As humans, we possess a myriad of emotions that allow us to fully experience our lives. It would stand to reason that being aware and giving attention to our emotions, and the emotions of those around us, serves to enhance our daily interactions and improve our overall well being. The ability to understand and manage emotions is called emotional intelligence. Being emotionally intelligent can help improve our mental health, our relationships with those around us, and even our working lives.
People with high emotional intelligence are able to recognize and control their emotions, as well as empathize with the emotions of others. They can manage their stress and anxiety, and are generally happy and balanced. If perhaps you don’t feel your emotional intelligence is as high as your would like it to be, there are ways you can work on improving it.
Get in touch with your emotions
It sounds like a no brainer, but how many times in your life have you not quite understood why you were feeling the way you were. Emotions are way more complicated than just happy, mad, and sad. They are complex and deep, and so many factors go into why you feel a certain way in any given situation. Understanding your own emotions will in turn help you to understand the emotions of those around you and make you more empathetic. Being empathetic is key to having meaningful relationships with friends, family, and significant others. When you can put yourself into the shoes of another and truly get an idea of how they are feeling, you can connect emotionally on a level you couldn’t before and strengthen your bonds.
Become fluent in body language
So much can be expressed with body language. Often, when a person says one thing, and are actually thinking and feeling another, their body language can give it away. Body movements, posture, and facial expressions are just some of the ways in which people express themselves non-verbally. Learning how to get your emotions in line with your body language can increase your emotional intelligence by helping you communicate more effectively and understand the nonverbal signals others are putting out. Communication is important to emotional understanding, both verbal and nonverbal.
Find ways to manage stress and anxiety
A crucial part of emotional intelligence is the ability to manage your emotions. You may understand why you are feeling stress or anxiety, but if you can’t manage those feelings, you’ve only fought half the battle. Stress and anxiety can become a heavy weight in our lives, and it can have many physical effects on our bodies. Learning to manage it will immensely improve our well being. Find a way to regulate your stress such as prioritizing daily goals, writing down your accomplishments, and surrounding yourself with supportive family and friends. When you learn to manage your feelings and stress, you can focus more on overall happiness and tranquility.
Master conflict resolution skills
When dealing with conflicts, a high emotional intelligence can help keep the situation from escalating more than it needs to. Learning conflict resolution skills will combine many of the aspects of emotional intelligence and put them to a situation for practical use. Effective conflict resolution ability involves recognizing feelings, active listening on both sides, expressing thoughts clearly, and coming to a solution all while remaining civil. Someone who can manage to resolve otherwise difficult situations while keeping calm is sure to have high emotional intelligence.
When we are unable to understand and manage our emotions, we can become erratic, depressed, and irritable. Developing our emotional intelligence will only improve our outlook and well being. With time, practice and reflection, you can work on enhancing your awareness, managing your stress, and dealing with everyday conflict and mishaps. Stability and happiness is yours for the taking.
(feature image courtesy of artifact uprising)