Emotional intelligence or EQ is our ability to identify and manage our own emotions and as well as the emotions of others. It includes three skills which are the ability to identify and name one’s own emotions, the ability to harness those emotions and apply them to tasks, and the ability to manage emotions. It can help you to better understand yourself and others that’s why it continues to be an increasingly popular skill to have in the professional world.
Emotional intelligence is indeed important to our life experience and it can influence how successful we are whether it’s about our careers or relationships. When a person has a high EQ, it means that he is both highly conscious of his own emotional states, and he can identify and manage even negative things like sadness and frustration. Aside from that, people with high EQ are also tuned in to the emotions of others experience, making them great parents, leaders, friends, and romantic partners.
If you want to achieve your goals or simply improve your emotional intelligence, there are ways you can do. Today, we are giving you simple ways on how you can improve your emotional intelligence, which in turn, can also help you develop your self-awareness and empathy.
1. Observe How You Feel
A lot of us lose touch with our emotions, especially when we are rushing from one commitment to the next, working on deadlines, and responding to external demands. This makes us act unconsciously, and it let us miss out the valuable information that our emotions contain. Every time we have an emotional reaction, we are receiving information about a particular situation or person. That reaction can be because of the current situation or it could be reminding us about a painful, unprocessed memory.
This is the reason why it’s important to observe how you feel because when you pay attention to how you are feeling, you will learn to trust your emotions and you can become far more adept at managing them. If you find it difficult to do this, you can set a timer for different points during the day. Every time the timer goes off, take a few deep breaths and observe how you are feeling emotionally. Take note where that emotion is showing up as a physical feeling in your body and what the sensation feels. When you practice this often, it will eventually become your habit.
2. Pay Attention to How You Act
You can only successfully manage your emotions when you are consciously aware of them. While observing how you feel, you should also pay attention to how you act or how you behave. Observe how you act when you’re experiencing specific emotions and how that affects your everyday life. Try to see if it impacts your productivity, communication with other people, and your overall well-being. When you become more conscious of how you act with what you are feeling, it will be easy for you to slip into judgment mode and start attaching labels to your behavior.
3. Respond to Conflict Instead of Reacting
Whenever we face conflicts, most of us would often have emotional outbursts and feelings of anger. But if you’re an emotionally intelligent person, you will know how to stay calm even during stressful situations. Emotionally intelligent people do not make impulsive decisions that later on would lead to bigger problems. They know how that the goal in every conflict is resolving it and they make a conscious choice to focus on making sure that their actions and words are aligned with that. Therefore, if you want to improve your emotional intelligence, try to think of resolutions when you encounter conflicts, instead of feeling bad about them.
4. Practice Maintaining a Positive Attitude
If you want to improve your emotional intelligence, you should not underestimate the power of your attitude. When you have a negative attitude, it can easily infect others if a person allows it to. But emotionally intelligent people have an awareness of the moods of the people around them and they can guard their attitude accordingly. These people know what they need to do to have an optimistic outlook and have a good day. To improve your emotional intelligence, try to practice maintain a positive attitude every day. You can do this by having a great breakfast or lunch, by doing some meditations, or by keeping positive messages and quotes on your work desk.
5. Always Be Responsible for Your Feelings and Behavior
This can be a really challenging step but the most helpful as well. Always keep in mind that your emotions and behavior come from you and not anyone else, meaning, you are responsible for them. If you get hurt with what a person says or does and you lash out at them, remember that you are responsible for that action. He did not make you do what you did because your reaction is your responsibility. This is the same as your feelings as it can provide you with valuable information about your experience of the other person and your own, but they are not other people’s responsibility. Accepting responsibility for how you feel and behave will have a positive impact on different areas of your life, hence, improving your emotional intelligence.
6. Empathize with Yourself and Others
Empathy is understanding why someone feels or behaves in a certain way and communicating that understanding to them. By practicing empathy, you will be able to improve your emotional intelligence. You should start by practicing it with yourself. Every time you notice yourself feeling or behaving in a certain way, try to ask why you think you feel like that. At first, you might not know why but when you keep on paying attention to your feelings and behavior, you will be able to notice that different answers will come through.
7. Keep in Mind that Emotional Intelligence is a Lifetime Process
Remember that emotional intelligence is not something you develop just once, but a lifetime practice and you can keep on improving it. If you feel like you’ve mastered the different ways we gave, still, keep on practicing. You will realize that you can use the benefits of improving your emotional intelligence for the rest of your life.
These are some of the wonderful ways on how you can improve your emotional intelligence. These will help you become more self-aware and empathetic of other people as well which can develop good relationships. If you are looking for more self-improvement tips, you can check out our other posts here.