8 Ways To Improve Emotional Intelligence

In my late 20s and early 30s, a colleague mentioned “emotional housekeeping.”

I didn’t give it much thought then, assuming she meant regular housekeeping.

However, 20 years later, I wish I had paid more attention.

We all experience a mix of emotions—lonely, sad, happy, and sensitive—all at once.

When this happens frequently, it’s time to focus on the inner self through emotional housekeeping.

Here are the steps I follow to maintain emotional balance:

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1. Tune into Your Radio

Think of your body as a radio and your emotions as stations.

Throughout the day, you tune into different emotions based on your thoughts and feelings.

To effectively manage your emotions, it’s crucial to identify them and understand their triggers.

This means actively tuning into your emotions instead of ignoring or suppressing them.

You’ve gotta feel it to heal it!

For example, if you notice feelings of frustration or sadness, take a moment to reflect on what might have triggered these emotions.

Are they linked to a specific event, person, or thought?

By recognizing these patterns, you can better understand your emotional landscape and address issues before they escalate.

2. Know Your Triggers

Anger is a recognition signal.

We can’t become upset about something we are not aware of.

When anger arises, it’s a cue to identify the underlying trigger.

Understanding what specifically sets off your anger can help you manage it more effectively.

Start by keeping a journal to note when you feel angry and what happened just before you felt that way.

Over time, patterns will emerge, showing you common triggers.

This awareness allows you to anticipate and prepare for situations that might provoke anger, enabling you to respond more calmly and constructively.

3. Clean Under the Carpet Too

Unspoken thoughts and feelings in relationships with family, kids, or friends can build up and eventually explode.

Avoid this by scheduling honest, non-confrontational conversations with your loved ones.

For instance, if you’re feeling overwhelmed with responsibilities at home or work, share your feelings with your partner or a close friend.

Expressing your emotions in a calm, honest manner can prevent the buildup of resentment and misunderstandings.

Regularly addressing these feelings keeps your emotional house clean and prevents emotional explosions.

4. Don’t Be Too Quick to Judge

Allow yourself to experience random feelings without judgment.

If an emotion persists, it’s trying to tell you something important.

Give yourself the freedom to feel without immediate analysis.

For example, if you wake up feeling anxious for no apparent reason, accept that feeling without rushing to label it as bad or unwarranted.

Over time, if the anxiety persists, reflect on potential causes.

This practice of non-judgmental awareness allows you to process emotions healthily without adding unnecessary stress or guilt.

5. Know What’s Draining You

Identify what or who is draining your energy.

Reflect on your interactions and surroundings.

Take control of your time and prioritize relationships that uplift you.

To do this, consider keeping a diary of your daily activities and noting how each one makes you feel.

After a week or two, review your notes to identify patterns.

Are there specific people, tasks, or environments that consistently leave you feeling exhausted or unhappy?

Once you identify these drains, take steps to minimize your exposure to them and focus on activities and relationships that energize and inspire you.

6. Identify What’s Missing

Once you’ve cleared emotional drains, figure out what you need more of in your life.

Make a list of 3 to 5 things that would improve your well-being.

For instance, you might realize you need more time for hobbies, social activities, or self-care.

For example, I set aside time weekly to spend with a group of ladies, which revitalizes me.

By identifying and actively pursuing what’s missing, you can create a more balanced and fulfilling life.

7. Find Time for Your Close Friends

Close friends are those you trust and value.

Prioritize time with them, even if it’s just a quick chat over coffee or a phone call.

These connections are crucial for emotional balance.

Reflect on the people in your life who genuinely support and uplift you.

Make a conscious effort to nurture these relationships.

Plan regular meet-ups, phone calls, or even virtual hangouts.

The quality time spent with close friends can provide emotional support and a sense of belonging that is essential for your well-being.

8. Be Grateful

Focus on what you have rather than what you lack.

Practicing gratitude, even on tough days, helps you appreciate the good in your life.

Start a daily gratitude journal where you write down three things you are thankful for each day.

They can be big or small, from a promotion at work to a beautiful sunset.

Over time, this practice can shift your focus from what’s missing in your life to what’s present, fostering a more positive and contented mindset.

Conclusion – How To Improve Emotional Intelligence

Emotional housekeeping is essential for maintaining balance and stability.

Emotions dictate how we feel, and how we feel is key to achieving what we want.

By regularly addressing our emotional needs, we can lead happier, healthier, and more fulfilling lives.

Remember, awareness is the first step to emotional well-being.

Prioritize your emotional health and make time for these housekeeping steps to ensure a balanced and stable life.

Sign up for Executive Coaching to improve your emotional intelligence.

How To Improve Emotional Intelligence
Picture of Natalie Brown

Natalie Brown

Keynote Speaker, Executive Coach, and Group CEO at Select Training.

Work with me
Picture of Natalie Brown

Natalie Brown

Keynote Speaker, Executive Coach, and Group CEO at Select Training.

Work with me

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