What is Emotional Intelligence (also called EQ?)
It's having the ability to change your behavior to integrate your rational thoughts and emotions together so that you simultaneously use two parts of your brain (the rational part and the emotional part), which in turn help you build more neural pathways in your brain to support the behaviors of integrating these thoughts and emotions.
It is also becoming more aware of your social environments and relationships and maintaining control of your emotions in such a way within these external perimeters that you can influence your social settings and relationships.”
In other words, when you become more conscious of your thoughts and how you “feel” when feeling emotions, you are actually changing the physical makeup of your brain and building a bridge between the rational brain and the emotional part of the brain.
Once you've built this bridge, you will find it easier to integrate your rational thinking with your emotional responses and act in a more “integrated, whole brain functioning” fashion, which means being able to think things through when confronted with conflict, rather than just reacting, whether the conflicting stimuli is internally driven or externally driven.
This helps you as a person “get to know yourself” better, as well as have a greater ability to handle social situations and relationships in a better manner.
Since I've already written a number of articles on emotional intelligence ranging from giving a definition of emotional intelligence all the way to asking if it has any validity, I'd like to point you to my “What is Emotional Intelligence?” article to take a glance through it if you're wanting to know more about this EQ in general.
Once you've looked around that article, just click the back button and you'll come back here where I'll be waiting...
Although I've explained the components of emotional intelligence in other articles on emotional intelligence, I'll give you the four main areas of study, which include:
Being self aware is the key to any form of personal development. In the field of EQ, however, I think that it is one of the cornerstones for the rest of the three areas of EQ development to work.
For example, are you enhancing emotional intelligence within yourself by becoming conscious of your thoughts?
Are you also using one of the keys to success in any personal development program by becoming more self aware?
So, to improve emotional intelligence, your first step is to take time out for meditation, walks or other ways of quieting your mind down enough to “gather your thoughts” and become aware of them. When you take this first step, you are enhancing emotional intelligence.
Emotional Intelligence Article Exercise - Self Awareness:
For one day, as you go through your day, improve emotional intelligence inch-by-inch by stopping whatever you are doing and taking a moment to “gather your thoughts” and check in with your feelings.
If you find this hard to do “on command,” then take a few minutes each day to write out your thoughts in a free-form, journaling fashion so you can get a stream on consciousness flowing.
Getting quiet with your thoughts and/or journaling are great ways to start to improve emotional intelligence with regard to increasing your self awareness.
When you define emotional intelligence through the four components of EQ, the second element is to practice self management with regard to feeling your emotions while “rationally thinking” about how they feel.
This builds those neural pathways faster and better simply because you are trying to use both parts of your brain “in tandem” while doing this exercise.
Emotional Intelligence Article Exercise – Self Management:
The next time you get angry, or excited or bored, take a deep breath and stop whatever you're “going to do; i.e., react” and ask yourself, “Why am I feeling... angry, excited, bored, etc.”
This is a very good way to improve emotional intelligence because you are changing your external behavior; i.e., stopping your initial “emotional” reaction, and asking your rational brain to intervene and “interview” your emotional brain “why” it feels like it feels.
Once you have a greater ability to reach and evaluate your own thoughts and emotions, it's easier to learn how to improve emotional intelligence through trying to “feel” how other people are feeling in social situations.
This kind of “intuitive intelligence” can be learned through different means, such as taking a “method” acting class where you are asked to “mimic or mirror” another person so you bridge a greater connection with that person.
This works well as an acting exercise because when acting in scenes with other people, you have to be connected to and engaged with the other actors in the scene, or it “doesn't work well.”
The same goes for life, especially when you consider the emotional intelligence role in business, because you build better social awareness simply by being able to read and connect with others.
Emotional Intelligence Article Exercise – Social Awareness:
Watch a movie or television show and put yourself into the role on the screen by “mimicking and mirroring” that character. Why is this a good way to learn how to improve emotional intelligence? Because when you can take on the physical characteristics of another person, many times you also can “feel the emotions of what they're feeling.”
Is developing emotional intelligence important to having better relationships? Yes, because when you can practice internal self awareness and control your own emotions, as well as “feel the other people's emotions around you” with better social awareness, you are in a good position to control your reactions to other people around you and then to influence their behavior.
Emotional Intelligence Article Exercise – Relationship Management:
The next time someone around you wants to get into an argument, practice your emotional intelligence skills and “stop the action” dead in its tracks.
Simply ask the other person to “take a break” and come back when he/she is calm...
Or, give him/her some articles on emotional intelligence to read so he/she also wants to improve emotional intelligence and will “go along” with you on this.
By maintaining your own composure, you are able to influence the other person in an non-emotional, non-threatening fashion, motivated by rational thinking.
One more way to learn how to improve emotional intelligence is to take a free emotional intelligence test and then use the survey's questions as guidelines for exercises in enhancing emotional intelligence.
Here's an article that I've written which gives you an emotional intelligence free test and describes more about this suggestion. Go ahead and click here to go to that article now and take the test. Then come back when you're finished..
When learning how to improve emotional intelligence, it's important to remember to keep it simple by asking yourself what you're thinking about and how you feel about those thoughts so you build the neural structure within your brain for enhancing emotional intelligence skills in your behavior.
Once you get the neural network built stronger, you'll have more capacity to stay in touch with your own thoughts and emotions as well as the thoughts and emotions of others around you.
Using this in many facets of your life, including the emotional intelligence role in business, can give you greater satisfaction and reward out of life.
And here's an another article that explains more about this great subject:
What is Emotional Intelligence and How Does it Relate to Positive Thinking? “What is Emotional Intelligence” is a hot question today with so much emphasis on emotional intelligence in business and how it strongly affects our success at work. But it also affects success...
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