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Emotional Intelligence What It Is And How You Can Develop It

Hi how are things? my name is Fernando García. I am a psychologist by profession, a specialist in coaching and leadership. Today I have the pleasure of stopping by the Mayneza.com blog to share with you a little of my experience in the field of emotion management .

Specifically, I want to talk to you about the need to educate them, or in other words, about how to learn to manage your emotional intelligence .

Surely you have ever felt that feeling that you cannot control an impulse such as crying, screaming or getting angry. In that case, this article is going to be interesting for you. Let us begin!

What is emotional intelligence?

If you are not familiar with this term, I will tell you, in a simple way so that anyone can understand it well, that emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, differentiate and regulate not only your own emotions, but also those of others .

People are tremendously emotional beings. We constantly live experiences that bring out feelings. If we don’t control these sensations and let them dominate our way of acting, life ends up getting complicated.

I’ll give you an example. Imagine a day when you have some kind of worry that makes you feel bad and that, no matter how hard you try not to think about it, you can’t stop remembering it. If you allow yourself to be driven by that feeling of nervousness and restlessness, your day will most likely be horrible and you will not be able to concentrate on any task, even if things arise that require 100% of you: an important meeting at work, a fundamental class for the course, an assessment or exam, etc.

At that point, emotional intelligence becomes essential to fight against this negativity and look for the positive side that the experience marks you, to turn a day with bad feelings into an effective and productive day.

This example is applicable to a multitude of life situations: with your partner, with your children, in times of stress, etc. If you let emotion dominate you, then you will be in the service of that emotion and you will not be able to guide your own destiny to the right path.

What is the difference between intelligence and emotional intelligence?

Although they may seem very similar terms, the truth is that there is a notable difference between what is usually understood as intelligence and the concept of emotional intelligence .

In fact, emotional intelligence arises as a need derived from what “brain intelligence”, which is measured according to IQs, cannot solve.

More than half a century ago, psychologists began to understand that there were aspects of life that did not depend on being more or less intelligent. There were people with extraordinary intelligence who did not achieve success in life and others with a low IQ who had full lives, successful at work and in which they managed to fulfill themselves as people to perfection.

How is it possible that this happened? Because these “less intelligent” people had a natural ability to control their emotions that others lacked. And the others, despite being extremely intelligent, did not know how to control their emotions and failed in key aspects of life.

Hence, what we know today as emotional intelligence has developed.

How Should I Handle Emotions?

For many people, when you bring up this emotional intelligence, certain impulses or sensations that they cannot retain when something escapes their control immediately come to mind. For example, I am talking about anger, anxiety , sadness …

The right thing to do the moment they appear would be to be able to postpone that feeling to try to handle it at a more appropriate time . It is what we would call holding back or holding the emotion. Waiting to get home or to be alone to release her and let her escape, since repressing emotions does not lead to anything good either. The important thing is to decide the right moment to understand them and channel them in the best way . In other words, we dominate the emotions instead of them dominating us.

Understand that any emotion is useful for something, even the negative side that they may have is part of life. Your emotions will always be there and, if something differentiates the human being from the rest of the animals, it is to be able to feel them. Our emotional system makes us unique.

Emotions as a way of life

If you stop to meditate a little about your emotions you will realize that based on how you feel them, it is how you understand reality and what surrounds you. Your way of living is marked by the emotions you experience every day and the way you interpret them.

You constantly react to them, they condition your actions, they drag you to make decisions . And if you don’t use emotional intelligence to take advantage of this, they will lead you to make more mistakes than successes.

For this reason, it is very important to know how to identify what you are feeling at each moment and react patiently and calmly to it, without an inner feeling speaking or acting in your place.

Time control and emotional intelligence

In the previous paragraph I was talking about patience. This is one of the keys to improving control over your emotions. Learning to be patient will help you manage them properly. The problem many times is that we do not know how to control the time and we become impatient.

How can you cultivate patience? Well, keeping in mind that, whatever happens, something will always come later, this will not be the end of the world. That situation will not stop there, for better or for worse, you will have the opportunity to fix it and then you will take advantage of it.

If you firmly believe that you will always have that possibility of interacting with that something that has happened to you again, you will be able to control negative emotions such as guilt or failure. Taking hold of the proverb, it is giving time to time because time heals everything.

How to develop emotional intelligence? 7 Techniques and Exercises

Control of emotions and feelings can be constantly worked on and improved. The most convenient exercises and techniques to apply with you will depend on the type of personality you have and your level of knowing how to detect and differentiate your feelings and emotions .

It is not the same, for example, working with children, adolescents or adults, since the experience of life itself is already giving you a base of contact with emotional intelligence.

Also, within each age group, it is necessary to differentiate between the character of each individual and adapt the work to each particular case.

Next, I am going to share with you some specific exercises to work on emotional intelligence that I myself use and that I also apply during my therapy sessions. Some of them already speak in detail in this interesting video Guillermo Blázquez and Alfredo García Gárate, with whom I collaborate in the psychological office Blazquezygarate.com .

1. Emotional creativity

In this exercise the objective is to identify which sensations enhance certain abilities in ourselves. Working on this ability will help you distinguish between emotions and take advantage of each of them.

To practice it, you should spend a minute thinking and describing how you feel at the exact moment you start the exercise. Then, once the emotion you are feeling has been identified, you will use it to carry out a creative task: write, draw, sing … whatever that emotion dictates to you. Little by little, with practice, you will discover what capacities arise in you according to the different emotional states in which you find yourself.

2. Positive reinforcement

It is an activity especially recommended for people who have problems evaluating themselves.

It is done in pairs and each person must tell the other 2 physical qualities and 2 other psychic ones that they like about themselves and develop the reasons verbally.

It is very useful to detect emotions such as shame, anxiety or fear of rejection and learn to manage them, talking openly about how you have felt while doing the exercise.

3. The journal of emotions

It is about making a diary in which, when you wake up or shortly after getting up, you will write down with what feelings or spirit you face the day. Then, before going to bed, you will take stock of how the day has gone and write the conclusions in your journal.

Little by little, you will see how, at the beginning of the day, certain emotions establish behavioral guidelines . In this way you can anticipate and avoid mistakes while increasing the productivity of your daily workday.

4. The chair

The chair technique is a method to improve your emotional understanding and can be used once you have the ability to easily differentiate between them.

It consists of coming face to face with the emotions that you have the most trouble to control or dominate. Sit them (imaginatively) in a chair to talk to them face to face. Ask them why they make you act or feel a certain way.

Putting it into practice you will be able to understand them and discover what are the most propitious moments for them to appear. In this way you will find a way that, little by little, these emotions come under your control.

5. Face to face

This is another exercise to do in pairs. Each person will alternately try to explain to the other, through facial gestures, an emotion that they are feeling at that moment (ideally) or that occurs to them. The other will have to guess which one it is.

The objective of this activity is to learn to detect and differentiate emotional states in other people and to use your emotional intelligence to adapt to that specific situation. With practice, an extraordinary ability is acquired to know other people’s moods without the need to start a conversation.

6. The last day

For working with emotions such as fear or shame, “the last day” is a great exercise.

You must imagine that this is the day of the end of the world. After today, nothing will exist, no one will be able to judge or reproach you for anything you say. In that scenario, what would you say to the people who are important to you? To your family, to your friends, to your coworkers …

If you assimilate it and are able to imagine yourself in the same situation when you are afraid to give your opinion about something, or even to say no to a proposal , you will control that fear and convert it in a positive way for you.

7. How do I act?

This exercise can be done in addition to The Diary of Emotions or separately.

It consists of establishing a certain period of time, for example two or three weeks, and during that period, write down in a notebook the different situations that you are facing, how you have felt and acted before them and if your reaction has been the adequate or not. If the answer is no, you should also write down which one would have been the most appropriate.

At the end of the exercise you should sit down to read aloud everything that you have been writing down and associate each situation with the correct emotion and reaction. Thus, when the same situation arises in the future, you will know how to manage your emotions and act appropriately .


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Hey, Mark Ladd here. I am a sports fanatic and have a passion for this. Particularly running is what I love best. However, around 5 years ago I had an accident that changed my life. I can no longer pursue those sporting activities, so I moved my focus on a different approach where I blog about the sports and other areas of life which I have grown to appreciate more since my accident.

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