“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.” – Oprah Winfrey
Here are four strategies for cultivating emotional intelligence:
- Practice Empathy: Cultivate your ability to both understand others’ emotions and encourage people to share their perspectives and feedback. By making active attempts to listen to and understand others, you will be better equipped to deal with a wide range of people in a wide range of situations. As Ernest Hemingway noted: “When people talk listen completely. Most people never really listen.”
- Continually Learn: The more you learn the more you can grow. Emotional intelligence isn’t about a destination but about continual growth.
- Nurture Relationships: Cultivating relationships gives you practical experience in dealing with a wide range of people. Not only will developing these relationships improve your outlook, but it will also make you better equipped to deal with people you’ve never met before.
- Practice Breathing: Breathing exercises can both help you clear your mind and stimulate you for the day ahead. Here is a great breathing technique from Andrew Weil, M.D. to get you started:
- The Relaxing Breath: This breathing technique will clear your mind and put you at ease. Start by pressing the tip of your tongue against the top of your mouth, right behind the front teeth. Exhale through the mouth. Inhale for a count of four through the nose. Hold your breath for a count of seven. Exhale, making noise, for a count of eight through the mouth. Repeat three times.