In 1964, Michael Beldoch first introduced a new perspective on intelligence. It was based on sensitivity and emotional communication : emotional intelligence.
Since the appearance of this concept, the theme has evolved in a remarkable way and it has gained tremendous importance. It is mainly present in the psychological field. But it also applies to many other areas. So what exactly is emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is the ability to deal with the emotional world both personally and in our relationships with others. It therefore begins with self-awareness and continues with social awareness. Emotional intelligence involves understanding that many of our behaviors and decisions are based on emotional aspects.
Moreover, it can be learned if one employs the right tools. In this article, you will find two exercises for developing emotional intelligence. Are you ready ?
What are the benefits associated with managing emotions?
Emotions play a fundamental role in our life: they are responsible for a large part of our decisions and above all, for our moral state. Although we are rational animals, emotions can end up largely determining our behavior and attitude.
In addition, emotions help us to continue to be active. They are responsible for the proper functioning of interpersonal relationships, and therefore for our survival. Emotional intelligence is a tool that allows us to organize ourselves in groups and promote the proper functioning of social structures.
However, we cannot or always know how to deal with emotions. And this, especially when associated with episodes or difficult situations such as the loss of a loved one. Nonetheless, people with a high level of emotional intelligence will be able to accept and process negative emotions in a more acceptable way. Being aware of our emotions and being responsible for them are fundamental skills for our well-being.
For this reason, it is very important to be able to benefit from an emotional education from childhood. In this way, it will be easier to acquire the dexterity necessary to manage the different emotional states that we can experience, to reduce those that generate discomfort in us and to widen the range of positive emotions.
In addition, understanding the nature of emotions will help us on the one hand to understand ourselves personally and to accept more calmly what we feel. On the other hand, it will help us identify the emotions of others and therefore improve our bonds with them.
Exercises to develop emotional intelligence
Sometimes emotions can have an influence on our daily life, our work and our relationships with others. For this, knowing certain exercises in order to develop emotional intelligence can be of great help to us. Below you will find two very effective exercises for this.
1. Do a self-control exercise
Hiding or letting ourselves be carried away by emotions is not highly recommended behavior. Indeed, it can cause us to overreact or experience deep states of unhappiness due to the unreleased emotional charge. In order for this not to happen, we must exercise our self-control.
The first thing to do is to identify the emotion that we are experiencing so that we know how to proceed. In the case of anger, for example, we need to identify the reason for our condition as quickly as possible. Are we angry with someone for what they did? Or, on the contrary, are our feelings due to the fact that we haven’t had a good day?
Identifying the whys of our emotions normally helps us change them. In addition, it is important to analyze the causes of this emotion. Often, the answer to the question will reveal the hidden function or need that drove us to this point.
The next step would be to accept this emotion instead of rejecting it. In fact, as we deepen our emotion, we will learn about ourselves. If it is intense, we can move away from what we identify as the cause that caused it or at least lessen its influence.
Then, little by little, we can do breathing, relaxation or medication exercises to calm us down and allow the emotion to lose intensity.
Either way, this exercise in self-control will help us pause on the path to reflect and push the emotional intensity down.
Identifying the way we feel, the function of emotion and its role is one of the best exercises for developing emotional intelligence.
2. Reinforce positive emotions
Positive emotions determine our emotional well-being. A motivated, optimistic and enthusiastic person will have a greater margin of progress than a person with feelings of demotivation, disillusion and indifference. For this reason, it is very important to get the thoughts out of our lives that make us feel bad on a continual basis.
For this, we can make a register of our positive emotions and add some to the list. Next, we should write down the activities, situations, or people that may be associated with each of these emotions. Another solution may be to read the list at the end of the day and add notes next to the emotions we felt.
Another exercise for developing emotional intelligence is to identify the positive emotions that we want to strengthen. And to think about the different circumstances that can generate them. In this way, we can simply experience these sensations intensely. We can also think about the small everyday details that surround us. And make us happier.
As we can see, emotional intelligence is a fundamental pillar in our lives. We can develop it as soon as we give ourselves the means. However, getting there is a complex process. And we need time to appreciate the effects of the exercises. The sooner we start to develop our emotional intelligence, the sooner we will progress.