The concept of emotional intelligence as it relates the quality of our relationships is being widely explored. In an effort to build deeper connections and more meaningful bonds with those closest to us, understanding our thoughts and emotions plays a critical role. The basic definition of emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and effectively express your feelings and empathize with others. This is skill that takes practice but with persistence, can become habit that will greatly improve your relationships. Use these helpful tips to increase your self-awareness and cultivate a more meaningful life.
- Reflection. Practice self-awareness by recognizing your strengths, weaknesses, triggers and core values. This will help you better understand others and how you may come across to them.
- Empathize. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Recognize that everyone is facing some sort of struggle, whether it is big or small.
- Observe your thoughts. In the words of Jon Kabat-Zinn, “Pay attention, on purpose and non-judgmentally, to the unfolding of experience moment to moment.”
- Consider all sides to a story. Rather than being quick to judge or jump to conclusions, spend time trying to understand another perspective.
- Practice positive emotions. Surround yourself by people who build you up. Practice kindness and let go of unpleasant thoughts. Never underestimate the power of positivity!
Putting these seemingly simple tips to work in your everyday life can help you build relationships that enrich your life and improve your overall well being.