Up your Emotional Intelligence quotient.

Alcoholics, addicts and co-dependents do a lot of work on emotions in recovery. Here are some points that may enhance the 12 Step program.

Everyone’s talking about Emotional Intelligence (EI) but what exactly is it? One important aspect of emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions – in oneself and others – and to use that information appropriately. For example, recognizing emotional intelligence in oneself can help you regulate and manage your emotions, while recognizing emotions in others can lead to empathy and success in your relationships, both personal and professional.

Given the importance of emotional intelligence, I thought it might be helpful to give a very brief overview of the topic, as well as 10 ways to enhance your emotional intelligence, originally published in my book “The Emotional Revolution.”

In 1990, Yale psychologists John D. Mayer and Peter Salovey originally coined the term emotional intelligence, which some researchers claim that is an inborn characteristic, while others suggest that you can improve it with proper guidance and practice. I agree with both schools and obviously with the latter – or I wouldn’t be giving you tips as to what you can do to improve your EI.

It may not be possible for everyone to have a psychotherapist. But you can become your own therapist. (After all, Freud analyzed himself.) It all starts with learning how to listen to your feelings. While it may not always be easy, developing the ability to tune in to your own emotions is the first and perhaps most important step.

Here are 10 Ways to Enhance Your Emotional Intelligence:

1. Don’t interrupt or change the subject.

2. Don’t judge or edit your feelings too quickly.

3. See if you can find connections between your feelings and other times you have felt the same way.

4. Connect your feelings with your thoughts. 

5. Listen to your body. 

6. If you don’t know how you’re feeling, ask someone else. 

7. Tune in to your unconscious feelings. 

8. Ask yourself: How do I feel today? 

9. Write thoughts and feelings down. 

10. Know when enough is enough. 

See Chapter 5 in the book, The Emotional Revolution: Harnessing the Power of Your Emotions for a More Positive Life, goes into greater detail on emotional intelligence.

Full explanation of each point at; Psychology Today


Related Reading:

Couple Skills: Making Your Relationship Work
Seven Weeks to Sobriety: The Proven Program to Fight Alcoholism through Nutrition
Emotions & Essential Oils, 2nd Edition: A Modern Resource for Healing
Beyond Codependency: And Getting Better All the Time