According to Psychology Today, Emotional Intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. This comprises mostly of emotional awareness, which is the ability to identify your own emotions and those of others and going a step further to harness these emotions and apply them to certain tasks. You not only need academic intelligence or street smarts – you need emotional intelligence as a life skill too.
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You need emotional intelligence at home to understand that sometimes, your mom snaps at you because she’s in distress, not because she means to hurt you. You need emotional intelligence at school to deal with bullies, to understand why people act the way they do. You need emotional intelligence at the workplace, to deal with insecure co-workers or a difficult boss. You need emotional intelligence to deal with your own emotions – understand when your body is undergoing hormonal changes and whether they are causing you to be extra sensitive or irritable.
One of the most important aspects of emotional intelligence is self-awareness. This is the skill of being conscious and understanding your emotions as they occur and evolve. Self-awareness and regulation allows us to recognize and understand why we are experiencing a certain emotion.
Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.
Another important aspect of emotional intelligence is self-regulation. Managing your emotions proportionately and appropriately will require you to possess healthy levels of self-control, conscientiousness, adaptability to change and innovation. You can manage emotions first and foremost by applying reason to them. When you are aware of your emotional responses and the motivation behind them, you can then choose to change how you feel.
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A number of activities such as exercise, yoga, swimming, spending time in nature, avoiding negative thinking and always finding something to be grateful for, help you along the process of managing your emotions.1