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Tips for Developing Emotional Intelligence

Bringing awareness to emotions with meditation and mindfulness techniques. 

Fun Facts About Emotions

We can’t control our emotions until we begin to understand them and we can only do that by bringing awareness to them. This helps us see them in a different perspective. Bringing awareness to our emotions can help:

  • Reduce anxiety and depression
  • Enhance relationships
  • Increase self esteem and resilience
  • Improve decision making
  • Manage stress
  • Relax and sleep better
  • Be more productive

Practising mindfulness and meditation can help process and release emotion stuck in the body. It also helps us become aware of where we feel emotions in our body so we can start to recognise them as soon as they are triggered. You can begin to develop emotional intelligence by applying awareness to:

  • Your breathing (e.g. practise belly breathing) – to distract the mind and lessen the intensity of the emotion.
  • The physical sensations that arise – accept them with self-compassion and allow them to be.
  • Judgement – don’t get connected to your thoughts or the story behind the emotion.
  • Labelling your emotions in the third person – you are not your emotions, e.g. there is anger in the belly, there is sadness in the chest (rather than using “I am angry” or “I am sad” which can emphasise the feeling more).
  • Shifting and releasing the energy of the emotion – cry or go for a walk to give the feeling the attention it needs.
  • Seeking professional support – if you are feeling completely overwhelmed and unable to enjoy day to day life.

“When we ‘take the one seat’ on our meditation cushion, we become our own monastery. We create the compassionate space that allows for the airing of all things – sorrows, loneliness, shame, desire, regret, frustration, happiness.” (Jack Kornfield)

Emotions in the Body

Understanding and learning how to use your emotional energy is vital to happiness levels. The sensations you feel in your body during an emotion can help you recognise your triggers and bring awareness to behaviour patterns.

  • FEAR can be felt in the whole upper body
  • ANXIETY may be felt in the chest and stomach
  • ANGER is quite often displayed in the face, chest and arms
  • LOVE is felt in the upper body
  • HAPPINESS is felt in the whole body

Fear, resentment, tension = contraction of muscles/energy

Happiness, joy, calm = expansion of muscles/energy

Colour Breath Exercise

  • Sit crossed legged on the floor or on a pillow or on a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Keep your back nice and upright but shoulders relaxed.
  • Let the muscles across your forehead, around your eyes and in your jaw relax.
  • Place your hands palms facing upwards on your thighs.
  • Take a deep breath in through your nose and out through your mouth, closing your eyes.
  • Then let your breathing flow naturally in and out through your nose.
  • Notice the feel of the air as it enters and leaves your nostrils.
  • Notice the feel of the air as it flows up and down throat.
  • Begin picturing that with each in breath you breathe in a cool blue colour, the colour filling your throat with each breath.
  • On each out breath, picture you are releasing any stuck emotions from your throat (your breath changing to another colour as you breathe out, e.g. grey or black).
  • Notice the feel of your chest as it rises and falls gently with each breath.
  • Begin picturing that with each in breath you breathe in a cool green colour, the colour filling your chest with each breath.
  • On each out breath, picture you are releasing any stuck emotions from your chest (your out breath changing to the colour you chose).
  • Notice the feel of your belly as it inflates and deflates with each breath.
  • Begin picturing that with each in breath you breathe in a warm red colour, the colour filling your belly with each breath.
  • On each out breath, picture you are releasing any stuck emotions from your chest (your out breath changing to the colour you chose).
  • Was one colour a stronger sensation than the others for you?

FOR MORE TIPS AND EXERCISES FOR MANAGING EMOTIONS ENROL IN MY MINI COURSE – TECHNIQUES TO DEVELOP EMOTIONAL AWARENESS

emotional intelligence

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