How To Exercise Emotional Intelligence

Many people believe that being good at emotional intelligence (or EQ for short) is only important in relation to your job, but it goes much deeper than that. Having strong emotions and understanding them is an essential life skill that every person should have.

This article will discuss some ways you can develop your emotional literacy or “emotion smarts” as they like to say. It will talk about how practicing these skills has benefits not just for you, but also for those around you.

You will learn how to be more aware of other people’s emotions, what makes them feel happy and sad, and how to respond when something happens that may stir up emotion in you or them. You will also learn how to manage your own feelings so that they don’t get the better of you.

Look at your reactions

Recent studies show that it is not just how much you exercise, but what kind of workout you are doing that makes a difference in your mental health. What types of exercises motivate you to work out?

If you’re exercising for appearance reasons alone (no matter how beautiful you may feel after), then you’re likely wasting your time and energy. A study conducted by Stanford University found that people who exercised for their overall wellness rather than weight loss had better emotional control.

They called this type of exerciser an “intrinsic” exerciser. As they put it, these individuals get “stimulated directly from within” when they undertake activity — anything from walking to swimming to dancing to running.

This was more effective than those who exercise for external rewards like feeling good about themselves or looking healthier. It seems obvious, really, if we look around us – healthy, fit people seem to be happier than people with less fitness. But why wouldn’t you want to be happy?

So, make changing how you exercise more important than losing extra weight! You will still enjoy your workouts, and you’ll see results, but beyond that, they can help you achieve greater happiness in your life.

Be honest with your peers

how to exercise emotional intelligence

As mentioned earlier, one of the major components of emotional intelligence is being able to recognize and manage your emotions. What kind of person are you when you're feeling good about yourself? Are you happy with what you've done? If so, keep doing those things!

But what if you feel bad about yourself for something that happened days ago? You may be experiencing an off-day in your emotional IQ.

The thing about off days is, they can last more than just one day. Sometimes a few weeks will pass before you hit back on track and realize it was actually your low EQ that made you feel this way.

Beware of people who seem overly focused on praising you for every little accomplishment. They could be trying to boost your own self esteem by saying how great you are. It may sound nice, but it can also make you feel even worse because you don't agree that you're enough already.

On the other hand, there's someone out there who won’t tell you anything positive about yourself unless they get lots of praise from you. That might work for them, but not for you.

So, which ones are we talking about here? Honestly, I wouldn’t know. All I can say is that if you’re having a hard time distinguishing between comments that make you feel good and comments that hurt you, then it’s probably time to work on your emotional intelligence.

Be honest with your peers about your feelings

how to exercise emotional intelligence

As mentioned before, being aware of what other people think and feel is an important part in having healthy relationships. The same goes for emotional intelligence!

If you work together, there will be times when things get tough or someone says something that makes you feel bad. It’s very easy to avoid them until they happen again, but that isn’t a good thing.

By avoiding those conversations, you’re not giving yourself time to process your emotions and move past it. You also prevent your colleagues from processing their own emotions and putting more pressure on you both as professionals and friends.

Instead, talk about how you felt and why. If needed, ask if anyone else experienced the same thing so that you can support each other and use this conversation to help others with similar experiences.

Make eye contact

how to exercise emotional intelligence

Making direct eye contact with someone is one of the most powerful ways to establish strong interpersonal relationships. When you make direct, conscious eye contacts with people, it can strengthen your bond with them or create a new connection.

When you are talking to someone, keep your eyes connected with their eyes for several seconds. It’s not until that moment when their body flicks away that you should drop off.

By keeping the other person engaged in your gaze, they will feel acknowledged and understood which could help build trust.

It’s easy to forget that this concept applies to more than just strangers, though. People who work together on a daily basis need to know how to maintain an open line of communication.

Having a casual chat with someone outside of work might sound nice, but if there’s something important he or she needs to tell you then it would be better to meet somewhere separate where you don’t have to worry about being interrupted. This way, you both will feel comfortable sharing what you want from the relationship.

Making deliberate efforts to look into each other’s eyes can enhance emotional intelligence. By doing so, you’ll find yourself feeling happier, more focused, and even more inclined towards helping others.

Be realistic

how to exercise emotional intelligence

We’ve discussed how important it is to exercise for overall health, but one of the biggest reasons people don’t engage in regular activity is because they think you have to be training for a marathon to feel some sort of effect.

There are many benefits to engaging in light or moderate exercise every day. It can help reduce stress, improve mood, increase sleep, strengthen your muscles, and regulate blood pressure and glucose levels.

And while most experts agree that more is always better when it comes to exercising, there is an appropriate level of intensity for everyone.

Some people who start out doing nothing more than walking on the treadmill will find it easy to continue from there and achieve their goals. For others, however, it may take them longer to get going and motivate themselves to keep at it.

It doesn’t matter what kind of workout you're doing as long as you're working up a sweat and putting some effort into it, but remember: If you want to see results, you need to set a goal that's achievable and reward yourself for completing your workouts.

Share your feelings

how to exercise emotional intelligence

A major factor in emotional wellness is being able to share your emotions with others. When you keep some things to yourself, you can’t expect people to understand what you are going through or feel better when they leave you alone.

Many individuals develop protective habits that help them avoid sharing their innermost thoughts and experiences.

This becomes an issue later in life as most work relationships occur over the phone or via email and it is very difficult to contain your emotions while conversing.

Avoid staying silent about something that bothers you for too long, it will only make matters worse.

If there is someone who knows you well, ask if they would be willing to do a quick check-in every week by telephone or video chat. Or even just an informal “How are you doing?” once a month should suffice. This way, you don’t need to come up with excuses not to talk to them, but you CAN choose how much of you to reveal to them.

Look for the good in others

how to exercise emotional intelligence

A lot of people focus only on what they want or need from you, but looking beyond that to see the things you can do for them is important too. They may not tell you this directly, but they’ll make sure to let you know when it’s done. For example, if someone has made a promise to spend time with you, he or she will stick around until you are both out of sight.

By the same token, if someone has promised to help you achieve your goal, they will keep their word even after you have forgotten about them. It sounds obvious, but it takes more than just wishing something would happen to determine whether or not it does.

If you look at the people close to you, you will find that some seem to be missing certain parts of them. Sometimes these are outward signs like hair color or skin tone, but sometimes it’s much harder to identify. People who say little often mean a great deal, and the ones who talk a big game don’t usually live up to expectations.

It’s worth being aware of such trends, and trying to understand why that is, but also remembering that everyone needs a bit of space and privacy. What one person considers enough is different from the next.

Be optimistic

how to exercise emotional intelligence

Even if you are doing your best, there is always something additional you could be doing to strive towards your goal or achieve your desired result.

It may sound cliché, but being positive can have a profound effect on your mental health.

When you have a negative thought, you immediately follow it with a “but” – so what happens next is not positive.

By thinking about all of the things you will succeed in doing, that “but” becomes weaker and weaker.

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