7 exercises and activities to develop your Emotional Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence is one of the most popular constructs that has gained in the last decades in the field of psychology, since it has been shown to be key in the work, educational and sports performance; and it is essential for the well-being of people, their happiness and their personal development.
Fundamentally, it is the set of our mental abilities aimed at identifying and regulating our emotions and feelings, as well as recognizing them in other people to better empathize.
If you still do not know what Emotional Intelligence is and you want to know in detail about it, I invite you to read these two articles:
- "What is emotional intelligence? Discovering the importance of emotions "
- "The 10 benefits of emotional intelligence"
Exercises and activities to develop your Emotional Intelligence
If you already know what Emotional Intelligence is and what its benefits are, the next step is to put it into practice . Here is a list of activities and tips that will allow you to develop your Emotional Intelligence.
1. Have your emotions diary
To start practicing Emotional Intelligence on a daily basis, there is nothing better than having an emotional diary. This activity is simple, because it is similar to the classic adolescent diary.
To carry out the diary of emotions, you only have to take 10 or 20 minutes a day, preferably before going to bed, to make a review of how your journey has been on an emotional level . If for example you feel you have been experiencing stress and you feel sad, write it down. Check how you have felt during the week and compare it with the previous week.
It is important that you add strategies to feel better, that is, tasks that you can do to avoid the excess of negative emotions . With the diary of emotions it is possible to work on emotional self-knowledge and emotional regulation as you use it. This strategy is useful to understand your emotions and to give you feedback about how you feel.
2. Active listening: observe non-verbal language
Active listening is one of the social skills that we should all possess but that we rarely put into practice. And there is a big difference between listening and hearing. Active listening focuses not only on words , that is, that takes into account non-verbal language and the communication of emotions.
To carry it out in your day to day, it is necessary that you take a few minutes of your conversations to voluntarily listen actively. You may think it's simple, but it's common that instead of pay full attention to the other person's communication , our thoughts and beliefs contaminate our interpersonal communication. So the next time you're in front of someone, take a few minutes to observe their body language, their gestures, their looks, their expressions and the emotions that the other interlocutor tries to convey.
- Related article: "Active listening: the key to communicating with others"
3. The wheel of life
The wheel of life is one of the most effective techniques to know ourselves and correct those areas of our life that we are not happy with. Performing this exercise takes no more than 20 minutes and its operation is very simple. Its effectiveness is such that even experts in personal development use this technique.
This technique helps us know what our wishes and needs are , which are often hidden by social demands. Therefore, it is a way to empower ourselves in front of life, to translate into a paper what we really want and what is important for us. Thus we can have a clearer clear vision of where we want to go, from outside our head.
To perform this exercise, we need a sheet of paper that contains a circle so we can put what areas of our life are important to us and we want to work . For example, work, friends, couple, family, leisure ... Afterwards, it is necessary to evaluate each variable with a score that shows our preference. For example, if work is the most important, we will put the number "1". Once we have clear the order of preference, it is necessary to write down different actions to improve our life.
4. Vipassana meditation
There are different types of meditation, and although many people think that this technique only serves to calm us down, some of these meditative practices are really useful to improve the Emotional Intelligence. One of the best known is vipassana meditation . In fact, vipassana is a Pali language term meaning "observation" or "clear vision".
Vipassana meditation emphasizes awareness and attention in breathing , focusing the mind on the air that enters and exits through the nose. When the mind begins to ruminate, it is necessary to label the thoughts and emotions, observe them and let them go, accepting them.
5. Stop a minute
Emotional regulation is also one of the keys of Emotional Intelligence and interpersonal relationships. But it is not always possible to stop a minute of our life to analyze the present moment. Imagine that you are in a collective bargaining at work and things get out of hand. The environment has become tense and you are not reaching an agreement because there is a certain tone of tension. You may want to stop for a moment, clear your mind and respond and negotiate with your head rather than with your heart.
You can learn to relax and control your emotions with one minute meditation. Once you have perfected it, you can use it anytime and anywhere. In the previous example (collective bargaining), if things get out of hand, it is always better to take 5 minutes of rest to get the waters back on track and negotiate can be resumed with serenity . In that situation you could take advantage of that rest to practice this exercise.
5. Read a book
Emotional Intelligence skills can be worked on and improved over time. If you want to enjoy its benefits, it is a good option to read a book on this subject of the many that are on the market. These texts are a good way to acquire both theoretical and practical knowledge , and I'm sure you'll notice the difference. The variety of books is such that you can even help your children develop Emotional Intelligence if you wish.
In the following article you can find a list of editorial works that will surely be useful: "10 books on emotional intelligence that you need to read".
6. Sign up for a workshop
If reading a book on Emotional Intelligence is a great option to improve your emotional and relationship skills with others, Better yet, sign up for a personal growth course on this subject of the many that are available. The truth is that this is a good way to carry out experiential and experiential group practices.
In addition, you can also choose, for example, for The Online Training Course on Emotional Intelligence of the Mensalus Institute of Barcelona, which allows to receive quality training in online format and from anywhere with an Internet connection. Thus, people interested in perfecting the mental abilities related to Emotional Intelligence can get involved in a very accessible and quality training program.
This training plan has a duration of 10 weeks, throughout its development each student has a tutor in charge of tracking their progress both theoretically and practically.
On the other hand, another of its main strengths is the fact that the staff that gives the subject and shape the educational experience has a great experience working in the Intituto Mensalus, one of the best centers of psychology in Spain, very tanned in the development of initiatives of this type. It is possible to access more information related to this course by clicking on this link.
7. Attend coaching sessions
In addition to these last two options, it is possible to attend coaching sessions to develop your Emotional Intelligence. A coach is an expert in personal development that will help you to know yourself better and to develop your emotional skills, as well as accompanying you in the process of change so that you improve your well-being and overcome your limiting beliefs. The coach will provide you with tools that will help you improve your Emotional Intelligence and, in addition, achieve your goals and objectives. If the coach has a university education as a psychologist, much better.
- Related article: "The 10 benefits of Coaching (keys for your personal development)"