How to Develop Emotional Intelligence
Much has been written about emotional intelligence. I would call it, in short, that ability to “be aware of, to control, and to express your emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically”. But I chose not to write about what emotional intelligence is, but rather how we can develop it.
Below is a list of ideas with actions – relatively simple – through which we can develop better emotional intelligence. I was inspired by an older material that I wrote last year and that I turned into an independent article.
Take a look at the ideas written below and see what works best for you:
- Practice 1 minute of positive emotions daily. In that minute, strive to see the positive things around you. If you can’t for a minute, try for 30 seconds. Or 10.
- Early in the morning go outside. Wake up early and go for a walk or run. Or just a coffee on the balcony.
- While you have negative emotions, observe yourself. Observe them. What caused them? Is your reaction justified? If so, are you sure? Write everything down on paper, but be honest with yourself.
- Learn to laugh at yourself. Learn to stand on your own two feet, with humor. Avoid being overly serious. The Four Covenants, by Don Miguel Ruiz
- Learn not to take personally what is happening to you. Most problems that arise or are created by someone else are not specifically directed against us. It doesn’t just happen to you, we all “benefit” from the same problems. Read “The Four Covenants” by Don Miguel Ruiz.
- Find one or more evolution partners to support you and give you feedback. It is preferable to be at a level close to you, so that you can evolve in parallel and support each other.
- Say, “I’m sorry,” “You’re right,” and “I’m sorry.”
- Stop, breathe slowly and smile. Move on.
- Take a walk. Daily. If you don’t have time to walk, park your car a few hundred meters from work or get off the bus 1-2 stops faster so you can walk. As you do so, look at the buildings, the trees, the people on the street. Slow down the pace.
- Make a small garden on the balcony. If you don’t have a balcony, put a flower pot on the window. Pay little attention and care to those plants daily.
- There are foods that help create a positive emotional state through substances such as serotonin. Among the most popular such foods are bananas and chocolate. A good book on this subject is “The Good Mood Diet” by Judith Wurtman.
- Try a lighter, healthier diet. Eventually, on your doctor’s advice, eat less fatty foods, more vegetables and fruits.
- Put a flower in the vase on the table. If you don’t have a vase, buy one or use a glass.
- Keep things in order. Give the ones you don’t need anymore. Here are some ideas on how to do this.
- Drink water. Hydration helps to improve the general emotional state.
- Give compliments. Don’t expect anything in return. Thank you when you receive them. Smile.
- Sing or hum a song. Emotional intelligence is built on positive emotions.
- Start a success diary. Write in it the little things you have accomplished. Mark those successes and enjoy them.
- Make a cardiovascular exercise program. Cardio exercises are known to be one of the most effective ways to generate positive emotions.
- Watch movies that can inspire you, movies in which you can find yourself or help you develop positive emotions.
- Lie down. Do some stretching exercises.
- Get moving. Whether it’s a walk, running, swimming, cardio exercises, gym training, look to do 20-30 minutes of exercise every day.
- Use humor in everyday life. It has the ability to relax most situations you are in.
- Smile. Again.
- Do acts of kindness, charity. You can give some food to a beggar, donate money to a good cause, help a friend, etc. If possible be anonymous, even better.
- Seek the help of others when you need it. You will usually receive it.
- Choose your friends carefully. Think about what it means for someone to be your friend and be more selective.
- When you don’t know whether to do something or not, imagine what can happen in the worst possible case. But at best? And now ask yourself what is most likely to happen?
- Use coaching. Find someone to coach you.
- Spend time in nature as often as possible. Even if it’s just walking in the park.
- Listen to music that generates positive emotions.
- It takes little work to become more confident in your own strength. Like any other “skill” you can develop a better self-confidence.
- Talk to someone about your problems. Let the tension inside come out. It helps a lot to develop your emotional intelligence.
- Look at photos of the people you care about.
- Spend time in the water. Sprinkle your face with water, take a shower or bath or go to the pool. Water is known to have therapeutic effects. Remember how you liked to play in the water when you were a child.
- Say “Thank you”.
- Pay attention to the way you look. A neat look that you will notice in the mirror or in the eyes of others, will help you in your relationships with those around you.
- Read inspirational books. Or listen to inspirational podcasts.
- Accept things that you cannot change as they are.
- Get in touch with people who can inspire you, in everyday life or on Social Media.
- If you can afford it, take a pet – dog, cat, etc.
- Spend time in well-lit places.
- Pay attention to the way you characterize yourself and talk to yourself. I said in another article to avoid self-characterizations such as “I’m stupid” or “I’m not capable of anything.” Try to take things easier when it comes to yourself.
- If the attitude at work influences you deeply negatively, look for another job.
- If possible, sleep sometimes for 20 minutes at noon. The power nap will help you reset emotionally when you are overworked.
- Set some goals that you set out to achieve. Try to set a small daily goal to achieve.
- Congratulate yourself when you have done a good job. You can also fight on your back encouragingly.
- Be patient with yourself. Change and evolution take time. As my grandmother used to say “With patience we cross the sea”.
- Learn to say no to others and give to yourself. Choose your personal values and roles and be guided by them. Then reduce the number of personal commitments you have made.
- He is taking a dance class. Dancing, like music, helps to generate positive emotions.
- Write down everything that worries you. All. No matter how many pages. Reread what you wrote and be aware that no matter how much you worry, those problems will not be solved. Now you can start sketching a small plan to solve them.
- Read the autobiographies of people who have had achievements. I recommend people like Henry Ford, Gandhi or Benjamin Franklin.
- Decorate your walls where you live (or work, if possible) with small decorative objects, paintings, pictures of landscapes. Or pictures with motivational quotes.
- Become your own coach and mentor. To do this, take into account a few rules in your relationship with yourself:
- Respect yourself. You can criticize yourself if you do it constructively.
- Never talk to yourself other than to do it with someone you care about.
- When you have treated yourself in a way that is disrespectful, do the same as in relationships with others: apologize to yourself and try not to repeat yourself.
- Read the book Emotional Intelligence, by Daniel Goleman.
- I read a short Japanese story earlier, which I recommend:
It is said that a samurai once asked a Zen master to explain to him what heaven and hell are.
The monk replied contemptuously, “You are just a worthless bastard. I will not waste my time with people like you! ”
Feeling his honor attacked, the samurai drew his sword from its scabbard and shouted, “I could kill you for your impertinence.”
“This,” replied the monk calmly, “is hell.”
Astonished and acknowledging the truth of what the monk was saying, the samurai calmed down, put his sword in its scabbard, and bowed, thanking the monk for his understanding.
“And this,” said the monk, “is heaven.”
Can emotional intelligence be developed?
Emotional intelligence can make the difference between a life lived in joy or not. You can develop it through practice, with patience and a little work, because emotional intelligence is a skill that can be practiced.
I hope you found this article helpful. If so, please like and share it! For more info or business proposals you can contact me!