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"Emotional intelligence is not something you are born with; it's a discipline that must be practiced and developed over time." - Travis Bradberry.

Today, we often hear about AI – Artificial Intelligence. There is a significant amount of controversy surrounding it. Do you know there is such a thing as Emotional Intelligence (EI)?

Emotional Intelligence (EI), often referred to as EQ (Emotional Quotient), is a concept that encompasses the ability to recognize, understand, manage, and effectively use one's own emotions and the emotions of others. It involves skills and competencies related to emotions and interpersonal interactions.

Here's a more detailed definition:

Emotional Intelligence is the capacity to:

Recognize Emotions: The ability to identify and accurately label one's own emotions as well as the emotions of others.

Understand Emotions: The capacity to comprehend the causes and consequences of emotions in oneself and others.

Manage Emotions: The skill to effectively regulate and control one's emotions.

Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand and feel the emotions of others genuinely.

Social Skills: This component of emotional Intelligence involves the ability to navigate social interactions successfully.

Emotional Intelligence is considered a crucial factor in personal and professional success. It can lead to better relationships, improved communication, effective leadership, and enhanced overall well-being. Developing emotional Intelligence involves self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, and social skills, and it can be cultivated and improved over time through self-reflection, practice, and learning.

All the above categories can be learned. You may be surprised that empathy can be learned. According to Mental Health Weekly, research shows that empathy is a skill that can be learned and developed over time.

When I was younger, my Emotional Intelligence was stunted. Until I was in my 50s, it was a challenge for me to pinpoint what emotion I was feeling. I gained some EI when I went to counseling and was given a feelings chart. The chart consisted of many faces with expressions and a title of the emotion the faces were portraying. I learned to look at the chart when I didn't know what I felt, which helped me move on to the next steps. It was during this step I learned to understand my emotions. (It took me a long time to start understanding others' emotions, but I am doing much better at recognizing emotions in others.)

As I have shared in past blogs, I struggle with bipolar, and managing my emotions can be challenging. I gained skills to help me in this area. Managing emotions effectively is an essential aspect of maintaining mental and emotional well-being. Here are five strategies to help you manage your emotions:

· Self-awareness: Pay attention to how and why you feel that way. Journaling can be a valuable tool to track your emotions and identify patterns. Once you know your emotions, you can work on controlling and regulating them.

· Deep breathing and relaxation techniques: Try deep, slow breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Practices like meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, or yoga can also help you relax and reduce the intensity of your emotions.

· Positive self-talk: Challenge and reframe negative thoughts that may fuel your emotions. Replace self-criticism with self-compassion. Positive self-talk can help you shift your perspective and manage emotions more effectively.

· Seek social support: Talk to a trusted friend, family member, or therapist about your emotions. Sharing feelings with someone you trust can provide emotional relief and offer different perspectives. Sometimes, just expressing your emotions can help you process and manage them.

· Stress management: Engage in stress-reduction techniques like exercise, mindfulness, and time management. Regular physical activity can release endorphins, which are natural mood lifters. Mindfulness practices, such as meditation or deep breathing, can help you stay present and reduce stress. Additionally, organizing tasks and setting realistic goals can prevent being overwhelmed and stressed.

Remember that managing emotions is an ongoing process, and it may take time to develop these skills effectively. Being patient and kind to yourself during this journey is also essential. If your emotions are overwhelming or persistently interfering with your life, consider seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor.

The definition of empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Empathy can be hard to achieve. Below are some steps to successfully learn empathy:

· Listen actively.

· Practice perspective-taking.

· Ask open-ended questions.

· Learn about diverse perspectives.

· Be mindful.

· Volunteer and help others.

· Reflect on your experiences.

· Validate others' emotions.

· Seek feedback from others.

Finally, I have shared that my social skills were not perfected until well into adulthood. Once I conquered my insecurities, I was able to interact with others and learned to enjoy groups of people.

There is a book published in the 90s called Emotional Intelligence. It is worth reading! An updated version may be available.

I know this is a long blog. If you are reading this, you have made it to the end. Thank you for hanging in there.

Have a great week.

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