Building a mindfulness practice to develop emotional intelligence (EQ) is just that, practice. Just like anything else you learn, the more you do it, the better you are at it. Ever started something new and you started out really slow? Then, as you did it once or twice or even a few times you became faster and faster until before long it was just easy and you didn’t even think about it anymore. This is the same with building a practice of mindfulness to help cultivate EQ.
Try another mindfulness exercise: Mindful appreciation. This exercise gives you five different times during your day to practice mindfulness. Take one minute for each time. Throughout your day, notice five different things to be appreciative of, to which you usually do not give a second thought. This could be a person or things such as working inside an air conditioned building or having coffee. Stop for just one minute to appreciate this thing or person as you breathe deeply. Whatever it is that you are appreciating, stop and ponder these questions:
- What would life be like without this person or thing?
- How did this thing or person actually come to be in that exact form? Notice the detail. What process did it have to go through to be that thing?
- How does this thing or person really benefit you and your life?
A little mindfulness can go a long way, especially when it comes to developing EQ. With regular practice of mindfulness, you can start to take back control of your emotions and truly be emotionally intelligent. Mindfulness can help root you in the present and allow you to cope with and handle anything that may come your way with grace and ease. Allow the objects and people in your day be reminders for you to be mindful and appreciative, and remember to breathe.