Emotional Intelligence Toolkit Step 1: Learn Why Your Emotions Matter

Understanding Emotional Intelligence and its Power

Emotional Intelligence is powerful. Emotions can override thoughts, transform relationships, and profoundly influence behavior. Emotional intelligence (EQ) allows us to harness that power to understand ourselves, overcome challenges, and build strong relationships. Best of all, emotional intelligence can be learned at any time.

The Emotional Intelligence Toolkit is a progressive five-step process. Although you can access any step at any time, we strongly recommend that you avoid skipping steps, especially if you are feeling stressed.

Watch the video: Emotions matter!

To read a transcript of this video, click here.

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What is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, manage, and express your emotions in healthy and constructive ways. It’s also about recognizing and responding appropriately to the emotions of others.

Emotional intelligence (EQ) vs. Intellectual intelligence (IQ)

Research shows that intellectual intelligence (IQ) has less to do with success in life than emotional intelligence (EQ). Our IQ helps us understand and navigate the world on one level, but we also need EQ, or emotional smarts, in order to succeed. We all know people who are academically brilliant and yet are socially inept and unsuccessful. What they are missing is emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is directly linked to self-esteem, self-awareness, compassion, empathy, and adaptability—important predictors of success in life. Emotional intelligence is what helps you communicate clearly, lead others, and build powerful relationships at work and in your personal life. Emotional intelligence also helps you motivate yourself, solve problems, bounce back from disappointment, and achieve your goals.

Why emotional intelligence matters

Have you ever felt like depression, anxiety, or anger was controlling you? Do you often act impulsively, doing or saying things you know you shouldn’t, only to regret it later? Do you feel disconnected from your feelings or emotionally numb? Do you have a hard time communicating with others and forming meaningful connections? Do you feel like your life is an emotional rollercoaster—all extremes and no balance? All of these challenges are related to a breakdown in emotional intelligence.

How developing emotional intelligence can bring your life into balance

“My life is an emotional rollercoaster!”

Life doesn’t have to be about high highs and low lows. Becoming more in touch with your emotions can help moderate the extreme up and down swings.

“I often regret what I say or do.”

If you often wish you could press an “undo” button—or you simply have a short fuse—you can gain emotional awareness by learning to prolong patience during times of stress.

“I have no energy.”

Got the blahs? When there is nothing physically wrong with you, and you still don’t have any ‘get up and go,’ you might be depressed. When you are more emotionally aware, you can tune into these feelings and make a change for the better.

“The people I’m interested in aren’t interested in me.”

Relationships are hard, but you can have an easier time meeting people and creating lasting bonds when you become more emotionally aware.

“I can’t seem to get ahead, even though I’m smart and work hard.”

Sometimes, getting ahead at your career requires more than book smarts and effort. Becoming more emotionally aware can help you communicate better and advance your position.

“People call me a robot.”

There is such a thing as too much control over emotions. If you’ve reined yourself in so much that you show no emotion whatsoever, you might benefit from becoming more balanced with your feelings.

In what ways would you like to improve your emotional intelligence or emotional health? Make a list and order the items on the list in terms of their importance to your life.

How do I build emotional intelligence?

This toolkit teaches you three interconnecting skills—or building blocks—for increasing your emotional intelligence.

Quick stress relief teaches you how to rely on your senses to rein in stress.

Emotional connection helps you understand yourself and others—and leads to even further stress reduction.

Ride the Wild Horse mindfulness meditation teaches you how to remain focused when experiencing strong emotions.

What kind of relationship do you have with your emotions?

  • Do you experience feelings that flow, encountering one emotion after another as your experiences change from moment to moment?
  • Are your emotions accompanied by physical sensations that you experience in places like your stomach or chest?
  • Do you experience discrete feelings and emotions, such as anger, sadness, fear, or joy, each of which is evident in subtle facial expressions?
  • Can you experience intense feelings that are strong enough to capture both your attention and that of others?
  • Do you pay attention to your emotions? Do they factor into your decision making?

If any of these experiences are unfamiliar, your emotions may be turned down or turned off. In order to be emotionally healthy and emotionally intelligent, you must reconnect to your core emotions, accept them, and become comfortable with them.

Watch the video: Roadblocks to awareness

To read a transcript of this video, click here.

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Step 2: Master the Skill of Quick Stress Relief ’