I will admit that being an emotional creature is a gift and a curse all at the same time. Don’t you think? There is no owner’s manual or strategy guide when we are born that tells us how, when, and where our emotions can or should come up. Finding your emotional compass can feel like a quest to learn the true meaning of life.
Living with anxiety, my emotions sometimes get carried away. They can feel like a train with no breaks. Our emotions can dictate how we think in a certain moment. This is why it’s important to understand the relationship between your heart and brain. This requires a deep dive into your mental health to find a way to hone in on your emotions, strengthen the areas where you may feel weak, and feel fully in control. This journey comes with understanding your emotional intelligence…
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is understood as someone’s ability to recognize, handle, and control their emotions, and manage interpersonal relationships by communicating effectively and empathetically. The social awareness that comes with emotional intelligence creates positive ways to relieve stress, overcome challenges, and defuse conflict.
If you think about it, our emotions can fuel the fire of any situation, and sometimes get the best of us. By using our emotions to guide our actions, the more clear and concise you can be in a given moment results in more rewarding choices throughout the day.
Impact of Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence can have a huge impact on your:
- Decision making– Decisions contain both cognitive and emotional components, Emotions can drive our decisions in everyday life.
- Performance at work – Your performance at work can be greatly affected by how your emotions are and how emotionally demanding some jobs can be. EI can help us better use our emotions to increase our productivity.
- Making connections/interactions– Our capability of better expressing our emotions can lead to building meaningful connections and interactions in our lives.
- Greater self-control– Controlling our emotions is a learned skill. EI helps us control the strong emotions we can feel throughout the day.
The benefits that Emotional Intelligence gives can make you feel like your mind and brain are finally in tune. Think of it as the gears in your head and the gears in your heart have a hard time connecting and turning. While building your practice of Emotional Intelligence you would be your own mechanic servicing those gears to work together and properly.
Building your Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence can be seen as a talent for keeping calm and focused. Now might be the time to confront those emotional triggers, not to battle them but understand their effect on you. However this rewarding process takes practice and understanding before you feel like you and your emotions are working in tandem. The key steps we should take to build our Emotional Intelligence would be to:
- Self-awareness – Understanding your emotions can be a two way street. Once you understand what strikes your emotions then you can begin to understand how to cope with those feelings.
- Stress Management – Handling stress requires a lot of discipline with our emotions. Learning how we manage our stress can be indicative of building our EI in stressful situations.
- Empathy – This is your ability to understand and share what others are feeling. Understanding how others share emotions can have us step in their shoes and have the perspective they have on emotional situations helping us develop our EI.
- Social Skills – EI is thought to be a social intelligence skill used to manage communication and interactions with others.
- Adversity Resilience – Sometimes our strongest moments are when we get up from a big fall. Continuing to “bounce back” from our low emotional moments helps us develop a stronger EI that is more resilient to emotionally draining situations.
Emotional intelligence can open our eyes to understand others emotions and feelings. Building this ability can help you make stronger and more personal connections with your friends and loved ones. You can become more in tune with how things impact their heartstrings. You could become able to anticipate another’s emotions. This can increase the understanding and intimacy in your relationships, and lead to easier conflict resolution.
Comment below and tell us your stories of building emotional connections with others and ourselves!
Chew, B. H., Zain, A. M., & Hassan, F. (2013, March 27). Emotional intelligence and academic performance in first and final year medical students: a cross-sectional study. Retrieved October 27, 2020, from https://bmcmededuc.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1472-6920-13-44#citeas.
Gabriel, E. (2018, July 26). Can emotional intelligence be improved? Retrieved October 29, 2020, from https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/11/health/improve-emotional-intelligence/index.html
Swanepoel, S., & Britz, L. (2017, November 10). Emotional Intelligence and Academic Performance. Retrieved October 27, 2020, from https://journals.ukzn.ac.za/index.php/soa/article/view/821.
About the author
Dillon Atkins is a current student at University of La Verne achieving his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. He has a passion for the arts & mental health and plans to combine them in his career as an Art Therapist. Dillon also enjoys writing, playing guitar, and embroidering in his free time.
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