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Emotional Intelligence: Train Your Emotions

The concept of emotional intelligence is widely known, but how can you train it? Emotions play a critical role. How do they affect our daily life? How do we use emotional intelligence in decision making at work and in raising children? Emotional intelligence is an ability that we are born with, but that needs to be worked on every day. In this article, we’ll show you new ways to learn about your emotions.

What Is Emotional Intelligence?

There are many definitions of emotional intelligence, mainly due to the two terms that form the concept:  intelligence and emotion. Intelligence is the ability to think, solve problems, remember and learn, receiving and create new information. On the other hand, emotion is a change in mood caused by external (when we receive a surprise or hear the news, etc.) or internal (when we are worried about something or just have a bad day) factors on the basis of which our body produces adaptive action.

Thus, emotional intelligence is the ability to manage one’s own emotions, as well as recognize them both in oneself and in others.

The term “emotional intelligence” was popularized by the American psychologist Daniel Goleman, but the concept itself was introduced at the beginning of the 20th century by another American psychologist, Edward Thorndike, who defined “social intelligence” as the ability to understand and the ability to deal with people. Daniel Goleman divides emotional intelligence into 5 components:  self-awareness, selfcontrol, self-motivation, empathy, and social skills.

Change your focus, and you change your emotions. Change your emotions, and your focus will change.” Frederick Dodson

This concept was also included in the theory of multiple intelligences, according to which a person does not have a single intelligence but a number of relatively independent abilities. According to this theory, the criteria of intelligence are met by linguistic, musical, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligence. The concept of emotional intelligence belongs to the latter two.

Intrapersonal intelligence is the ability to understand oneself and manage one’s own life. On the other hand, interpersonal intelligence is the ability to understand and effectively interact with other people, to notice differences in mood, motivation or temperament of others.

Thus, emotional intelligence is the ability to process received sensory information and adapt one’s thinking and behavior to a specific situation or context.

The Ingredients of Emotional Intelligence

There are 5 components to emotional intelligence:

Emotional Self-Awareness

It is awareness of our own emotions and how they affect us. It is important to understand how the state of mind affects our behavior, abilities, what are our strengths and weaknesses.

Emotional Self-Control

The ability to reflect on your own emotions and understand how you can manage them. This skill allows us to determine what our emotional patterns of behavior are and how we should act on their basis in a given situation.

Self-Motivation 

The ability to focus emotions on goals and thus hold those emotions throughout the entire process. This skill is essential for proactively responding and dealing with unforeseen situations.

Empathy

Empathy is the ability to empathize with and recognize the emotions of others. This skill allows us to establish closer and stronger bonds with the people around us.

Interpersonal Relationships or Social Skills

Good relationships with other people are important for your own happiness and emotional health. In this case, not only the ability to empathize is important, but also other social skills – assertiveness, active listening, etc. Learn how to develop your communication skills.

Types Of Emotional Intelligence

As we mentioned above, speaking of emotional intelligence, we mean two types of intelligence: interpersonal intelligence and intrapersonal intelligence.

Interpersonal intelligence involves the ability to establish relationships with other people. Intrapersonal intelligence, by contrast, refers to self-knowledge and related processes such as self-confidence and self-motivation.

Intrapersonal Or Intrapersonal Intelligence

It is made up of a number of characteristics that determine a person’s attitude to himself. These are the following components:

Self-awareness: being aware of ourselves and our abilities (strengths and weaknesses), emotions and impulses, and how our emotions and behavior affect those around us.

Self-regulation or regulation of one’s own emotions: the ability to manage and focus one’s emotions and impulses. For this, it is important to be aware of your responsibility, give yourself time to respond to others (inaction is a reaction), find solutions, cope with situations, etc.

Self-motivation: motivating oneself to perform the necessary tasks, achieve the set goals, i.e., the ability to achieve and maintain a state of constant search for solutions and perseverance in achieving goals.

Self-reinforcement: kindness towards oneself and the ability to reward oneself in certain situations and thus maintain motivation, adequate mood, etc.

Interpersonal Or Interpersonal Intelligence

Consists of a number of other competencies and skills that define our relationships with others:

Empathy: The ability to understand the feelings of others and the reasons for their behavior. This skill allows us to prevent serious conflicts. A person is not born empathic; he acquires this ability during emotional and social development, starting in childhood. Empathy presupposes the presence of three basic conditions: to live as we think, an unconditional positive perception of another person and the desire to put oneself in the place of another without losing oneself.

Social skills: the ability to interact with others. These skills include assertiveness – a communication strategy that allows a person not to depend on external influences and assessments, to independently regulate their own behavior and be responsible for it.  Defend their rights and interests, freely and clearly express their opinions, not attacking others and not allowing them to attack themselves.

How To Use Emotional Intelligence?

The ultimate goal of all our actions is to find emotional balance. Emotional balance is achieved when each emotion and feeling play the role for which they are intended. Therefore, it is extremely important to be able to distinguish between emotions, to know how to work on them, to be able to accept and express them.

Emotional intelligence is essential in order to gain stability in various everyday situations. For example, how to deal with anger? A person with emotional intelligence will know how to control and direct this emotion to achieve a specific goal, as well as learn to express anger in a healthy way for themselves and those around them.

Emotional intelligence is related to other very important concepts. It has been found that people with higher emotional intelligence show greater extroversion, kindness; they are emotionally stable, more open and conscious. On the other hand, emotional intelligence is also associated with neuroticism, substance use, and psychosocial problems. With a sufficient level of emotional intelligence, the following will be observed:

  • Trust
  • Curiosity
  • Awareness Of Intentions
  • Self-Control
  • Creativity
  • Ability To Communicate and Cooperate with Others: It Improves Interpersonal Relationships and Helps Develop Empathy, Honesty and Respect Towards Others.

Thus, emotional intelligence is a tool that helps us improve our own emotional functioning and social relationships with those around us.

Emotional intelligence is made up of various factors. The American psychologist P. Salovey designated them as “spheres of emotional intelligence”: awareness of one’s own emotions, managing emotions, self-motivation and recognition of the emotions of others.

Emotional Intelligence Training

Emotional intelligence training can be divided into 4 stages:

  1. Emotional Education

The psychoeducation process is extremely important, which clarifies what emotion is, how it develops and how to use it.

  1. Understanding The Localization Of Emotions

Emotions are part of our body, and it is important to discover them, listen to them and learn how to manage them. For example: Sometimes anger is expressed as a slight headache, and sadness is felt like a void in the stomach. However, it should be remembered that this is all very individual, so a specialist must personalize the process and help each person create their own encyclopedia of emotions.

  1. 3Emotional Regulation

Emotions can be regulated using various psychological tools, such as exercises for releasing anger, accepting emotions (Mindfulness), etc.

  1. 4Social Skills Training

These skills include the ones we mentioned earlier in this article. Mainly, in therapy, assertiveness and empathy are worked out. For example: how to manage a dispute, take a break before answering the interlocutor, etc.

Why Do You Need to Train Emotional Intelligence?

As we have seen with you, training in emotional intelligence helps to strengthen many abilities. In addition, a person with high emotional intelligence has a number of advantages.

The Benefits of Emotional Intelligence at Work

The emotional side of the job must be taken into account. For a long time in the workplace, emotions were ignored, as only results based on employee performance or student performance were considered.

Currently, companies, in addition to professionalism, take into account emotional intelligence and other skills that can be attributed to emotional intelligence when hiring.

In today’s conditions of high competition and strong pressure with an eye to results and efficiency, companies are in demand for such qualities of employees as active listening and effective communication, creativity in solving difficult situations, emotional stability, the ability to work in a team, negotiate and resolve possible disagreements, self-confidence, motivation to work, etc.

As we can see, all these qualities are related to emotional intelligence, i.e., the ability to recognize and regulate one’s own emotions and to understand the emotions of others. Many companies have realized the importance of this aspect and conduct various activities (training, lectures, etc.) to increase the emotional intelligence of their employees.

Benefits of Applying Emotional Intelligence in Organizations:

  • Optimization of labor productivity and personnel development;
  • Improving communication and teamwork;
  • Reducing the level of conflict between employees and between employees and the organization;
  • Increased adaptation to changes in the company (greater flexibility).
  • Reducing the number of layoffs – both by the company and employees of their own free will.
  • Increased group self-esteem, personal satisfaction and overall productivity.

The Importance of Nurturing Emotional Intelligence from Childhood

It is very useful to bring up emotions in children because, in the first years of life, a person has a very high plasticity of the brain. At this stage, the child receives the most important experience and knowledge for the proper development of cognitive skills and emotionality.

We educate our children intellectually, physically and socially, but emotions are just as important. It is necessary to teach children to correctly express their emotions and manage them through games, as well as give the child the opportunity to use the knowledge gained in everyday life.

A child with emotional intelligence is more confident in his abilities, communicates well, and speaks about what he thinks and feels. Such children take into account the thoughts and feelings of others more, they can resolve conflicts, etc. This, in turn, affects their performance in school. The gradual development of a child’s cognitive abilities allows emotions to become tools that promote attention and allow them to think logically, creatively and rationally. Learn more about how to develop emotional intelligence in your child.

The Importance Of Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is an act of conscious learning that requires self-esteem to be willing to suffer. This is why young children learn so easily before realizing their own importance.” 

Emotional intelligence is a tool that opens doors for us and helps develop both an individual and society as a whole. This ability can be used in practice in a wide variety of situations and allows us to get to know each other better every day.

We can learn and develop this ability throughout life, increasing motivation, self-knowledge and improving self-regulation and social skills.

About Zahid Shaukat

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