It was not until 1990 that psychologists Peter Salovey and John Mayer discovered the concept of Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Their publication in the journal “Imagination, Cognition, and Personality,” took the academic and research sectors by storm. While EQ was always a part of human socialization and interactions, no one gave it much attention. Thanks to the pioneering work of Salovey and Mayer, additional studies on the subject have proven the importance of EQ to our harmonious coexistence.
In today’s complex world, EQ has become a vital instrument for navigating relationships, understanding our emotions, and effectively communicating with others. Even though earlier studies held that emotional intelligence is an inherent trait, recent ones have proven that people can enhance it via specific practices and routines. For instance, students, authors, and researchers have discovered the power of writing in boosting EQ. While this may sound new, it’s an old trick that generations have passed down from one to the next for ages. In this short article, we’ll explore 5 ways in which writing can deepen self-awareness, enhance empathy, and improve communication skills. Read on to understand more!
Have you ever kept a journal? If you haven’t, you’re missing out. Journaling is, by far, the most satisfying exercise, especially when your life is in chaos. Writing a journal is like being on an adventurous voyage with your thoughts and emotions in a safe and private environment. If you’re privileged to have read “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank and “The Reagan Diaries” by Ronald Reagan, you’ll understand the power of journals in exploring our emotions, sharing our experiences, reflecting on our journeys, and acknowledging our failures. Simply put, it helps us gain clarity. Through regular journaling, you can unlock a world of self-discovery, self-expression, and personal transformation, developing greater emotional intelligence in the process.
Unlike journaling, creative writing is imaginative. But this doesn’t mean it’s less effective in boosting our emotional intelligence. If you’re endowed with enough creative juices, you can exploit them to write poems, stories, or any other fun materials. Unique and imaginative thinking drives today’s entertainment industry, especially music and movies. Watching films like Avatar, Black Panther, and Guardian of the Galaxy can make you appreciate the power of imagination to transport readers to new worlds, stir emotions, inspire, educate, and entertain. Writing a simple original poem can push you into deep thoughts about different perspectives and emotions, enhancing your EQ in the process. Apart from developing yourself, it can also captivate your audiences, sparkling dialogue, and influencing their worldviews.
As the name suggests, reflective writing is like looking into the side mirror to see what’s happening behind you on the highway. While it’s true that safe driving requires focusing on the road ahead, don’t ignore the beauty of hindsight, especially in this chaotic world. The side mirror can help you see a runaway truck trailing you or an ambulance that needs space and courtesy. If you engage in reflective writing, you’re likely to investigate your experiences from a more mature, realistic, and rational angle. This is likely to help you identify patterns, triggers, and underlying emotions that may affect your current behaviors, responses, and relationships. You become better and more emotionally intelligent by being self-aware. Unfortunately, reflective writing isn’t easy to grasp. You may need help to jumpstart your journey. For instance, you can engage a paper writing service to assist. Professional ones are patient and can help you overcome any difficulties.
The art of letter writing may be fading due to technological advances that have simplified interpersonal communication. Instead of crafting emotionally packed letters, people are now opting for chats, emails, and texts. Despite the change, some of us still cherish the days of enveloped messages. The adrenalin rush from a mail, especially from a beloved, remains incomparable. Gone are the days when women linked men’s ability to win their hearts to their writing skills. Those who were privileged enough to know how to articulate their feelings and thoughts in a passionate and considered manner always had their way. A golden era!
Letter writing still works, for the self and the recipients. The painstaking process of selecting the right words, using the correct phrases, and arranging paragraphs logically requires higher levels of self-awareness and control. It forces you to sit in the recipient’s chair, imagining their response and reaction, which helps you to develop empathy – a critical part of EQ – and cultivates practical communication skills.
Mindfulness is a powerful tool for attaining inner peace. Yoga, for instance, has gained significant popularity over the last few decades because of its ability to help people focus and gain clarity. It’s all about the present moment. While it’s true that attaining absolute peace and happiness is improbable, such practices can provide temporary relief from the chaos and make our lives better. And when incorporated into the writing process, mindfulness can completely revolutionize your pen-to-paper experiences. It can help you focus, observe your thoughts and emotions without judgment, and explore them with curiosity. This kind of freedom and clarity is good for your physical and mental health, and those around you.
Pen it for your emotional intelligence!
As discussed in the article, we can’t over-emphasize the importance of emotional intelligence to interpersonal interactions, growth, and development. Whether you were born with it or not, it’s critical to indulge in activities and routines that sharpen your EQ. For instance, incorporating the five writing practices explored in this article into your daily life can enhance your emotional intelligence and help you gain a better understanding of yourself and others.