Your emotional intelligence is just as important as your street smarts and general knowledge. This is how you’re able to connect with people, build relationships, and express emotions in a healthy manner. Emotional intelligence can be broken down into five categories, each of equal importance:

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Self-regulation
  3. Motivation
  4. Empathy
  5. Social Skills

Are you making time for emotional intelligence? If not, let’s take that online calendar and make some room. Just a little bit every day will have you on a path you can look back on and be proud of your progress. Emotional intelligence will help you become a better friend, family member, and employee as well. Here’s how to make time for improvement:

Take Up Meditation

Take a deep breath in and let it out slowly. You’ll be amazed by the level of self-mastery you can get through simple meditation and breathing exercises. Make this a daily routine and you’re bound to see the difference.

Emotional intelligence is all about adapting to different situations even when emotions are high with poise and precision. Think about a recent decision you made where your emotions got the best of you. Chances are it ended a lot poorer than you had hoped.

With your online calendar, designate a time each day to spend meditating. This could be first thing in the morning or on your lunch break. Try some breathing exercises or a soothing podcast that guides you through a meditation session. You’ll be able to draw upon that calm when you need it, exhibiting emotional intelligence even in the most stressful of times.

Enroll in Classes for Personal Growth

Having a hard time figuring out how to build your emotional intelligence on your own? Enroll in some classes geared toward personal growth. Guided instruction will keep you accountable to progress and help you get going in the right direction before you take off on your own.

Thanks to the power of the internet, you can take an online course on a number of topics related to emotional intelligence. The best part about taking an online course is that you can work at your own pace. This makes it easier to schedule class time into your online calendar, as a 15-minute window every day will be just enough.

Start by identifying the aspect of emotional intelligence you feel needs the most work. For many, this is empathy; the ability to put yourself in another’s shoes in order to understand and work with them better. There are classes for showing empathy to customers, students, and loved ones. There are also options for improving your self-mastery, social skills, and much more.

Add Service to Your Schedule

You can learn a lot about yourself and about others through service. By simply making time for activities that force you to look outside of yourself puts your emotional intelligence to work.

If you’re hard-pressed for service ideas, start by looking in your local community. Planning to attend a service project is a guarantee, rather than hoping you stumble upon an opportunity down the road. Volunteering at a soup kitchen, donating some clothing, or visiting a children’s hospital are all ideas you can plan in your Calendar.

Service activities are also great for team bonding. Talk to your employer about putting together a service project for your organization to participate in. This is also a good branding opportunity for your company, which adds the benefits of the activity.

Ask for Help

Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance when pursuing your emotional intelligence goals. The perspective that others can provide will get you further than you ever could by yourself.

Ask a close friend or family member to help you out. Schedule a time to meet up with them in your online calendar for lunch or a walk in the park. Ask them to name three things you as a person could improve on when it comes to emotional intelligence. They’ll be able to tell you things about yourself you might overlook, giving you a better idea of where to focus your improvement.

Next, ask them for three aspects of emotional intelligence where you’re doing a good job. This will end the meeting on a high note and act as a reminder that there are plenty of good qualities that you already have. Identifying these strengths will also help you figure out how you can make a positive impact on the world right away.

Unplug More Often

Despite its many uses, the internet is also a powerful vice that can stunt your emotional growth when overused or implemented incorrectly. Social media in particular can be dangerous because of how addictive it can be and how it portrays the world and self-worth. Too often you’ll find yourself criticizing or envying the lives and appearances of others instead of working on improving their own.

If you find yourself struggling with excessive electronic use, use your online calendar to set some goals to get your usage in control. Scheduling your social media is one way you can keep yourself in line. Do your best to keep social media out of the picture unless you’ve made time for it otherwise, and you’re less likely to find yourself scrolling aimlessly throughout the day.

Your life will be filled with much more joy when you make emotional intelligence a cornerstone of your being. Take the time today to start making arrangements to prioritize your emotional intelligence and you’ll quickly start feeling better about yourself and the world around you.

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