10 Ways to Develop Your Emotional Intelligence
We hear more and more often about emotional intelligence, but what is it exactly? An important aspect of emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive, analyze and evaluate one’s emotions and those of others.
The information gathered by this type of analysis, when used appropriately, allows us to better understand ourselves and the people we see around us.
The term emotional intelligence was born in 1990 by psychologists John D. Mayer and Peter Salovey. Some researchers today suggest that emotional intelligence is an innate quality, while others claim that it can be developed. Here then is the idea of being able to work on oneself to improve the quotient of one’s emotional intelligence.
Internationally renowned psychiatrist Norman Rosenthal, in his book entitled “The Emotional Revolution” highlights ten interesting ways to try to improve our emotional intelligence.
1. Let us ask ourselves how we feel.
We try not to run away from our emotions even when they are uncomfortable. If our emotions or feelings make us uncomfortable, we don’t try to pretend anything and distract ourselves with some other activity.
The advice is to sit quietly twice a day and wonder “How do I feel?”. It may be that emotions take some time to emerge, especially if you are not used to listening to them. Take the time you need.
2. We do not judge emotions too quickly.
It is easy to run the risk of judging emotions too quickly. We try not to reject them before we can really grasp the meaning and try to understand why they were born and manifested.
Emotions often rise like a wave and then fall before disappearing. Don’t arrest them in any of this moment. Let them express themselves within you and listen to them.
3. We are looking for connections.
Let’s try to find the connections between the emotions, the feelings and the reasons why we feel like this right now. When a difficult emotion arrives, ask yourself if at other times you have ever felt the same way before.
This can help you understand your current emotional state and reflect on the situation you are in right now or lived in the past.
4. We connect emotions and thoughts.
We try to connect our emotions with our thoughts. Perhaps these emotions come from one of the thoughts that are tormenting us. Sometimes the emotions we experience may contradict each other, but according to the expert, this is completely normal.
Listen to all your emotions, compare them and try to synthesize them.
5. We listen to our bodies.
Do you know that emotions are reflected in our organs and body parts? For example, a knot in the stomach can mean that we are tired from work. Listening to your body’s signals can help you recognize and better classify your emotions.
6. We ask the opinion of others.
If we just can’t understand how we feel right now, let’s try to get the opinion of others. This is advice that people rarely follow.
But asking a little question to a person we know well and whom we trust can lead you to receive a surprising and clarifying answer.
7. Let’s listen to the unconscious.
To become more aware of the emotions linked to our unconscious we can try to use free associations.
When you relax, let your thoughts wander freely and look at the direction they take, pin your dreams upon awakening on a notebook to keep on hand on the bedside table and pay attention to dreams that recur and cause strong emotions.
8. We evaluate our state of well-being.
We start every day to really ask ourselves how we are and assess our state of well-being on a scale of 1 to 100. You could try to keep a daily diary of your emotions and try to understand what aspects of your life are connected to.
9. We take note of emotions and feelings.
Another useful exercise is to regularly take note of your thoughts, emotions, and feelings that you experience every day or at some particular time of the week.
This is an exercise that takes a few hours a month but can be very useful for getting to know each other better.
10. Let’s move towards the outside.
The analysis of one’s self is very important but we must not forget that there is a world around us to be discovered.
So let’s look inside but at the same time don’t exaggerate in order to be always present in the world around us and grasp the useful stimuli that it offers us.