What is Emotional Intelligence:

We all have emotions that are usually recurrent on a daily basis. Some of those emotions we experience are positive, and others are negative. This emotional charge can have effect our physical, mental and spiritual essence.

No matter how hard you try, you can not eliminate emotions completely, but that’s where Emotional Intelligence steps in. Once you master this skill, you will be able to manage and control your emotional discharge better. When you are angry, you react in a certain way, when you are emotionally intelligent, you will be able to control and manage this reaction. For every action, there is a reaction, and the goal is for you to control this reaction.

Emotional Intelligence is a tool you can use every single day. Whether you’re at home, at work, at school.. you can use it!

Regardless of the location, time and circumstances, there are plenty of exercises you can use to handle the situation properly and effectively. If it means taking a 5 minute break to relief yourself from this emotional discharge, it is always worth it.

When do we use emotional intelligence though? How can it help us?

Emotional Intelligence can help you in many different areas in your life:

  • Social Interaction
  • Work and Professional Career
  • Schooling and Education
  • Relationships and Intimacy
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Leadership and Success.. and many more

Just to give you a quick example:

Emotional Intelligence accounts for 58% of employees performance in their workplace…

“Whatever goes on in your mind eventually exits your realm of experience as long as you don’t follow it around.”

Dr. Jacinta Mpalyenkana

Emotions and feelings are different:

Feelings are usually based on mental association between external and internal factors leading to a cognitive reaction linked to this mental association. Those feelings are usually linked to belief and conditioning. Feeling happy, feeling blessed, relaxed, grateful… those are all feelings built upon a stimulus. Emotions operate on a more complex level. While feelings last for a short period of time, emotions usually last longer, and they have a more accute influence on us. Here is the interesting part however, emotions and feelings are indeed different, but there is a correlation between them. Feelings lead to emotions. Lingering feelings of excitement and happiness, can lead to an emotional state of joy. Feelings of disappointment, devestation and grief can lead to an emotional state of sadness. I’ll give you an example:

You were expecting a job promotion, only to realize after a while, that you will not be getting the promotion. As soon as you heard the news, feelings rush in. You felt disappointed and frustrated. If those feelings last for a while, they will develop into emotions linked to anger or sadness.

However, if you got the promotion you were hoping to get, you will feel happy and ecstatic. Those feelings, in the case where they last for a while, can develop into an emotional state of joy.

What are some exercises you can do to develop Emotional Intelligence?

1- The opposition thinking technique:

As we said, emotions derive from feelings. If we manage our feelings properly, we can avoid the correlative emotions or control them better. This technique is pretty simple and you can use it anywhere, at any time. You need to be aware of some feelings you are experiencing.

When you feel down, or upset, you need to be aware that there are negative feelings emerging. Once you become aware of the specific emotions you’re feeling, you can start using this technique. If you have a hard time determining how you feel, look for a list of feelings, there are more than 5000 words to express feelings, and you need to see which one resonates with your current state.

Now that you’re specifically aware, shift your thoughts to the complete opposite of your current state. If you are angry, close your eyes and imagine yourself in a happy place, remember happy and soothing positive memories, use affirmations and repeat “I am calm.”

Whatever you do, don’t judge the way you feel. If you hate the fact that you are feeling angry, you will just end up feeling more angry. Try to accept how you feel, and work on imposing opposite thoughts, feelings and actions.

2- Learn to say no:

This is an important ideas. Most people have a hard time saying no, whether its out of awkwardness, shame, or disappointment, we might end up saying yes to things that make us feel bad. Learn to say no, as there is nothing more important than your mental health.

3- Daily exercises for emotional resilience and intelligence:

Try the following three things when you are feeling emotional instability:

a) Go invest some time in physical exercises, have a cold shower, or practice mindfulness and affirmations. As an example, as soon as the cold water hits your body, you switch into a fight-or-flight reaction where your mind’s primary focus is on the cold water. You are not thinking about those negative emotions anymore, your mental focus has been altered.

b) Same thing applies to physical exercising. Investing some time in physical exercising, based on scientific research will boost your happiness hormone which is the dopamine, and it can also reduce your stress hormones known ass cortisol.

c) Mindfulness and affirmations can also have similar influences on your physical and mental state.

d) Another coping mechanism is using self empowerment technique. The goal is for you to feel inspired, motivated, and overall stronger than you felt before. On the right is a piece of self empowerment text that can help you for example:

“If you think you are beaten, you are. If you think you dare not, you don’t. If you like to win, but you think you can’t it is almost certain you won’t. If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost, for out of the world we find, success begins with a fellow’s will, it’s all in the state of mind. If you think you are outclassed, you are. You’ve got to think high to rise, you’ve got to be sure of yourself before, you can ever win a prize. Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man, but soon or late the man who wins, is the man WHO THINKS HE CAN!”

― Walter D. Wintle

4- Mindfulness training:

We are going to be talking about the waterfall technique and the mountain top technique. When you feel negative feelings or emotions, try the waterfall technique. Close your eyes and imagine yourself walking towards a river while being aware of your current mental state and accepting it. When you reach the waterfall, you go under the cold water, and you feel that this water is washing away the negativity and filling you up with positivity. As soon as you feel those positive feelings building up, imagine yourself flying up to the sky, reinforcing that positivty and sustaining it by feeling powerful.

The moutain top is similar as well. Imagine yourself at the bottom of a huge mountain while being aware of your current mental state and accepting it. Start climbing the mountain while filling yourself up with positivity, inspiration and motivation. Keep building it up as you climb higher and higher. When you reach the mountain top, reinforce those feelings, feel the accomplishment, the joy, the euphoria.

5- The Bracelet Technique:

Human beings tend to avoid pain and embrace pleasure. When you are aware of any negative feelings or emotions, keep a rubber band on your wrist, and as soon as those emotions emerge, snap the bracelet on your wrist while being aware that his pain you felt is linked to the emotions you experienced. Afterwards, switch into opposite positive thinking and you can even empower the system by rewarding yourself when you think positevly.

Using this method for a while can condition your brain and help you in terms of control and stability.

6- Influencing the subconscious mind:

We are going to be talking about some basic habits you can engage in during the morning, and at night. As soon as you wake up, go through your day thinking about everything happening in absolute harmony with the positivity your are projecting. Basically, imagine your day events unfolding in a positive way. Now as soon as your feet hit the floor, express gratitude. Whether you vocalize it, feel it, or write it down, engage in 2–3 minutes of gratitude. When you go to the washroom, when you’re done using it, look into the mirror for 1 minute, and just smile at yourself, try to love yourself as much as you can. If you still have another 3–5 minutes to spare, engaging in any type of meditation can also be very beneficial for you. You can be focusing on imagining happy scenarios and memories while meditating, you can focus on affirmations, on some of the exercises we previously discussed, or simply, focus on your breathing.

7- The Table Method:

If you want to get rid of certain feelings or emotions but you do not know how to do it, think about 2–3 people who you know, or read about, who you understand well, and know that he or she can help you. Now close your eyes and imagine yourself sitting on a table with these individuals, tell them about the problem you are facing, and use their help to effectively deal with it. You will use their help as when you imagine one of them talking or giving you an advice, you are reflecting upon what you learnt from him and what you can do about your situation.

Emotional Intelligence is a skill that you can develop with proper repetition. If you take some of those techniques and learn to apply them every single day whenever you’re feeling emotional disturbance, you will be able to master this skill and build your emotional intelligence and resilience.