We are in control of three things in life: our behavior, feelings, and thoughts. Developing emotional intelligence skills will enable you to take control of your life.
Our behavior and thoughts are driven by our feelings. So how we feel is very important in determining how much control we can enjoy in life. Over 80 percent of our actions and decisions are influenced by our emotions and feelings. It is indeed difficult to control our feelings. This is because we can’t directly influence our emotions.
Having high emotional intelligence skills will let you gain control of your emotions. Follow these daily habits listed below to enhance your emotional intelligence skills.
Do Not Be Quick to Show Your Emotions
You must have been through tough situations where you acted irrationally and later on regretted your actions. We often make this mistake in the heat of the moment—when we say something we don’t mean.
There are two parts to our thinking system: the autopilot system and the intentional system. The former deals with our intuitions and emotions, while the latter corresponds with rational thinking.
The intentional system acts slower than the autopilot system. So it takes time for the intentional system to get into action and correct the errors caused by the autopilot system. To counter this, make it a daily habit to count to 10 to get your intentional system into action. This will allow you to act better in situations where your emotions would usually get the better of you.
When you understand how your thinking systems work, you will get your emotions under better control.
Penning down your feelings and thoughts regularly will help you enhance your emotional intelligence. Journaling is a self-care practice that encourages self-awareness and creativity. Since you are documenting your emotions, you will also get opportunities for deep self-reflection.
Be sure to make journaling a daily habit. It doesn’t matter how you articulate your journal. However, you may start by doing the following:
- Document about yourself and what you are feeling at the time of writing
- Document what you discovered about your feelings over the day
- Document which particular aspect of emotional intelligence you would like to focus on.
The important thing to remember is that you need to get started and show consistency. You may use any mode of journaling, like handwriting, typing, audio, or an online app.
Meditation is another great way to enhance your emotional intelligence. Most people correlate meditation with spirituality. However, meditation can create neural highways which may help cope with stress and emotions.
Men who are shy about expressing their emotions and feelings due to gender norms will find meditation particularly beneficial. Research studies have shown a correlation between meditation and constructive engagement with emotions for men.
The physical health benefits of yoga are pretty well known. However, it also has a significant influence on our emotional intelligence. Yoga has been known to increase self-awareness. It also allows us to live in the present moment. Once you become self-aware, it will naturally become easier to control your emotions.
Our emotions often manifest themselves physically. So being aware of your body will also lead to a greater awareness of your emotions. You would do yourself a favor by practicing yoga daily for at least 15 minutes.
Recognize Cognitive Biases Regularly
We often get misled by our emotions because of mental blind spots. These are called cognitive biases. Our cognitive biases cloud our judgment and lead us to make irrational decisions in our professional and personal lives.
You must learn how to avoid falling into the fallacy of cognitive bias by evaluating which of these biases are most relevant to you. Once you do this, you need to take time out daily to address these issues.
Working on your emotional intelligence skills will only do you good. Making these habits a part of your daily routine is the secret to developing emotional intelligence and subsequently taking control of your life. Some may learn it earlier than others. The important thing is that everyone can earn these skills. Having good emotional intelligence skills will also give you a lot of peace of mind.
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