Updated: Aug 27, 2020
Learn to be emotionally strong and develop emotional skills
When we say intelligence, we generally refer to intellectual or logical intelligence and tend to think that it is the only type of intelligence that exists. Contrary to this belief, nine types of intelligences have been identified and emotional intelligence is one of them.
How often do we believe that our success in life, relationships and profession is directly related to our intelligence quotient (IQ), but when in fact it is more the result of our emotional quotient (EQ)/ emotional intelligence. A high IQ may merely take you to where you want to reach in life but to stay there and keep heading strong depends only and only on your EQ. So, what exactly is emotional intelligence?
Emotions are our feelings that shape our attitude and behaviour and guide our actions. Intelligence is our ability to understand, learn, think and apply. And emotional intelligence is the art of mastering emotions of self and others, the one who can master emotions can master his actions and the one who can master his actions can master his future.
Not many people know that emotional intelligence is actually a skill, which can be developed with conscious and sincere efforts. By following these tips we can improve our emotional intelligence, which are:
1. Know your emotions: Emotions are complex, they work in layers. Every emotion that you experience has a deeper emotion leading to the one you are experiencing. Hence, it is often difficult to understand the actual reason behind our emotions, and since we do not understand the reason we feel helpless to improve the situation and get more embroiled in our emotions. But we need to get out of this emotional trap. For this, be your own therapist. All you need is, whenever you are having an emotional crisis, take some time out and think, “what emotion am I experiencing right now and from what cause?” then look at the wheel of emotions given here, starting from the innermost wheel and moving outward identify the deeper emotion underlying the surface core key emotion that you are experiencing.
2. Harness positivity: Optimists see the reason for failure as within their control and know that they can change it and make things happen. Pessimists on the other hand, see reasons for failure as fixed, something that cannot be changed. They feel they are helpless in making things any better, which is why they continue to fail or struggle. Hence, optimism is the key to self motivation and obtaining emotional balance.
3. Take care of yourself: Limit your caffeine intake, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, eat healthy meals, take care of your hair, skin and nails, wear clothes that make you feel good about yourself, maintain personal hygiene, find time to follow a hobby, basically, develop a healthy lifestyle. When you are taking a good care of yourself it will show in your personality and when you look at yourself in the mirror, you will see a confident person you will be proud of. Eventually you will be happy and satisfied with yourself and subsequently you will have better control over your emotions. Moreover, our bodies and our brains are well interconnected. It is almost impossible to have a strong emotional health without a good physical health.
4. Meditate: Meditation is one of the best ways to exercise your mind. It has so many proven benefits that are directly related to emotional intelligence. It helps to reduce anxiety, depression, stress, nervousness and improves self- awareness, self-control, self-management, pain tolerance and brain performance.
5. Do deep breathing exercise: When you are nervous or stressed out do this simple but powerful exercise, inhale to the count of 4, hold to the count of 4 and exhale to the count of 8 with your mouth open. Repeat this pattern for 10 breaths and you will see the difference in your emotional state, especially when you are angry try to do this. It will give the control of your mind back to you basically, this exercise gives control back to your prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain which is responsible for rational and logical thinking from amygdala, that triggers fear and anger.
6. Strike that power-pose: Never underestimate the power of a confident body posture. Whenever you are feeling depressed, stressed, fearful, nervous or anxious just stand up in that power pose with your stomach in, chest out, shoulders pulled back and back straight. Stretch yourself to your maximum possible height, just try to occupy more space and your body will trick brain into feeling confident and thereby better. Remember the golden principle “Rule your mind or your mind will rule you”.
7. Create an achievement: Whenever you are feeling low on motivation or sad, assign yourself a small task, like reading an article or a chapter or a few pages of a book, solving a Sudoku, arranging your desk, etc., and put yourself to it and then when you complete it you feel a sense of victory, a sense of achievement which gives you an emotional boost and you are ready to take on bigger challenges.
8. Be more social: That means connect with more and more people, not online but in real life. Engage in real-time face to face conversation with people, build social connections. It is important to talk to people in person rather than hiding behind the screens. Real human connection is as important to us as is air and water. For a strong emotional health we need supportive, encouraging, respecting and mutually benefiting relationships.
9. Lend a helping hand: Try to help others as often as possible it makes you feel amazing about yourself. You feel incredible because you know you have done something good for someone, this changes your mood for the better. It will also help you win more friends and admirers.
10. Show empathy: Empathy is the ability to feel what the other person is feeling. It is a powerful strength to connect well with others. To develop this strength, learn to read other people’s emotions by observing closely their non-verbal gestures. Try to read their face, eyes, movement of body parts, their posture and quite accurately you will be able to identify what emotions they are feeling. It will give you a better understanding of others.
In short, we need to take care of our physiological, psychological, social and spiritual self to strengthen our emotional health and develop emotional intelligence and reach our full potential.
Dr. Charu Rawat