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« 15. Five tips on knowing how you feel »

Written by Rachel Green, Director, The Emotional Intelligence Institute, accredited user of the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso-Emotional-Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) and internationally recognised Emotional Intelligence Coach.

Emotional Intelligence is said to be an indicator of people's success in life.

A big component of emotional intelligence is the ability to be aware of and manage your own emotions. However, it isn't always easy to do this.

Here are some tips to help you develop this aspect of your Emotional Intelligence so you develop even greater skills in knowing how you feel. Once you now how you feel you can develop greater understanding as to the drivers of your actions.

Emotional intelligence tip 1: Stop and check.

Take a brief pause in your busy day to check in with yourself. Ask yourself, "How am I feeling?" Become aware of how you are feeling. Decide if any action needs to be taken.

Emotional intelligence tip 2: Reflect on each day.

At the end of a day, stop to reflect. Howard Gardner, one of the original researchers into multiple intelligences says this is a key behaviour of extra-ordinary people. Review your day. Consider what you managed well. Identify what you could have managed better. Decide how you'll improve.

Want to know what levels of emotional intelligence you have and identify areas of possible improvement and receive coaching from a top emotional intelligence coach? Sign up to have the MSCEIT conducted and receive coaching on your results. It could change your life - for the better. Click here to find out more.

Emotional intelligence tip 3: Keep a journal.

Keep notes on your emotional states on a day-by-day or week-by-week basis. What emotional reactions did you have? What upsets you? What delighted you? Then over time look to see if any patterns emerge. Do you frequently get upset over particular kinds of comments? Are you more likely to feel anxious at a particular time of day? Do particular people trigger different emotional reactions in you? Then take action to help reduce any problems.

Emotional intelligence tip 4: Ask yourself why?

Is there a reason why you feel as you do? You may feel grumpy at the moment, but why? Is it something that was said to you earlier in the day or because you didn't get what you wanted yesterday or because it stops people giving you more work? Be willing to trace back the triggers for your emotions.

Emotional intelligence tip 5: Accept how you feel.

Many of us have been brought up to bury, or run away from, or even to feel ashamed of or embarrassed by our feelings.

Develop the ability to own how you feel without trying to deny them.

For example you might say to yourself and others, "Yes, I am anxious at the moment", or "I am scared that I'll fail", or "I feel uncomfortable in this situation" or "I'm uncomfortable with the way we are discussing this issue, and would feel more at ease if we could find a kinder way to do it."

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