Emotions give you information about how your internal and external experiences impact you. Being emotionally intelligent allows you to respond thoughtfully to your emotions. Here are some ways to improve your emotional intelligence:
Track your emotions: Build a habit of paying attention to your emotions. Ask yourself periodically throughout the day: "How am I feeling?" If you want a more formal practice, jot feelings down in a journal or make a quick note on your phone.
Objectify your emotions: Once you notice your emotions, visualize them as an object. Imagine what this emotion might look like. This practice allows you to put space between you and your emotions so you can respond to them thoughtfully.
Talk about emotions: Build emotional language into your lexicon. Talk to friends and family about your emotions and theirs. If doing that feels like a big step, start by talking about emotions in therapy.
Your relationship with your emotions can be a powerful one. Use it mindfully!
Bethany Kriegel, LMHC, earned her master’s degree in mental health counseling from Boston College. She has experience working with adults in residential treatment settings, helping those struggling with eating disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder, among other issues.
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