Can you believe, we humans have an average of 15 thousand thoughts per day? And guess what, the National Science Foundation found that out of those thousands of thoughts, 80% were negative. To make this further interesting, it was found that 85% of what we worry, never happens.
Well, how do you think our mind is supposed to process it without spilling a bit of all this on our actions or conversations? To make things worse, this ‘thought worm’ is never-ending. Imagine the threats it can pose if not managed properly.
I am sure nobody wants to be burdened with the unpleasant drowning feeling because of overthinking or anxiety. Here is when our ability matters. However, it can work our ways only if we have control over our thoughts and emotions. The trait, emotional intelligence enables the capacity to recognize and effectively manage emotions within ourselves and how we move along with others.
Being impulsive, or letting any other emotion deceive our mind doesn’t fetch the required outcome. Similarly, being over cautious and ponderous on every thought doesn’t help in apt functioning. The art of balancing the two is what makes us an emotionally equipped being.
In Goleman’s words, “In a very real sense, we have two minds, one that thinks and one that feels” These two fundamentally work in their own different ways. It is important to have a pinch of both sides of the thought process for optimum results of any given situation. This collaboration paves the way to construct a healthy mental life.
Welcome to the world of EI
EI simply put, is how we use our emotions to shape our thoughts and actions so that we have greater control over our behavior. Flexing emotions can cautiously allow us to grow and gain a deeper understanding of ourselves.
Thanks to Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist, who helped popularize the concept of “Emotional Intelligence”. He was the first to come up with a performance-based model of EQ. According to him, there are 5 essential elements of EI:
Self-awareness — knowing what one is feeling at any given time and understanding the impact those moods have on others.
Self-regulation — controlling or redirecting one’s emotions; anticipating consequences before acting on impulse.
Motivation — utilizing emotional factors to achieve goals, enjoy the learning process, and persevere in the face of obstacles.
Empathy — sensing the emotions of others.
Social skills — managing relationships, inspiring others and inducing desired responses from them.
The more we learn to manage each of these areas, the higher our EI.
Now, suddenly you might try to see if you fit the title of emotional intelligence. Let me make it easy for you. Here this test will evaluate several aspects of your Ei. You might want to be honest in your answering, to know who you really are emotional, because only when there is self-awareness, there can be efforts directed towards the right direction.
Tips to improve
Of course, each of our emotional maturity is at different levels. Sometimes we might be on the lead, some other times, we might need a nudge to get out there and earn that golden coin.
You might obviously wonder whether there are any tricks to improve your EI. Of course, there is! We should know enough to understand that EI means laying down our status so that we relate to others as equals. Building a skill set around humanity can be the first step. After all, it’s in the mindset. To possess better EI, we need to ensure we control our very own thoughts and feelings. To get started, here are some quick tips:
Identify what you’re really feeling:
Dig deep and ask yourself what you’re really feeling. As our emotional sharpness increases, we become more resilient to challenges. Practicing mindfulness is a proven way to gain perspective on your feelings so we’re able to manage negative emotions and harness positive ones. Whenever you feel impulsive (enraged), you can ask yourself questions to control your emotions (Avoid “yes or no” question)
Acknowledge and appreciate your emotions:
Developing emotional intelligence doesn’t mean denying feelings. It is important to validate one’s own feelings which allows us to validate others’ emotions, which is the key to empathy. After all, our emotions can never be wrong.
Be confident in learning how to improve emotional intelligence. Call upon those times, when you succeeded in handled a similar feeling. If you did it once, you can be confident that you can do it again.
Get curious about the message those emotions offer:
Approaching feelings with an attitude of curiosity let us interrupt our current emotional trajectory to solve whatever’s actually bothering us. Being open to our own feelings helps us better understand our thinking and reasoning.
Get excited and take action:
After gaining the confidence to handle emotions, let’s get lose and get excited, and take action to reach new goals and milestones. Whatever the goal is, it’s important to put the emotional mastery to work by staying responsive.
It’s important to remember EI isn’t something developed once then droped. It’s a lifetime practice, and it is possible to keep improving. Embed it in the mindset to keep enjoying its benefits.