3 Tips for Improving Your Emotional Intelligence

September 2, 2020
3 Tips for Improving Your Emotional Intelligence
3 Tips for Improving Your Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence

Have you ever just “lost it”? Failed to control your emotions? Acted irrational then later you had calmed down wished you hadn’t or felt you over reacted? Had an anxiety or panic attack? Felt stressed when public speaking? These are all situations where applying emotional intelligence skills come in really handy.

Being able to Identify, understand, and control your emotions are abilities known as emotional intelligence (EQ).

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Basically emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, express, and understand emotions (both yours and others). We all have varying degrees of EQ – me sometimes I think I have the EQ of a lima bean 😉

Why is emotional intelligence important?

Having more emotional intelligence (EQ) helps in a number of areas. Forming and maintaining fulfilling relationships, improving personal wellbeing, and helps develop empathy and compassion. The ability to manage fear and anxiety, to make confident decisions, deal with disappointment, and motivation. In even simpler terms the ability to happily “get along well with yourself and others”

The more emotional intelligence we have the better reasoning and decision making capabilities we tend to have – studies have shown people in successful leadership roles tend to have high EQ.

The good news is – EQ is a set of skills you can develop and improve – which was very good news to me!

However the question I ask is why aren’t we taught these skills as children? In schools? Why is it that the majority of us lack so much emotional intelligence? And why did so many not learn it from our parents?

From what I understand it’s fairly new – like in the last 30 odd years that research in this particular area has been really studied so hopefully with more awareness things will change significantly in the near future, I believe it desperately needs to.

It’s not lost on me the impact developing EQ from very early on would have on reducing things like reducing anxiety, depression and suicide rates.

3 things that can improve your emotional intelligence?

Self-Awareness and emotional intelligence

After reading many articles, I would say the number one thing you could do immediately to improve your emotional intelligence is through “self-awareness” and “emotion recognition”.

It’s not hard to identify when we are being emotional or over emotional in a negative way – like anxiety and stress, the trick is to be able to “catch yourself” before it gets out of control and that comes down to being aware of your emotions.

Something that might help – the next time you go through an emotional experience and it has passed, take some time to reflect on what happened, how you felt, what emotions you can recognize – write these down, you may need to do that a few times.

As you develop your self-awareness you will be in a better position to change your thoughts which in turn can influence your emotions and actions.

Self-Management and Emotional Intelligence

I reckon the next would be “self-management”. The brilliant thing about this part is that once you have identified or isolated the emotion in the moment, your brain kind of takes over and tries to rationalize is this real?, am I in danger?, what evidence do I have to support that emotion? – When it determines the emotion is of no physical threat the emotion diminishes or disappears altogether.

Feelings are said to come after emotions so theoretically if you can establish the emotion is not significant then the corresponding feeling won’t occur. Ok that is a pretty high level take on it I know.

Social Awareness and Emotional Intelligence

“Social awareness” this is about recognizing and understanding other people’s emotions. Being socially aware allows you to choose how to react to different social situations with other people, and being able to change how you respond to their emotions to reach the best results.

So emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and control your emotions and behaviors while being aware of others emotions at the same time then changing your actions in a positive way.

Contributing Writer at Nurturely
Phyllis is passionate about the field of mental health and well-being and a self development enthusiast.
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