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Enhancing Your Emotional IQ

Have you ever let your emotions take the reins in your life?

You feel so strongly about something - whether that emotion is negative or positive - that you act on those emotions. Maybe it was a recent debate at a family gathering… You had to win. You got angry. You said something you didn’t fully think through.

Or perhaps you let your heart get carried away with each person you meet. You think each time that this person is the one for you.

While I’m all for following your heart, sometimes it can work to your own detriment. You aren’t including mindfulness practice in your everyday life and you are letting your emotions sway your life’s path.

What is Emotional IQ?

As humans, we are lucky enough to have an awareness - and this awareness includes being able to recognize and control our emotions. This is called emotional intelligence or emotional IQ.

When you recognize your emotions, you take another step toward taking control of your own life, such as your behaviours, thinking patterns, and more. It opens the door to a world of possibilities. It also gives you the ability to respect other people’s boundaries and communicate your own opinion or thoughts - without sabotaging yourself.

Interestingly, improving your emotional intelligence may greatly impact your work productivity and success. Surveys indicate that 90% of high performers in the workplace have high emotional intelligence. 80% of those that perform at a lower level have a lower emotional intelligence.

Thus, if you’re career-driven or want to make major changes in your life to become happier and more successful, improving your emotional IQ is a great place to start.

But how do you do that?

6 Essentials for Enhancing Your Emotional IQ

Psychology Today outlined 6 essentials when it comes to increasing and improving your emotional intelligence. These include:

1. Your ability to manage and understand your negative emotions.

Your negative emotions are what will get you. When we get sad or angry, we tend to act more irrationally. They impact your judgement and sway you toward a possible solution that isn’t exactly helpful or productive.

Psychologists suggest that the ability to manage these negative emotions comes down to perception. Our minds automatically switch to negative thinking patterns.

For example, you had plans with friends but you never hear from them or they never confirm. You may automatically think they don’t care or that they don’t want to see you. But surprisingly, most people act in accordance with how they feel about themselves - not other people.

This means your friend may actually be feeling down about something or perhaps they’ve been very busy and want to catch up with you but the specific day isn’t going as planned. It’s often not that they don’t want to see you - but that other things are going on in their life.

Related Article: Here’s How to Work Out to Release Every Type of Negative Emotion

2. Your management of stress.

Stress frequently throws our emotions off the rails. Proper mental health care involves finding healthy coping mechanisms and techniques to manage the stress in your life.

The amount of stress in your life could cause you to react - rather than respond or be assertive. It adds another layer in front of you when it comes to controlling your emotions.

The best way to deal with this? Again, find those stress management techniques and methods that help you cope. Don’t let your stress levels become too much that you’re overwhelmed. Take the time to relax and actively find self-care tactics that create an overall better you!

3. Your ability to express difficult emotions and display confidence.

Some conversations in life will be uncomfortable. Yet, avoidance and bottling up your emotions frequently don’t help. Instead, it’s better to face the problem head-on.

Consider confronting the person using the “I feel…” strategy. You would say, ‘I feel X when you do Y in situation Z.’ It doesn’t accuse. It just communicates your feelings.

4. Your capability to remain proactive.

Reactive emotions rarely get us to a solution we desire. They instead frequently exacerbate a problem.

Find ways to be proactive instead of reactive. To reduce your reactive tendencies (if you’ve got ‘em!), try taking a few deep breaths before reacting. Count to 10 or try to imagine how the other person is feeling and why.

5. Your ability to handle and overcome life’s challenges.

Life isn’t always a smooth ride. Bumps in the road and turns or detours - they happen. But amidst these adversities, your ability to ride the wave to higher ground matters.

When it comes to improving your emotional intelligence, think about what you can learn from the situation. Turn to hope or optimism over despair or fear. It is possible - especially with mindfulness practice - to not let these bumps completely derail you or those around you.

You just have to be more aware of your negative thoughts and then, challenge them. Those bumps don’t have to stop you. You can glide over them and move forward with positivity.

6. Your ability to express deep emotions within personal and close relationships.

Do you show your appreciation and love to those you’re close with? You should.

Experts point out that the individuals that do this have a higher emotional intelligence. And it takes practice. But practice will get you to a point where you feel less awkward about it and where you feel more natural with it.

Not only that, but this skill will help you improve your relationships. It will help you connect on a deeper level with those around you.

Related Article: How to Manifest Healthy Friendships & Let Go of Negative People

What Else Can You Do?

There are various ways to increase your emotional intelligence. Understanding yourself is a good place to start. This can be hard when your emotions and thoughts cloud your own thinking. So, here are a few tips to help you out:
Start Recognizing Your Emotions Today!

  • Reflect on your emotions. Try journaling. It can be a great way to privately express your feelings and sort them out.
  • Ask for insight from others. Ask your friend’s perspectives. Are you acting rationally? Is there something you’re missing?
  • Pause before you react. Again, count to 10 here or take a few deep breaths!
  • Ask yourself why you feel the way you feel. Ask why the other person possibly feels how they feel. Empathy and understanding are very important when it comes to relationships.
  • Don’t defend when you face critique. Take this as an opportunity to learn. What can you do differently next time? How can you improve?
  • And remember, it will take time and plenty of practice to get better at handling your emotions!

There’s no better time than right now. Grow your emotional intelligence. And improve your life and relationships along the way.

Want to learn more? Purchase Activate Your Brain on Amazon today. Actively work to understand the inner workings of your mind. You never know what opportunities lie on the other side.

Related Article: Strengthening Your Mind-Body Connection

Krista Bugden

Krista Bugden

"Believing in yourself is really half the battle," says Krista. Anything is possible and you really can achieve anything you set your mind to, is her motto. Physiotherapist, Piano player, skydiver, yogi, adventure traveler and energetic force of positivity, Krista is herself a (delightful) force to be reckoned with! As... Read More

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