3 mindfulness exercises that will improve your Emotional Intelligence

i Valparaiso, Chile. I traveled to Chile to watch my youngest daughter compete for the United States in synchronized swimming at the Pan American games in Santiago, Chile. I spent some time hiking near the coast.

Being aware of our own emotions, understanding other's emotions, and managing our emotions effectively in relationships require emotional intelligence.  According to Daniel Goleman's research, Emotional Intelligence matters twice as much as IQ or technical expertise when it comes to successful leadership.  And, Emotional Intelligence determines the quality of both our personal and professional relationships.  But how do we become emotionally intelligent?  

Improving our Emotional Intelligence requires us to slow down, be present, notice whats happening inside and around you.  In other words, it takes being mindful.

3 mindfulness exercises that will improve your emotional intelligence 

1.  Clean up.  

Studies show that our environment affects our ability to think clearly and creatively. Clean the clothes off the floor, clear the stacks of papers off your desk, clean out the garage.  Put some fresh flowers in your kitchen.  These things help remove distractions so that we can begin to think about our own emotions and the emotions of others.

2.  Get into nature and move. 

Being outside, feeling the sense of awe, that something is bigger than we are, inspires us to want to be our best.  Taking a hike, bike ride, or swim not only helps us to relieve stress but also clears our mind of distraction.  Set an intention or focus for your next adventure outside.  Notice how your body feels physically and also emotionally before, during and after.  By taking the time to get into nature and move,  we can begin to better understand our emotions.

3.    Get some sleep.

We all know what happens when a child gets cranky and tired.  They begin to whine, they stop listening, and they simply aren't very nice.  The same thing happens with adults.  We need our sleep in order to function and get along well with others.  Make sure you are getting 7-8 hours of sleep.  During the day, take a 10-20 minute nap in the car, at your desk, on the couch or wherever you are.  Set your timer and don't press snooze.  Feeling rested and energized is a key to thinking clearly and noticing whats going on emotionally.

Emotional Intelligence can be learned and improved throughout our lives.  Start with these three mindful exercises to being building your own emotional intelligence and live life to the fullest.



Sarah Kivel