Emotional Intelligence is the capacity to be aware of, control, express one’s emotions, and handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. It is the capability of an individual to recognize one’s own emotions and those of others, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, and use this emotional information as a guide to thinking and behavior. Emotional competencies are not innate talents, but rather learned capabilities which can be mastered through guidance, training and practice. Emotional Intelligence activities tap into the emotional competencies of an individual stimulating greater self-awareness, regulation, social skills and motivation. Thus, in this article we are going to discuss the role of emotional intelligence activities in improving and enhancing emotional intelligence and overall well-being.
Activities for Developing Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is a skill that can be mastered. It requires training and practice but is necessary to live fuller and healthier lives. Emotional Intelligence activities attempt to examine key personal emotional competencies as well key emotional intelligence relationship skills for both personal and professional success. Such activities tend to stimulate various cognitive and affective processes that help an individual better understand and regulate one’s own emotions and manage relationships effectively with empathy. Emotional Intelligence activities that help improve emotional intelligence skills and competencies are –
- Mindfulness Meditation – Mindfulness is a form observational meditation where meditators place their awareness on a focal point. This point can be the breath or our thoughts, but it can also be on any information coming in through our five senses. Developing this observing self is the key to gaining a unique perspective on life experiences, monitoring our thoughts, emotions and actions, and developing self-awareness.
- Make a Journal – Make a list of your daily life experiences and the emotional impact they’ve had on you. Writing down thoughts and emotions help us objectify them, compare and analyze them and therefore becomes one very useful Emotional Intelligence activity. Looking back at the journal an individual can gain a clear understanding of one’s emotions and how they can be regulated for better results.
- Socialize – Take part in social activities and gatherings. Socializing with people is a great activity to develop effective social skills, a key competence of emotional intelligence. Taking part in competitions or programs help meet and interact with people and form fulfilling interpersonal relationships. It helps understand oneself from a new perspective in relation to others and manage relationships effectively.
- List Personal Goals – Listing personal goals can provide long-term direction and short-term motivation. So, grab a pen and paper and think about where you want to be and set some targets for yourself. Based on them and your strengths, make them relevant to you and ultimately, make them exciting and achievable. This task alone is enough to get an individual instantly motivated.
- Practice active listening and communication – Empathy is the proficiency to share someone else’s emotions and experiences as if they were one’s own. A key activity to improve empathy is to listen actively and communicate effectively. Don’t act impulsively and listen to what the other person has to say. Take their perspective and communicate in a straightforward, yet effective manner.
Besides these common activities to develop emotional intelligence, there are games that stimulate affective processes and enhance emotional intelligence skills. For instance, the Zhan Zhuang, a Chinese standing meditation that helps develop a deep level of body sensitivity and the Grounding Techniques, a series of exercises for grounding oneself in one’s body and reconnecting to the Earth, are activities for developing self-awareness. Therapies like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy help improve self-regulation.
Emotional Intelligence is a set of skills or competencies that is the key to both personal and professional success. It is not an innate talent, but a learned capability which can be developed. Emotional Intelligence activities are stimulators that attempt to activate affective processes, and improve and enhance emotional skills and competencies. Emotional intelligence activities thus are a way to understand oneself better and use this knowledge about oneself to deal effectively with others.