You’ve likely heard about emotional intelligence (EQ), which is often defined as “the ability to identify, use, understand and manage your emotions in an effective and positive way.” Having a high EQ has been linked to a slew of benefits, including:
- Better communication
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Improved relationships
- Greater career success
- Increased ability to overcome life challenges
Raising your emotional intelligence also has a direct and positive effect on your overall energy and consciousness. And, let’s face it: Making your emotions work for you, instead of against you, certainly can’t hurt along the long-road toward sobriety.
Like anything that’s worth it, increasing your emotional intelligence requires lifelong practice. Here are a few steps to help you build self-awareness, emotional regulation and empathy – all crucial for increasing your EQ:
- Set a timer to remind yourself to pay attention to your feelings: When the timer goes off, make a conscious effort to notice how you’re feeling emotionally and how the emotion is impacting your body. For instance: Are you feeling tension in your shoulders? Do this exercise a few times a day. It will help you learn to trust and, in turn, better manage your emotions.
- Practice responding instead of reacting: Next time you begin to feel or behave in a certain way, stop and ask yourself: “Why am I feeling/doing this?” This will help slow you down so you can ensure that you’re not reacting solely from an emotionally charged state.
- Take a walk in someone’s shoes. Merely taking the time to imagine how someone might feel can help you build empathy skills. The trick, say psychologists, is to imagine yourself as the other person in a given situation, as opposed to just imagining yourself being in their situation.
More Tools for a Sober and Successful Life
At Providence, we offer clients an Aftercare Integration Program (AIS) designed to give them the tools to manage their emotional, physical and spiritual health as they return to their careers. To find out more, call today: (866) 622-6211