helps, but don't do only that. You also need to train your mind.
When I went on to write my next book, Working With Emotional Intelligence, I wanted to make a business case that the best performers were those people strong in these skills.
Motivation aside, if people get better at these life skills, everyone benefits: The brain doesn't distinguish between being a more empathic manager and a more empathic father.
My hope was that organizations would start including this range of skills in their training programs - in other words, offer an adult education in social and emotional intelligence.
When it comes to exploring the mind in the framework of cognitive neuroscience, the maximal yield of data comes from integrating what a person experiences - the first person - with what the measurements show - the third person.
But once you are in that field, emotional intelligence emerges as a much stronger predictor of who will be most successful, because it is how we handle ourselves in our relationships that determines how well we do once we are in a given job.