Improving Emotional Intelligence

Recent research suggests that emotional intelligence (EI) can be improved through training. There are several types of EI tests, but none have gained wide acceptance as an indicator for professional success or career advancement.

This is unfortunate because there are many ways to improve your overall sense of self-awareness and understanding of other people’s emotions.

You may not need to take courses at colleges or universities, however. Some say you’re already born with certain levels of emotional intelligence. Others believe it’s something you learn throughout your life.

Either way, this article will talk about some ways to develop your emotional intelligence. It could help you in your personal relationships, work relationships, and even friendships.

Emotional quotient test

One way to assess your emotional intelligence is by taking an EQ Test.

Become aware of your reactions

A large part of emotional intelligence is being able to recognize your own emotions and how they influence you.

Many people have a hard time doing this because they’re not aware what their body signals are. For example, when someone says something that makes you feel bad or angry, it can be difficult to know if you should yell back at them or try to make sense of why they said what they did.

Other things that could potentially trigger an emotion include situations such as talking about money, having a job change, or experiencing a loss. All of these things may contribute to feelings of stress, which can sometimes lead to anger.

It’s important to learn how to manage your stress and understand your emotions so that you don’t carry over those thoughts and feelings into other areas of your life. You want to keep yourself controlled and on track with your goals and dreams.

Practice meditation

how can emotional intelligence often be improved

One of the most fundamental things that can improve your emotional intelligence is learning how to manage your emotions.

This is particularly important because we are surrounded by sources of stress all the time, from difficult work assignments to family issues to financial problems.

In fact, in our stressed-out society, almost everyone has something they’re struggling with emotionally at some level — whether it's anxiety about their job or money, resentment towards someone else, fear about an upcoming task or situation, etc.

Running away from these feelings only makes them stay longer and become more intense. In those instances when you do address them, you may be unable to properly process what you have faced and instead say or do something that further raises your blood pressure.

Meditation helps reduce stress both physically and psychologically. It also teaches us how to better regulate our emotions.

Many people find that practicing yoga or other types of mindfulness (thinking about yourself and your surroundings) help them achieve this.

There are many different ways to meditate, so choose one that works for you. Some people focus on breathing while others use a word or phrase as their object.

Whatever method you choose, just start small and try to practice every day for a few minutes. Over time, you will find your self-control improving and your emotional wellness rising.

Work on self-reflecting

how can emotional intelligence often be improved

A large part of emotional intelligence is being able to recognize your emotions and what effect they are having on you and others.

This can be tricky, because we all have different levels of awareness when it comes to our feelings.

Some people seem to feel emotions very deeply, while other people may only show small signs of emotion.

It’s important to realize that there is no right or wrong way to feel, but for how someone else might perceive your emotions, there is!

So, how can you improve your emotional intelligence? By working on yourself, firstly by practicing ‘self-reflection’.

Self-reflection means thinking about something for a length of time – this could be a few minutes, hours, or even days. You want to try to get as much detail as possible without developing more negative thoughts and feelings.

Something similar to self-reflection is taking some time off work or school so that you can spend time doing things that you enjoy outside of work or school. This helps you to relax and reduce stress, which both help in improving your emotional health.

Communicate your feelings more

how can emotional intelligence often be improved

Even though it may feel uncomfortable at times, being able to communicate your emotions is an important skill for professionals. When you're in a situation where you are feeling strong emotion, knowing how to effectively talk about that emotion helps you overcome some of those barriers.

By learning how to recognize and manage your own emotions, as well as other people's, you can improve your overall emotional intelligence.

You'll also find that having this ability will help you relate better to others and create stronger relationships.

Be honest with your peers

how can emotional intelligence often be improved

When you’re passionate about something, you likely show it to others clearly. You may talk about it constantly, you may promote it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean people agree with you.

That’s okay! Sometimes, they don’t. That’s how things are in this world — not everyone agrees with you.

But if you truly believe in what you're promoting, then why wouldn't you? It's your life, your passion, so go ahead and live it.

And for those who do disagree, maybe they’ll change their mind when they realize you're more dedicated to your cause than just yourself. Your goal isn't only to prove that you know best, it is to win them over as well.

Be honest with yourself

Just because someone else can be easily swayed does not make them any less intelligent or worthy of respect. We all have our own internal struggles and secrets we keep from ourselves and other people.

Don’t assume anything about anyone else unless you really know them – including whether they have emotional intelligence.

Enforce personal boundaries

how can emotional intelligence often be improved

A lot of people have a hard time understanding what emotional intelligence is, or how to improve their own EQ. That’s okay! Most people are not very good at identifying and acknowledging their emotions, let alone learning how to manage them.

But there is something that almost everyone can work on to increase their EQ. And it’s an important quality for success in life — whether you know it yet or not. It’s called “personal boundary-setting.”

Personal boundary-setting means making sure that you don’t intrude into other people’s space unnecessarily. This includes limiting access to things like health care, education, and employment opportunities because you don’t feel they are being productive members of society.

It also means avoiding people who make you unhappy by acting like they don’t exist. Sometimes these people are a bit more powerful than we realize, and unless you take steps to reduce your exposure to them, they will continue to hurt you.

Be realistic

how can emotional intelligence often be improved

Many theories about emotional intelligence focus heavily on either developing your ability to identify emotions in others or changing how you manage your own emotions.

However, what few studies do is look at both simultaneously. This approach is important because it can be hard to help someone learn how to recognize and control their own emotions if they cannot understand their own feelings.

So, some experts suggest that instead of just teaching people to deal with their own emotions, we should teach them to reduce the level of stress in their lives. This includes educating students on how to handle difficult situations educationally and socially, as well as helping them find ways to lessen stress at home.

Furthermore, professionals who are able to regulate their own emotions are less likely to develop mental health conditions like anxiety or depression. So, improving one’s EQ could have significant benefits for overall wellness.

Seek out emotional support

how can emotional intelligence often be improved

Overcoming shyness or fear of being judged can be difficult, but there are several strategies that you can use to improve your EQ. You don’t have to go it alone, though; seeking out other people's help is an excellent way to work on your empathy.

Friends and family who know you well may be able to spot when you're struggling and try to give you some tips or advice. They might even notice something changing in your behavior and ask why — giving you the chance to explain yourself.

By listening to what they say and trying to understand their points of view, you'll hone your ability to read others and develop understanding of their emotions.

Furthermore, researchers suggest that having more friends helps reduce stress and depression by lowering levels of cortisol, a hormone linked with anxiety and worry.

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