5 Tips To Improve Your Emotional Intelligence
It always starts with self-love.
We always associate love with romantic gestures and idyllic notions of intimacy, usually shared between two individuals. The concept has become so superficial, that some might think gifts are the only way to tug at someone’s heartstrings. Love, however, is complex. It is an intense feeling of deep affection. Traditionally, people have been focusing on receiving love, constantly searching and yearning for that “special” person. Instead, why not look within ourselves for that sense of deep affection?
The notion of celebrating self-love should be observed from time to time. A time dedicated to appreciating yourself. There is no better way of recognising this than to sharpen your ability to understand and manage your own emotions in positive ways.
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is how you identify your emotions, manage them and respond to the emotions of others. It is a skill which enables you to understand how your emotions shape your thoughts and actions. By developing your emotional consciousness and understanding yourself, you will be able
to communicate better with others and build stronger relationships.
Here are 5 crucial tips to improve your EQ.
1. Practise observing how you feel
Prioritise yourself. Allow yourself the time to understand how you feel, what caused it and how you react to it. You may begin by setting aside time to practice observing how you feel daily. Set the alarm at different times of the day to take a deep breath and consciously take note of your own emotions.
2. Pay attention to your thoughts and behaviour
While practising emotional awareness, be mindful of your own behaviours that are influenced by your emotions. Realising how you react to your emotions allows you better control of your situation. For example, it is easier to control the habit of binge eating when you are sad, only when you notice it.
We also need to strike a balance between our positive and negative thoughts. Being vocal is encouraged but being stuck in an ‘opinion bubble’ is frowned upon. We need to see the viewpoint of others and be more receptive to those who see things differently. We must take responsibility for our own feelings while also nurturing positive emotions. People who experience positive emotions are generally more resilient and likely to have fulfilling relationships, which will help them move past adversity. However, to remain a well-rounded individual we need to understand our negative feelings too.
3. Develop your sense of self-awareness
Self-awareness is the ability to recognise and understand your own character, mood, emotions and their impact on others. It necessitates a self-assessment of strengths and weaknesses. Identifying areas for self-improvement makes you more adaptable and more likely to make the right decisions. The first step is to practice objective self-reflection. As this may be challenging, it is essential to get input from close friends and family. You may ask them to list down your good and bad attributes, and then make a comparison for some self-reflection. The key is to look out for patterns so that you can understand how others perceive you. It is also helpful to keep a journal documenting your experiences, how you felt about it and how you managed it. This can help you highlight behavioural trends and discover where your problems might be.
4. Manage your negative emotions
When faced with adversity, it is necessary to remind yourself of the source of your motivation in order to sustain your drive to overcome it. You must also remember to take it easy. Take a moment to process your emotions and relax. Do some meditation, read a book or maybe join a Muay Thai class. Acknowledging your emotional triggers allows you to be more flexible with your emotions and actions. Always take a moment to process your feelings first before communicating them to prevent an emotional outburst.
5. Grow your skills of self-management
We are creatures of habit. To effectively complete tasks and prevent procrastination, it is important for us to maintain a schedule and stick to it. Understandably, monotony can be daunting. You may break your existing routine by engaging in a fresh new activity. If you are feeling burnt out by your workload and the inevitable ‘work – eat – sleep’ cycle, take a break and head out for a 30km cycle across Singapore. It is also important for you to regulate your mealtimes and eat well as your diet affects your emotional state. Ever notice that people are more irritable when hungry?
Channel your emotional energy into doing something productive. Do not get mad, get better. It is your choice to overreact or remain calm.
“Self-love is not selfish; you cannot truly love another until you know how to love yourself.” Take the first step today to understand your emotions better!
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