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We all know someone who is very good at managing their emotions. They stay calm in a stressful situation, rarely lose their temper, and are often very good listeners. They’re also good decision-makers and are willing to look at themselves honestly and improve.

People like them practice what is known as emotional intelligence. Their emotional intelligence is very high, they have excellent self-control and are masters of their emotions.

To help you get a better understanding of what emotional intelligence is and how you can improve it, let’s take a closer look.

What is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and control your emotions. Too often we let the way we feel get the better of us. When we’re faced with stressful situations, we tend to feel anxious or panicky.

When we feel angry, we’re likely to respond hastily rather than calmly. There might be days when we feel sad, and it affects everything we do that day.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to look at these feelings honestly and manage them. It allows us to operate from a place of stability rather than getting carried away with emotions.

Why is emotional intelligence important?

Emotional intelligence, also known as the Emotional Quotient (EQ), is a vital skill to master for happiness and success in all areas of your life.

Being emotionally intelligent allows you to experience happier relationships with everyone around you. It has also been known to improve performance at work by boosting productivity.

A strong EQ helps you identify your emotional triggers and patterns. You can then work through them to find a more balanced state of mind and respond more calmly rather than anything else.

How EQ Affects Your Relationships

All human relationships are based on how effectively we understand the other person’s feelings and express our own. We must be able to do this, especially with our significant other, to be able to build a lasting relationship.

Having a strong EQ helps us be more present to our partner’s feelings. It allows us to notice the small changes that occur in the relationship and enable us to take action before it leads to irreversible damage.

Having a strong EQ also helps us build and maintain strong relationships with our family as well as colleagues. We can listen better, recognize when we might be responding out of anger or fear, and change these patterns as we identify them.

Emotional intelligence allows us to operate from a place of stability rather than getting carried away with emotions.

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10 Ways to Develop and Improve Emotional Intelligence

While EQ is an inherent aspect much like intuition, it can also be developed. To become emotionally intelligent or enhance your EQ, you can follow the tips discussed here.

1. Practice self-awareness

Observe how you feel and behave in any situation.

2. Identify the negative emotions

Observe when you feel negative and what the negative emotion is; for example, sadness, anger, insecurity.

3. Journal

Maintain a diary and write about your experiences at the end of every day. It helps you understand how you felt about something.

4. Acknowledge your triggers

When you realize a certain situation triggers your anger, acknowledge it. Practice taking a break before responding when you’re in that situation again.

5. Practice positive thinking

When you find yourself spiraling into negative thoughts or feelings, shift your focus to something positive. Writing down three things you are grateful for is a great way to do this.

6. Practice empathy every day

Actively listen to a friend or co-worker and try to see things from their perspective. Have an honest, heart-to-heart conversation without cutting them off or getting defensive.

7. Express yourself effectively

Be aware of how you’re expressing your feelings. If you’re feeling too emotional, take a break and come back to the conversation when you’re more in control. Channel your negative emotions into something productive, such as writing or painting, instead of getting mad.

8. Avoid drama and negativity

When you find yourself getting pulled into someone else’s drama or negativity, remove yourself from the situation. When you find yourself creating drama, complaining, or reacting negatively to a situation, stop and break the pattern.

9. Stress management

Stress can affect you even when you’re actively working on your emotional intelligence. Don’t be afraid to seek help to manage the stress – even this is a form of practicing emotional intelligence.

10. Take responsibility for your actions and feelings

This is probably the most difficult of all. Hold yourself accountable for behaving negatively. Celebrate small moments of success by rewarding yourself for identifying a trigger and breaking the pattern or responding positively in a stressful situation.

How Practicing Emotional Intelligence Impacts Your Life

When you practice any of the tips given above, you instantly shift your perspective and begin responding rather than reacting to situations.

There is a subtle difference between the two. When you react to a trigger, it’s usually negative. When you respond to a trigger, you have taken the time to process your emotions. Your approach is stable and balanced rather than negative.

Developing and improving EQ allows you to experience improved relationships by becoming a better listener, more approachable and empathetic, and more positive.

Being in this positive and balanced state of mind also improves your focus and productivity, as negative thoughts aren’t encroaching on your mind anymore.

Conclusion

Emotional intelligence is an extremely important skill to develop. It improves your relationships, productivity at work, and the overall quality of your life.

At Quotacy, we understand the importance of your well-being and the impact it can have on your ability to provide a positive way of life for your family.

This is why life insurance is so important. Having the right policy in place will give you the peace of mind knowing your family’s future is secure.

Ready to see what you’d pay for life insurance? Start with a free quote today.

Not sure how much life insurance you need? Check out our free life insurance needs calculator.

About the writer

Headshot of Natasha Cornelius, a life insurance writer, for Quotacy, Inc.

Greg Lewerer

Director of Creative Strategy

Greg is Quotacy’s Director of Creative Strategy. He has an eclectic past from working on movie scripts to creating ad campaigns for major brands. His love of creative solutions drove him to strategy, and he now uses his powers to help families protect their loved ones. Outside of work, Greg spends his time off the grid hunting, fishing, camping, biking, hiking, and walking his dogs.