Emotions are part of us, and how we express them can be used as a mirror and interpretation of who we are. Paying attention to them constantly can let us know about how inner state and build long-lasting relationships.
But many haven’t learned to tune in the emotional life; instead, they choose to suppress their emotions.
Learning to identify them and decode the message they send to us allows us to create better relationships with ourselves and with others.
Emotional intelligence is a concept of psychology that characterizes an individual who can identify his feelings and emotions more easily.
For someone to be successful professionally and in day to day, it takes a good deal of dedication, effort, and discipline – of that, most people know.
Many ignore that developing emotional intelligence (EI) helps in these intellectual processes and all areas of life.
Knowing how to act in times of difficulty and improve interpersonal relationships depends on how thoughts, feelings, and attitudes are managed.
In this article, you will find out more about developing and managing emotions and their importance with easy and crucial tips.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is a psychological concept that characterizes the individual to identify his feelings and emotions quickly. The term was diffused with more emphasis by the American psychologist Daniel Goleman.
It is possible to deal with people and their emotions and understand their feelings through skills development.
Unlike the intelligence quotient (IQ), emotional intelligence is not about intellectual, scientific, or academic knowledge but about recognizing and dealing with feelings and emotions, aiming at personal and professional development.
8 Tips on how to Manage Emotions
If you want to know how to achieve emotional intelligence, here are some suggested activities for developing and managing emotional intelligence so that you start learning today.
- Pay attention to your emotions.
In this activity, you could write down in detail the emotions you have felt in the past few days just before going to bed. So you can start with yesterday and try to go back as much as possible.
Also, try to relate these emotions to what happened to you during the day. Try not to confuse your emotional states (sad) with physical conditions (fatigue).
Another variation on being aware of past emotions is to describe how you felt about three critical events in your childhood. Try to describe the positive and adverse events. You can also do this with emotions from the recent past (past three years, for example).
- Name your emotions
Journaling and describing your emotions will make you think about their origin and consequences, which produces a better understanding of your emotional intelligence.
You could start by setting a time and a place you feel comfortable each day to stop and write down how you are feeling at that time. You can set the alarm to remember and make it a habit.
Try to think through and include as much information as possible. Using Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions can be constructive to do this.
- The first exercise consists of selecting a poem and analyzing the emotions that reading it elicited.
- It is not about describing what the author wanted to express but what he made you feel.
- Choose about six words to describe what you felt, including physical sensations. You can do the same with pictures, movies, or videos.
- Regulate your emotions
To be more aware of regulating your emotions, you can write down what you are doing and thinking when you are in a specific emotional state.
For example, you can start by analyzing how you react to fear, then to sadness, and finally to anger.
To make it easier for yourself, imagine and visualize yourself in this situation and pay attention to what you think, what you do, and whether or not you are trying to avoid your feelings.
You can do the same exercise, but describe your reaction to a pleasant situation, such as a positive comment you made.
- Identify emotions in others.
The most common activity for working on this aspect of emotional intelligence is to observe photographs or videos of different facial expressions and describe the emotions they express in detail.
Are they positive, negative, or inexpressive? What is the position of the mouth or the eyebrows? Do they reflect the approach or the avoidance? Pay attention to the context!
- Actively listen
This activity takes place in a group with a facilitator. It’s about choosing a topic to discuss, recommending starting with the most straightforward, and continuing with more complex issues later.
Everyone should give their opinion on the subject, and before speaking, it is essential to summarize what the last person who shared their opinion said.
- Breathe out when the emotion is strong
When the emotion is extreme and overwhelms us because we have repressed it for too long, take the time to breathe. We settle, if we can, in a quiet place, with our eyes closed, in full consciousness.
Mouth closed, inhale through the nose while inflating the stomach, hold the air for a few seconds (three to ten seconds), then breathe out through the mouth while pulling in the stomach.
This deep breathing exercise allows you to focus on something else and avoid overreacting and exploding.
- Show kindness to oneself.
As a human being, you can express your emotions differently. Sometimes, when a feeling manifests itself, you need to externalize it and verbalize it. But it’s not always easy to express your feelings. Sometimes you need a little time to step back, clear your mind, and do something else.
It does not matter, and it is even a relatively good sign; all the small failures will be learned that will help strengthen your emotional intelligence.
When the emotion has been recognized, you can congratulate yourself, thank it for having warned you of a need and then set a more appropriate time when you can, alone or with someone, understand its origin.
This failure can make you think and improve: react early next time or not wait to get to an extreme stage.
- The mirror
The mirror is the last of the emotional intelligence activities we offer today. The exercise should be done in pairs.
Either of you needs to talk honestly and naturally about a critical situation in your life. The other person should actively listen and pay attention to the partner’s non-verbal language because later, they will have to “imitate” it as closely as possible.
It would be best to try to reproduce the tone of voice, gestures, pauses, etc.
Importance of Managing Emotions with Emotional Intelligence
It is essential to manage your emotions with emotional intelligence because when well worked, it favors the good relationship between people, allowing a greater understanding in personal relationships and better interaction (and communication) at work. So there are advantages in both areas.
In addition, Emotional intelligence positively influences physical and mental health. It prevents psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression and psychosomatic disorders.
Science has proven that heart diseases, cancer, and diabetes, among others, are related to feelings not working correctly.
Individuals who can develop emotional intelligence are increasingly valued. This is because recognizing your limitations and working on indulging others’ failures are capabilities accessible only to those in a permanent state of vigilance in the pursuit of excellence.
Emotional Intelligence is a skill that can be developed throughout our existence. However, for emotional intelligence to be developed, it is necessary to acquire specific knowledge about yourself and others around you.
Reference and Further Reading