Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your own and other’s emotions. The 3 parts of emotional intelligence are emotional awareness, managing emotions, and applying emotions to problem solving. Let’s look at each component a bit closer.
Firstly, emotional awareness is the ability to learn from feelings. Reflection is a crucial part of emotional awareness. When we reflect on our feelings, we are making sure to acknowledge and understand them. Having a higher degree of emotional awareness allows us to communicate our emotional state more clearly to others, move through problems quicker, set personal boundaries that work, better understand others, be more cooperative, and help with overall decision making.
Managing and Regulating Emotions
In addition, emotional regulation is the capacity to effectively manage and respond to emotional experiences. Many of us have a variety of emotional regulation strategies that are healthy and effective. We also have some that are not. Healthy emotional regulation strategies allow us to disperse tough emotions, to pinpoint what caused the emotion and offer a greater understanding. Examples of healthy emotional regulation strategies are: exercising, writing, talking to a friend, therapy, paying attention to automatic negative thoughts, getting enough sleep, and taking medication if needed. Examples of unhealthy management of emotions are: aggression, abuse of substances, avoiding or withdrawing from others, over eating, and self-injury.
Connecting and Applying Emotion to Problem Solving
Lastly, the third element of emotional intelligence is applying knowledge of emotions to problem solving. Viewing a problem from an outsider’s perspective allows us to see the problem from an unbiased view. Our brains are able to utilize learned information to successfully navigate through a problem. Another tip is learning to separate thought from feeling. We are able to work through the situation with control if we can isolate a certain feeling.