According to Mental Health America, “Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the ability to manage both your own emotions and understand the emotions of people around you.” There are five key elements to emotional intelligence:
The ability to express and understand our emotions is essential, but so is the ability to understand, interpret, and respond to the emotions of others. As a result, emotional intelligence impacts our personal relationships, professional relationships, and the relationship we have with ourselves.
At Pathfinders Pastoral Care Ministries, our Christian counselors specialize in helping individuals prioritize and improve their mental well-being. While you may not associate emotional intelligence with mental wellness, it does have a significant impact on our mental well-being.
Impact of Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence can impact our daily lives in varying ways, including:
Being able to accept criticism and responsibility
Being able to move on after making a mistake
Being able to say no when you need to
Being able to share your feelings with others
Having empathy for other people
Having great listening skills
Knowing why you do the things you do
But, why does this matter? “Allowing yourself to notice and express feelings is how you can move through them instead of staying stuck... A higher EQ not only helps to address and reduce anxiety, it is linked to improved physical health, relationship satisfaction, and work performance (urmc.rochester.edu).”
Research has found a strong correlation between emotional intelligence and positive well-being, and has been shown to positively impact self-esteem, life satisfaction, and self-acceptance.
“A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back” - Proverbs 29:11
Beyond the impact emotional intelligence has on ourselves, it also impacts how we interact with those around us, such as understanding nonverbal signals such as body language and facial expressions.
Can You Improve Emotional Intelligence?
Yes! Emotional intelligence starts by learning to identify the emotions you are feeling and understand them. If you can name the emotion you’re feeling, you have a better chance of understanding what you’re feeling. This also includes stopping and thinking before you act, and recognizing how your emotions influence your decisions and behaviors.
When it comes to those around you, listen to what people are trying to tell you, both verbally and nonverbally. When you sense that someone is feeling a certain way, consider the different factors that might be contributing to that emotion.
Pathfinders Pastoral Care Ministries aims to help individuals understand their emotions, reveal their unique Temperament needs, and identify healthy strategies to meet their needs and manage their emotions. Contact us today to learn more.