Published on April 5, 2021

6 Most Important Emotional Intelligence Skills To Have

6 Most Important Emotional Intelligence Skills To Have

Have you ever considered whether you are an emotionally intelligent person or not? Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to recognize our emotions and those of others and respond to them thoughtfully and effectively.[1] Having emotional intelligence skills is key to connecting with others and forming lasting relationships.

If you are struggling with improving your emotional intelligence or assessing your level of understanding, here are the 6 most important emotional intelligence skills that you should develop.

1. Strong Inner Confidence

Emotionally intelligent people can act and speak without second-guessing themselves. This stems from them being self-aware and trusting their intuitions. Being emotionally intelligent means that you are confident and can “talk the talk” and “walk the walk.”

You might say that you want to work out or start eating healthily, but to actually take the action and go to the gym requires a higher level of emotional intelligence. The next time you are thinking that you want to learn a new skill or maybe go to therapy, take a moment to consider what you need to make that jump from thought to action. It might be finding an accountability partner who will call you out when you are slacking, or perhaps using an exercise app to track your process.

Being proactive allows you to feel more self-assured, which gives you increased confidence in assessing the risks and rewards of your decisions. When you understand your emotions, you will find it easier to have conviction in your actions.


2. Ability to Go With the Flow

Having the skill to adapt to different situations shows that you have a high level of emotional intelligence. If you can adjust your game plan without getting frustrated when a project doesn’t go as planned, it means you are in tune with your emotions.

Being able to go with the flow also means that you don’t get stuck in trying to fulfill checklists. If you plan your career or relationship goals and attempt to achieve them in a strict time frame, you may end up feeling disappointed and exhausted. Someone with good emotional intelligence skills understands when they have given it their all and allowed themselves to move on—even if the project is incomplete.

There will be times when calls take longer than expected or when technology doesn’t work as planned. Being flexible will give you more space for adjustments. To be more emotionally intelligent, remind yourself that life is fluid and that you only have control over your own decisions. You can be in charge of how much you allow outside factors, like people and unexpected circumstances, to impact your life. Emotionally intelligent people will not get rattled. Instead, they re-evaluate and push forward.

3. Selective Reacting

Another notable emotional intelligence skill is the capability to only react when it is necessary, effective, and thoughtful. It is easy to get caught up in your emotions and respond defensively when a friend tells you something that makes you feel angry or small. An emotionally intelligent person will have control over their energy and the power to listen, process, and then take action.

Whenever you receive an unnerving email or harsh criticism from someone, take the time to determine if there is any truth to what they are saying. From there, you can choose how you will react. Maybe a colleague’s words can shine a light on an area where you can improve, which allows you to grow. You can go back to that person with a new perspective and willingness to hear their feedback.


On the other hand, you can also brush off what someone says if you know it is inaccurate. Being able to understand your emotions deeply and choosing when to react will guide you in elevating your emotional intelligence.

4. Recognizing Unhealthy Thoughts

This is a truly valuable emotional intelligence skill—identifying negative and unproductive thought patterns. An emotionally intelligent person recognizes when they are falling into a cycle of putting themselves down and can quickly switch gears.

For example, instead of dwelling on the thought that you may have made a bad impression on a new friend or overshared on a first date, stop your head from spinning out of control. If you let your imagination run away with you, then you will constantly be full of worry and despair.

Consider using a journal to become mindful of the harmful stream of words you repeat in your mind. What you say internally might be completely different than how you act and are perceived in the world. An emotionally intelligent person tries to align their inner reasonings with their external actions.

Along with putting your feelings into words, venting to someone and hearing the detrimental thoughts out loud can be a way of recognizing destructive patterns. Purging negativity will result in more joy and allow you to have control over your emotions.


5. Seeing the Bigger Picture

Emotional intelligence also means being able to see beyond the present moment and visualizing the bigger picture. People with high emotional intelligence think through life adjustments and look down the line at how decisions might affect the future.

There are many ways to practice this skill in our daily lives. Before leaving a job, consider the risks and benefits. You might go online to explore other positions that are more in alignment with your purpose, or consider the salary and whether you will need additional schooling. If you are in a relationship and feel like it is no longer a good fit, then reflect on the bigger picture. Start by jotting down qualities you would love to have in your ideal partner. Moving on from that connection can lead to finding the person of your dreams.

Emotionally intelligent people can make life changes with confidence because they think through their actions. They are not as concerned with whether the grass will immediately be greener on the other side, but they recognize the value of carefully moving towards greater happiness and prosperity. Maintaining a broad perspective is an important emotional intelligence skill that will allow you to live a more fulfilling life.

6. Quick Processing Speed

Another important emotional intelligence skill is being able to not only quickly access your own emotions but other people’s emotions as well. This is essential because it helps you act effectively and with empathy towards others.

When someone shares their opinions, rather than blurting out the first thing that comes to mind, an emotionally intelligent person will make a rapid assessment of the other person’s perspective. To practice this skill, the next time you are speaking with someone, take a brief moment to consider who your audience is, any stress they might be under, and the purpose of the conversation. You will then be able to carry out a thoughtful discussion where you know what you say is landing on the other person in the right way.


An emotionally intelligent person also figures out the best communication method. Sometimes, writing an email is more effective than talking about it in person. This will also strengthen your relationship with coworkers, friends, and family because you take time to quickly put yourself in their shoes before speaking. Quick processing speed will assist you in communicating more effectively.

Final Thoughts

Emotional intelligence is a concept that we can all work on for our entire lives. It allows you to lead a life that aligns with your true values. Once you begin the process of becoming more in tune with your emotions and thoughts, you will also find you are living at a higher vibration and carry out actions with intention. Challenge yourself to develop 2 or 3 of these skills in the coming months, and you will be proud of the personal growth that manifests.

More About Emotional Intelligence Skills

Featured photo credit: Caroline Veronez via


[1] Positive Psychology: The Importance of Emotional Intelligence

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Nancy Solari

Nancy Solari is an accomplished CEO, life coach, and motivational speaker.

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Published on May 3, 2021

How To Get Over Anxiety: 5 Professional Tips

How To Get Over Anxiety: 5 Professional Tips

Anxiety is killing our mental energy. It is, after all, the leading mental health issue in our society today.  In 2017 alone, more than 284 million people experienced anxiety across the globe, making it the most prevalent mental health disorder globally.[1]

If you are asking the question, “how do I get over my anxiety?”, then this article is for you. I’ve put together a list of my top strategies to help you get over your anxiety. These are the same strategies that have worked for many of my clients over the years, and I think they can work for you too!

Anxiety is, in general terms, as uneasiness or nervousness about an undetermined outcome. Sometimes, this worry and uneasiness is quite excessive and goes from something that we can manage on our own to something for which we need professional help.  If your worry or apprehension includes panic attacks or compulsive behaviors, consider reaching out to a therapist or a doctor for more professional help.

I like to think of anxiety as information—a sign that something is off in your life. It could be a global pandemic, a challenge at work, instability in relationships, or the sign of a larger mental health issue.  Whatever it is, it’s good to think this through and be asking the questions that will help you uncover the parts of your life that could use some adjusting.

Again, consulting with a therapist or counselor, even just for a brief period of time, can help decipher some of these questions for you.  And if you want to give it a go on your own, well that takes us to the first of my five tips on how to get over anxiety.


Here are 5 tips on how to get over anxiety and live a more fulfilling life.

1. The Mighty Journal

You will be amazed by the power of journaling—the path of self-discovery it can lead you down. The best part of journaling is that there is no right or wrong here. It is a private place where you can work through the stuff in your head and figure some things out.

There are lots of formats for journaling, and I have personally changed my own approach several times depending on what was going on and what I was looking for.  It could be that narrative of your day or bullets with highlights or thoughts of the day.

To make the most out of your journaling I would encourage you to push yourself and go beyond a recount of the day’s events. What you really want here is to get into your thought process and understand the feelings behind the thoughts. Timelines can also be a great way to gain some understanding of relationships and the different events in your life. Again, it is a matter of what works for you.

The pen truly is mightier than. . . the meds?!? My own little psych-mashup.


2. Schedule Your Self-Care Time

What are the ways you treat yourself? Life is busy and when life demands increase, self-care is often one of the first things to fall by the wayside. But it is critical that you build in your “you time” because when stress levels increase, so will anxiety.

If self-care is not something that you are accustomed to thinking about, I listed some ideas for you to consider.  Keep in mind that if you schedule it with someone else, it might help with accountability.

Think about working smaller chunks of time into the workweek and then something a little more extensive on the weekend, like a hike, excursion, creative home project, or even the occasional weekend away.

Self-care ideas:[2]

  • Take your lunchtime away from your desk, and get outside for a walk or join a colleague for some casual chitchat.
  • Schedule a massage or trip to the spa/salon.
  • Watch a favorite movie or TV show, either on your own or with your favorite person/people.
  • Work out, inside or out—anything that gets your heart rate up.
  • Go on an evening or afternoon walk.
  • Tap into your creative outlet, break out that knitting, woodwork, artwork, or instrument.
  • Dance, at home with your kids, partner, or on your own.  Play your favorite tunes and do your thing!

You can also try these 40 Self Care Techniques To Rejuvenate And Restore Yourself.


3. Listen to Your Music

Music speaks to our soul. It is a go-to for many of us when in need of a pick-me-up or just blowing off some steam. But sometimes, life gets busy, and we don’t incorporate it into our life the way we once did—finding ourselves in a music deficient rut, listening to the same boring stuff on the radio.

Let this be a reminder to explore the new music out there. Streaming services have revolutionized our access to music and have made it easier than ever before. Explore it and find your jam.

Additionally, music therapy is a growing form of therapy built on the research that it helps decrease pain, blood pressure, and—you guessed it—anxiety while also increasing mood, healing, and overall positivity.[3]

Medical Doctors are using it more and more in operating rooms and incorporating it into their practices. If you subscribe to Spotify or Apple Music, you can just type in “relaxing music” and you will be sure to find something that will do the trick, bringing calm and focus into your life.  In my research for this article, I came across some great ones., and they are now a part of my daily rotation.

4. The Five Senses Exercise

When we experience heightened anxiety, I think of it as the physical energy rising from our feet to our head like a thermometer. Sometimes, this energy can even bring us to a place where we feel disconnected from our bodies. The 5 senses exercise will help you reconnect yourself to your body and bring your anxiety levels down to a more manageable level.


The 5 senses exercise is a mindfulness exercise where you connect your 5 senses to your present environment. This is a great way to ground yourself and bring your attention and your energy to the here and now.  What I love about this exercise is that it can be done anywhere and at any time. If you start to feel your anxiety creep up, this could be a good strategy to center yourself and possibly ward off a panic attack or prolonged anxiety.

The process is simple:

  1. Start by taking a few deep breathes, inhaling as you count to 3, and then exhaling as you count to 3.
  2. Next, identify 5 things you see, 4 things you hear, 3 things you can touch and feel, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste.
  3. Take it in, give yourself a few minutes.
  4. Repeat if needed, and carry on.

5. Mindset Matters

This last one is a big one. A lot of times, anxiety waxes and wanes with how we think about something. Be mindful of your negative self-talk, keeping it in check and working to incorporate perspective. If you know that you are headed into something challenging, prepare yourself for it mentally and allow yourself to be ok with the challenge. After all, the challenge helps us grow and develop.

Also, remember that life is full of choices—granted the options in front of us may be less than ideal, but remember that they are there.  Incorporating some of these above strategies could be one of the first choices you make to create change in your life and get a hold of the anxiety

A quick easy way to get some perspective is to acknowledge the things that you are grateful for (this is also a mindfulness practice).  The gratitude journal is one way to do this where you write down three to five things that you are grateful for every day. Try it out for a week or so and see how you feel. Of course, the more time you practice this, the more you will feel the benefits.

Summing It Up

Anxiety is something that we all experience from time to time, working to identify the source of your anxiety will help you discover the best strategies for you. However, there are some definite best practices that you can incorporate into your life that are sure to minimize your anxiety and keep you living the active and fulfilling life you want.

More Tips on Coping With Anxiety

Featured photo credit: Fernando @cferdo via


[1] Our World in Data: Mental Health
[2] NCBI: Social Anxiety Disorder: Recognition, Assessment, and Treatment
[3] Harvard Health Publishing: How music can help you heal

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