Does your emotional intelligence play a role in your happiness and success?
Some experts suggest that it can be even more important than IQ. I’ve found that emotionally intelligent people are successful because they practice a set of strategies that are part of a balanced approach to life that I call Wise Mind Living.
Emotionally intelligent people are confident because they know how to manage their emotions. They also have the ability to perceive, express, and evaluate emotion in themselves and others. They make choices in wise mind, not emotion mind.
Here are three things you can do to improve your emotional intelligence.
Focus on the positive.
It’s really pretty simple – your mood is impacted by what you focus on.
Focus on the negative and you’ll feel negative. Focus on the positive and you’ll feel positive.
Emotionally intelligent people also know that where you focus your attention is a choice, and that focusing on the positive is a skill to be practiced every day (read more about that here). Keeping a regular gratitude journal is one good way to start using this skill today.
Life involves pain and things that you aren’t going to like.
Emotionally intelligent people know that how much you suffer from these things is actually up to you. They also know that accepting the things you don’t like is key to being able to tolerate them better.
You create more suffering for yourself when you deal with difficult or painful situations by ruminating about them, blaming others, focusing on fairness, and telling yourself how terrible it is.
When you do those things, you’re practicing non-acceptance. This means you’re struggling against the situation rather than admitting to yourself that whatever it is is happening—and that’s just the way it is. So get into acceptance-mode – it will also reduce your stress (read more about that here).
Fully and mindfully participate in life.
It’s so easy to go through life on autopilot.
You might not even notice how “absent’ you are from your day-to-day activities and interactions. You’re just going through the motions. Ultimately this can leave you feeling disconnected and dissatisfied.
Emotionally intelligent people know that one of the keys to living a meaningful and satisfying life is to bring mindful attention to all that you do. Living your life fully present is another skill that needs to be practiced. Spending even just 5-minutes a day practicing mindfulness meditation can help you feel more present and fully engaged in the rest of your life. (Read my beginners guide to mindfulness meditation here).
If you think you’re too busy to fit a formal meditation practice into your schedule, you can try an informal mindfulness practice. You can do this by bringing more mindful attention to any activity you’re doing.
So the next time you brush your teeth, see if you can simply notice with all of your senses the experience of brushing your teeth. And when you find yourself thinking about what you need to get done that day instead of the minty freshness of your toothpaste, gently bring your attention back to brushing.
Learning how to identify and manage your emotions will help you increase your emotional intelligence. It’s a balancing act between acceptance and change, and it gets easier to maintain with practice.
Let me know how you’re progressing in the comment section below and remember that it’s never too late to change and transform your life!
Photo credit: Bigstock