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What is Emotional Intelligence and
How Does it Relate to Positive Thinking?

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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...

In many other areas of our lives, once we figure out exactly how to simplify our understanding of this complicated field of study.

So, in this emotional intelligence article, we're going to learn how to keep it simple...

Because you know me... always looking to keep things simple and effective....

Yet also learn how to define emotional intelligence as well as improve emotional intelligence.

First, let's briefly discuss the origins of this field of study before we move onto how to understand it better and how to improve our emotional intelligence skills.

Emotional Intelligence Review

"What is Emotional Intelliigence?"  The definition of emotional intelligence (also referred to as EQ) today comes from what we think is a “modern interest” of a new subject...

Yet, if you apply a little curiosity to define emotional intelligence, you'll find that the earliest roots of this subject can be traced back to Darwin's theories on survival and adaptation while more modern origins of assessing “mental” intelligence (IQ) can be traced back as early as 605 during the Sui Dynasty in China and in France during the nineteenth century.

The subject of assessment intelligence on an “emotional” level has become a relatively popular subject, however, since 1920 when E.L. Thorndike “named” this segment of assessing intelligence, “social intelligence...”

Since then, the term “emotional intelligence” appeared in 1985 from a man named Wayne Payne, and sometimes you'll still find the two terms used interchangeably.

And, while there are lots of current studies and books around answering the question of "What is Emotional Intelligence?," much of the reference on emotional intelligence today is made to the book “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman. 

So, what does this all mean?  That many people have tried to answer "What is Emotional Intelligence?"and have embarked on creating a definition of emotional intelligence, yet it simply boils done to applying common sense in your relationship with yourself and with others around you.

Let's explore that one...

Emotional Intelligence Theory Made Simple

What is emotional intelligence?

In a nutshell, it's having the ability to manage your own emotions as well as manage the emotions within your relationships around you...

And it focuses on your brain's ability to integrate two parts of your brain...

Your rational brain....

And your emotional brain.

What is Emotional Intelligence? There are two components of emotional intelligence in this regard:
  1. BEHAVIORAL:  Action oriented from your behaviors that you choose to practice, and...

  2. PHYSICAL:  Physically oriented from how your brain is wired to process information.
The interesting thing here is that when you practice an external behavior long enough, you're changing how your brain is wired and thus, changing your behaviors....

Which changes how your brain is wired...

Which changes your behaviors....

And so on.

So, in other words, the more you practice self awareness of how your emotions feel (behavioral), you are also – at the same time – changing the neural pathways in your brain to perform this behavior...

Which in turn builds more and more pathways in your brain (physical) to support the new behavior!

"What is Emotional Intelligence - Components?"  I go into more detail about the different components of emotional intelligence in my “Components of Emotional Intelligence: Emotional Intelligence Theory Made Simple” article. 

Click here to quickly read that article nowThen click the back button, and I'll be waiting here for you...

Define Emotional Intelligence

In answering the question, "What is Emotional Intelligence?," I like this definition of emotional intelligence the best:


While this definition primarily exemplifies the “chosen behaviors” of  EQ, as you practice “knowing what your feelings are and using your feelings to make good decisions in life,” for example, you are also building new neural pathways between your emotional brain and your rational brain.

When you build more neural pathways between these two parts of your brain, you have also found out how to improve emotional intelligence “behaviors” simply because you've made a 6-lane highway between these two brains, where there was once only a two-lane dirt road.

If you really want to know "What is Emotional Intelligence?" and you read any of the many articles on emotional intelligence out there, you'll find that many of the emotional intelligence information focuses on three, four or five areas in the behavioral category, which can be summed up as:
  1. Self Awareness
  2. Self Management
  3. Social Awareness
  4. Relationship Management
For more about these four areas in particular, check out my “Articles on Emotional Intelligence:  Components of Emotional Intelligence” article and then click back and I'll be waiting here...

How Does This Relate to Positive Thinking?

What is Emotional Intelligence in relation to positive thinking?  When you have a high level of EQ, you are more like to:
  1. Be able to efficiently and effectively use the Law of Attraction to manifest your desires;

  2. Be able to promote more internal happiness to keep yourself healthy and positive;

  3. Promote deeper and more satisfying connections with those around you, which also helps you maintain a positive frame of mind;

  4. Experience greater success in business through using emotional intelligence skills as well as keeping a positive attitude in the workplace.

How Does it Relate to Positive Thinking - Law of Attraction

An essential component of mastering Law of Attraction techniques to manifest your desires comes from keeping a “positive thinking” mindset
as well as having the ability to tune into and guide your emotions to “feel” the feelings of having whatever you are trying to manifest.

When you have a strong ability to “identify and feel” your emotions through your high level of emotional intelligence, you are well on your way to using one of the strongest Law of Attraction techniques (visualization) to accomplish your dreams and goals.

"What is Emotional Intelligence - Law of Attraction?"  Take a moment to read my “Definition of Emotional Intelligence in Mastering Law of Attraction Techniques” and my “Is Emotional Intelligence Important to Using the Universal Laws of Attraction?” articles for more information on how these relate to emotional.  Just hit the back button after each article and you'll come back here, where, of course, I'll be waiting for you...

How Does it Relate to Positive Thinking - Happiness

Secondly, when you have a high level of emotional intelligence, you are more likely to “listen to your gut” for internal wisdom and be able to follow it for making better choices in your life...

Which can keep your mindset tuned to the positive because once you are able to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions within your relationships, then you are able to keep your mindset on an “even keel” longer, which in turn makes physical changes (yes, positive ones) to your brain...

And to your body.  In fact, a discovery in the EQ field of research has found that people with high levels of EQ are less prone to diseases simply because emotional intelligence skills strengthen the brain's ability to cope with emotional stress...

Which, in turn, keeps the immune system stronger and more able to fight off disease.

Also, when you stay positive long enough, your body can become addicted to staying positive and make you act in ways to “stay positive.”  This is a fascinating subject and one that I've written more about in my “Benefits of Positive Thinking” article.  Click here for that article, and come back...

"What is Emotional Intelligence - Happiness?"  I also discuss how more about how EQ relates to happiness in my “Define Emotional Intelligence in Relation to Happiness” article.  Take a quick moment to click here and read that article, then come back...

How Does it Relate to Deeper Relationships?

While half of learning how to improve emotional intelligence is through increasing your self awareness and self management of your own emotions, the second half of EQ is to learn how to sense other people's emotions and to manage your own emotions in positive ways within these relationships.

This not only helps you stay positive, but also allows others around you to learn to stay more positive...

And, remember, once you're positive long enough, your body becomes addicted to being positive, so you're also helping other people around you to become addicted to staying positive the longer they “stay positive.”

Once you can tune into your own emotions that drive each of your relationships, you have also tapped into a source of wisdom of how to genuinely operate within these relationships

For example, if you discover through your own self awareness that you are in a relationship solely for the good of the other person, you may also find the internal wisdom of how to change the relationship to be more satisfying both to yourself and to the other person.

To make change in any relationship only takes one person to change the perimeters of that relationship, so you have great power to create the relationships that you want simply because there is always a “cause and effect” result when you make change...

Meaning, that when one person within a relationship changes, then that person's “relationship” to the relationship is different, which makes their actions different, which makes the partner's reactions in different....

In simple terms, if suddenly you're nice to someone (instead of grouchy), they'll respond... either with suspicion or with warmth... but their response is different because YOU'RE ACTING DIFFERENTLY TOWARD THEM.

Improve your emotional intelligence skills and you'll find new ways to master your relationships simply because you are more in tune with your own inner wisdom and emotions.

Emotional Intelligence in Business

happy-guyResearch has clearly identified a connection between high emotional intelligence skills contributing to success in business and, thus, EQ has become a “buzz phrase” in the corporate world.

The emotional intelligence role in corporate business can be broken down into two categories:
  1. Self management
  2. Team management


When you define emotional intelligence in business, the same theories apply to improving your own EQ skills by improving self awareness, self management, social awareness and relationship management.

When you can apply a high decree of emotional intelligence in business, you:
  1. Are self aware of your emotions, motivations and “ulterior motives...”

  2. Can self manage these emotions within yourself and steer them toward successful behaviors and...

  3. Use this awareness and management to your benefit with co-workers and supervisors.

But there is another factor of using emotional intelligence in business which is something called, “Team Emotional Intelligence.”

What is emotional intelligence when it comes to a team? 

It is simply looking at the team “as a whole entity” with emotions and feelings, and having the ability to:
  1. Become aware of the team's dominate emotions;

  2. Manage the team's emotions as a whole to keep it productive;

  3. Keep the team members working together in the social and relationship aspects of the team.
When I was conducting my emotional intelligence review, I found this concept rather interesting because it looks at the “team” the same way as it looks at each individual person when learning how to improve emotional intelligence.

So, if you are a supervisor and want to implement emotional intelligence theory to improve your team's performance, a good start is to simply look at the team as a whole and assess their overall emotion(s) and how those emotions are increasing or decreasing productivity.

"What is Emotional Intelligence - Business?"  Since this article is getting “way too long” at this point, for more details on emotional intelligence in business, go ahead and read my “Emotional Intelligence in Business” article by clicking here.  After you're done, click the back button and we'll continue our discussion here.

How to Improve Emotional Intelligence

No emotional intelligence review would be complete without giving guidance on how to improve emotional intelligence.

While there is conflicting opinions as to whether or not you need to take an emotional intelligence appraisal, it can't hurt to quickly run through a free emotional intelligence test.  Here's one that you may find fun:


Take a second and click on the above link to take the test, which will open in a new window.  As usual, I'll be here...

How did you do now that you've taken the test? 

Are you saying, “Oh, what can a 'generic test' tell me about myself?”  or...

Are you saying, “Gee, I have higher EQ than I thought.  Neat!

Regardless of your reaction to taking an emotional intelligence free test, you can use this experience to find out more about yourself...

Which, is the first step to improving emotional intelligence, because, remember, the first step is to become more self aware?

Also, regardless of what the test has told you, you probably have an emotional response to taking that test...

So, here's where you can apply another one of the components of emotional intelligence by asking yourself why you feel the way you do about your test results.

Taking a free emotional intelligence test is a start and can show you areas where you can seek improvement.  What if you find more than one area for improvement?  Just work on one at a time.

If you're really serious about leading with emotional intelligence, you may find taking an emotional intelligence appraisal valuable, even though there may be fees associated with it.

Here's a link to my Free Emotional Intelligence Test article which gives you suggestions for turning the questions of this test into a personal development "mini-course" for EQ.  Go ahead and check it out and come back, you know where to find me...

Emotional Intelligence Exercises

Whether you take an emotional intelligence free test or not, you can start right now learning how to improve your emotional intelligence skills. 

Exercise #1:
Journal:  Whether or not you like to write, taking 15-30 minutes a day to journal out your thoughts in a non-judgmental and free fashion can help you become more self aware.  Just write without censorship, but be careful to either burn your papers or lock them up so you feel free to say anything that comes to mind.

Exercise #2:
Walk and talk:  If you really don't like the idea of sitting and writing, take a hike somewhere where you can talk out loud to yourself and create a dialogue with all the inner voices you have inside just waiting for you to ask them what they think.  Be careful to do this somewhere safe (even in the car) where you won't be seen as crazy and suddenly find yourself with a new fashion of a white jacket with wrap around sleeves!

Exercise #3:
When you are confronted with emotions that you don't know how to manage, stop and take a breath before you react.  While this technique has been around “for centuries,” it really is a great way to improve emotional intelligence simply because you are dis-engaging your emotions long enough for your rational brain to step in and think things through.  This will build those neural connections if you also stay tuned with how your emotions feel (from a distance) while you rationally think about them.

Exercise #4:
When in a room full of people, be a “fly on the wall” and try to figure out why people are acting the way they're acting.  The best way to do this is through an old acting exercise of “mimicking or mirroring” the other person through physically taking on their “persona.”  Be real careful that no one sees you doing this or they'll be offended.  A safe way to explore this technique in public is to simply “feel” their gestures without actually physically moving.  Taking an acting class (there's the actor in me coming out) can also give you a lot of insight on “how to read people.”

Exercise #5:
Find books on emotional intelligence (like "The Emotional Intelligence Quick Book") and learn more about the subject or use some hypnosis to improve emotional intelligence.  I've found a great hypnosis download for improving your EQ.  Click here to check it out...


What is Emotional Intelligence?  Finding a good definition of emotional intelligence theory and then asking, “Is emotional intelligence important to my life” are two great ways to start improving your EQ knowledge base.

Connecting them with positive thinking tools like monitoring self talk, practicing creative visualization and staying positive long enough to become addicted will help keep you motivated to stay the course when learning how to improve emotional intelligence skills.

And finally, when you can integrate your positive thinking tools with your high level of emotional intelligence skills and truly use emotional intelligence in corporate business, you've set yourself up for a win-win-win life for you and others around you!

relax-and-listen-to-hypnosisI found a great hypnosis download to help you increase your emotional intelligence! It helps you:

Control negative emotional responses;

Understand your own emotions and recognize other's emotions which gives you more influence over them. 

Click here and review this cool hypnosis download.

And here are some more articles that answer the question, "What is Emotional intelligence?"

Emotional Intelligence Theory:  Is it Valid and Where Does it Fit?
Although the emotional intelligence theory has become popular because of emotional intelligence in corporate business, does it have any validity?  Some people say yes, while others...

Articles on Emotional Intelligence:  A Comparison of the Different Components of EQ  Many articles on emotional intelligence discuss low emotional intelligence, but what is emotional intelligence exactly?  Regardless of the complexity of this subject, the answer is simple...

Components of Emotional Intelligence:  Are There 3, 4 or 5 of Them?  The components of emotional intelligence vary throughout the many articles on emotional intelligence that are found when looking to define emotional intelligence.  But it really boils down...

Define Emotional Intelligence in Relation to Happiness
To define emotional intelligence is a daunting task when you are looking through all of the scientific jardon associated with the emotional intelligence theory.  However, it is simply...

Definition of Emotional Intelligence in Mastering Law of Attraction Techniques  The definition of emotional intelligence has many faces, but working with emotional intelligence is key when trying to master Law of Attraction techniques.  In fact, if you cannot...

Emotional Intelligence in Business:  Why and How to Lead with High EQ Emotional Intelligence in business today is a hot item, but how do you apply a high level of emotional IQ to success and what aspects are important when talking business?  Let's take a look...

Emotional Intelligence Review:  Origins, Definition & Theory in Easy 1, 2, 3 Terms  This emotional intelligence review breaks down the complicated emotional intelligence theory into simple terms so you know the components of emotional intelligence and can...

Emotional Intelligence Role in Business vs. Using EQ at Home.  Do They Overlap? The emotional intelligence role in business is looked upon as the “way to get ahead.”  If you're already leading with emotional intelligence in the workplace, chances are you are already experiencing greater success than if you were leading with low emotional intelligence.

Free Emotional Intelligence Test:  How to Use One to Improve Your Emortional IQ  Using a free emotional intelligence test to assess your emotional intelligence skills is a start, but what happens after the test?  This article provides an emotional intelligence free test as well as...

Is Emotional Intelligence Important to Using the Universal Laws of Attraction?  Is emotional intelligence important to using the universal laws of attraction or not?  This emotional intelligence article explores the impact of emotional intelligence skills...


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