How Emotional Intelligence Functions

People with high emotional intelligence are aware of their emotions and know how to use them effectively. They recognize when someone else is experiencing an emotion, and what that person’s corresponding feeling is.

They are also conscious of their own feelings and can identify why they are feeling a certain way. In other words, they understand themselves emotionally. This understanding helps them relate to others and make sure they feel comfortable, which makes it easier to form friendships and trust.

When you have higher levels of emotional intelligence, you're more likely to handle stressful situations well. You may even learn something from these experiences because you look at the situation in terms of what caused your current state and apply that knowledge to future ones.

Emotional intelligence has been linked to success in both business and life, so improving it is one of the most effective ways to succeed. There are several theories about how emotional intelligence works, but no single theory completely explains all aspects of the trait.

This article will discuss four such theories and some examples of each. Then, we'll talk about how to improve your emotional intelligence by focusing on one particular theory at a time.

Connecting emotional intelligence to performance

Over the past few years, there has been an increased focus placed on what people call ‘emotional literacy’ or ‘self-awareness’. These terms refer to our understanding of our own emotions as well as how we perceive and react to those of others.

Most experts agree that being aware of your own feelings is a good start towards improving your mood, but it isn’t quite enough.

Emotional awareness should be paired with something called 'effective emotion regulation'. This means identifying a situation, process, person, or object as emotionally charged and then using strategies to regulate your emotions while interacting with them.

For example, if you feel angry about someone taking advantage of you, try to take some time to think through the reasons why they might have done this before getting into a fight with them.

Alternatively, when you find yourself in a situation where you can't control your anger, try to distract yourself from it by doing things like going for a walk or practicing yoga.

You may also want to talk to someone about your problems so that you don't keep them bottled up. In fact, having a conversation even about something unrelated to the source of your hurt can help mitigate your anger.

Definition of mood

how emotional intelligence functions

A person’s mood is their emotional state at any given moment. We all have different moods, some more upbeat and happy than others.

When we are in a good mood, something or someone makes us happier and this feeling persists for a while. This effect usually withers away though, as you can probably tell by now!

We sometimes describe people with these positive moods as having ‘good spirits’ or being ‘in a good spirit’.

However, not everyone shares your happiness level so easily. When they feel that same emotion, it may make them feel even less happy.

This differs from someone who has no energy to be happy; they cannot seem to find the source of joy anywhere. They may be very busy but never enjoy what they are doing, which leaves an empty space inside them.

On the other hand, there are people who are always excited and smile a lot, which seems to match their internal state.

Emotions connect us together, helping us relate to each other and understand why other people act the way they do.

They also help motivate us to get things done, because we want to feel those emotions.

Some experts say that our own set of feelings determine how well we cope with life events, and thusly our overall mental health.

But none of this applies if you don’t know how yourself feel.

Recognizing one’s moods

how emotional intelligence functions

A major component of emotional intelligence is being able to recognize your own moods. When you can identify what makes you feel good and bad, it helps in planning for the future and avoiding things that may hurt you.

It also helps with improving your mood because you are more aware of the factors that influence your emotions. For example, someone might make you angry by saying something mean, but if you know how to reduce your stress level, then you will not take much offense until later when you have calmed down.

Conversely, if you never learn how to decrease your stress levels, then your emotional IQ won’t do too well. You would get easily stressed out and even become irritable or aggressive sometimes.

There was a study done where participants were asked to write about a situation that made them very upset and discuss the reasons why they got so worked up. After writing for several minutes, some people were asked to hold a glass ball while trying to think about nothing.

Researchers found that those who could lower their heart rates took longer to realize they had to consciously work to suppress thoughts than individuals with higher resting heart rates.

This shows that people with high emotional intelligence are able to control their reactions less intensely due to the fact that they regulate their stress levels better.

Managing one’s moods

how emotional intelligence functions

A major function of emotional intelligence is to help us manage our own internal experiences, such as emotions. This ability to regulate your emotions helps you maintain control over your reactions to other people and situations.

It also helps you get things done more efficiently. When you are able to reduce stress, you can focus better and accomplish your goals more quickly.

When someone does something that makes you feel bad or angry, it can be difficult to concentrate on what else they might say or do next. By being aware of your feelings, you will have time to process them before responding.

That way, you will speak more thoughtfully and effectively. You will also spend those few moments recovering from any negative effects that person may have left behind.

Understanding emotions

how emotional intelligence functions

A few years ago, there was a lot of talk about what is now referred to as emotional intelligence (EI). People who talked about it had very different ideas about what makes up EI. Some said it was having more empathy or understanding how other people feel. Others focused on using strategies to manage your own emotions.

Some experts believe that being emotionally intelligent comes down to something called emotion regulation. This means figuring out ways to regulate your own emotions so you can concentrate on doing things rather than be distracted by them.

Researchers have also proposed that there are some types of individuals who seem to have higher levels of EI than others. These people may show more sensitivity to emotions in others and identify with feelings more easily.

Emotions play an important role in helping us function at our best. But too often they get the better of us, leaving us feeling overwhelmed and stressed.

This is why it’s important to understand your own emotions and learn how to reduce stress. You will then be able to deal effectively with everyday hassles and frustrations and use those experiences to improve your overall mood.

Connecting emotional intelligence to behavior

how emotional intelligence functions

Recent research suggests that there are six major factors that make up your EI. These include understanding and management of emotions, use of emotion for motivation, ability to identify and understand feelings in others, willingness to recognize and accept one’s own feelings, control over one’s reactions to situations, and respect for and tolerance of differences in mood and personality.

When you have high EQ, you are aware of your emotions and how they influence your behaviors. You may even be able to motivate yourself through your own internal process of figuring out what makes you feel good about yourself or what needs to be done next.

You also know how to read other people and why they behave as they do. If someone else is upset, you can tell whether it is because they lost the argument or because something made them sad.

You don’t take things personally when they didn’t say anything bad about you so you can’t assume everything was a direct attack on you.

You learn how to manage your anger and frustration and keep from lashing out physically or verbally.

You are not afraid to show your true feelings, nor are you fake with those you like or need. Your relationships stay strong due to your authentic communication.

You acknowledge and accept mistakes without feeling guilty, instead choosing to move forward quickly to prevent repeating past errors.

Developing emotional intelligence

how emotional intelligence functions

The second major component of emotional intelligence is developing your ability to recognize, understand and manage your emotions. This may seem simple enough, but it can be quite difficult at times.

Many people believe that being strong emotionally means being able to keep your feelings under control at all times. However, this isn’t necessarily the case.

It's okay to feel angry or hurt, but it is important to know how to deal with those feelings in a productive way. In fact, it is considered an integral part of healthy personality development to learn how to regulate your emotions.

Research shows that individuals who are able to identify their own emotions more accurately and then describe them to themselves and others are happier than individuals who cannot.

Furthermore, research has shown that adults who were raised with high levels of emotional literacy are less likely to suffer from mental health conditions like depression or anxiety.

You don’t have to be trained in psychology to develop your emotional intelligence, but learning about emotion regulation and its importance in life can help you do just that.

Improving emotional intelligence

how emotional intelligence functions

Increasing your emotional quotient (EQ) is similar to increasing your IQ. Both qualities are inversely related to how emotionally stable or unstable you are, and therefore both make it possible for you to respond with more appropriate levels of emotion to various experiences.

Emotional stability comes from understanding what emotions are and why you have them. For example, if you understand that most people feel happiness when they do something good for others, then you’ll recognize this as an instance of someone being happy for you.

This can be done by just thinking about things like why other people may feel happier for you, or reading books about human psychology.

It also means not taking these feelings seriously — we all need some amount of self-confidence, and this comes from knowing yourself well.

The second part of improving your EQ is learning how to regulate your emotions. This includes asking yourself whether having certain emotions is helpful at a given time, and putting aside thoughts that may actually contribute to additional negative emotions.

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