What is EQ?
Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive, evaluate and control one’s own and others’ emotions. There are four different areas of EQ: perceiving, reasoning with, understanding and managing emotions. People use their EQ to relieve stress, overcome challenges, empathize with others, defuse conflict and relate to others in society. Your EQ guides how you behave and interact with others in your daily life. Increasing your EQ can be done, but will require you to be able to recognize and control emotions, which some people find difficult.
4 ways to improve your EQ
- Identify and Control Stress. The manner in which you cope with stress is a high indicator of your emotional intelligence. Stress is everywhere in modern day life. How we react to it is mostly under our control. Once the emotion of stress is recognized, you will need to figure out how to eliminate your reaction to the stress. Relieving the physical reaction to stress is best way to cope with stress. Find something that will bring you back to a calm state. Take deep breaths, count to ten, go for a walk or look at your favorite picture. Once you have relaxed, you have taken the first and most difficult step towards increasing your emotional intelligence.
- Be Aware of Your Emotions. Many people are afraid of strong emotions such as fear, anger and happiness. However, you must be able to identify the emotional and physical reactions to these feelings in order to recognize each emotion completely. An emotionally intelligent person is able to recognize each emotion as it comes and has a proper reaction to it. There is no need to shut your emotions off or turn them down as long as you know how to react to them.
- Tune in to Nonverbal Communication. Once you have gotten your stress response under control and have tuned into your emotions, now it’s time to pick up on your nonverbal communication. Pay attention to what others are saying. If you are daydreaming or thinking about what you are going to say next in the conversation, you probably aren’t listening to what the other person is saying. You may miss an important nonverbal clue the other person is giving off such as a subtle change in posture or a hand gesture.
- Resolve Conflict Positively. Conflict occurs in all relationships. Resolving conflict in a positive manner is essential in having fulfilling relationships. Whether it’s a personal or professional relationship, resolving conflict is a critical skill to keep the relationship moving forward. This is where all your other EQ skills come in handy. Stress is very likely to be involved in a conflict. Relieving the stress of the argument is essential to bringing it to a conclusion. Resolving stress and conflict with humor is helpful in many situations. Laughing makes the situation less tense and helps everyone relieve stress which will help bring the conflict to a resolution.
Increasing your emotional intelligence is a task that takes constant focus and attention. Staying focused on the present, instead of the past and being able to move forward are essential skills for success in life. While some choose to let their emotions run wild, you can be calm, collected and positive with lots of practice and patience. Learning these skills is not easy, but once you master them you can have a more fulfilling and balanced life.