What is Emotional Intelligence? (Plus Improving it)

Updated: Apr 1

December 22nd, 2021

David Peachment


What is Emotional Intelligence? (Plus Improving it)

Everyone experiences emotions throughout their day. From the frustration of not getting a morning cup of coffee to the joy you feel when seeing loved ones. We all get emotional, and we all regulate our emotions. We hold back anger, navigate social situations, and much more. How is this all done? Through what we call "emotional intelligence."

What is it?

What exactly is emotional intelligence? Well, before I describe what it is and to make sense of it, let’s get a little sciency. When we smell, hear, see, taste, or touch, that information travels through the spinal cord to the brain. But before it moves to the front of the brain, where our primary thinking takes place, it has to move through the Limbic System, which is the place where we experience emotions. Whenever we take in any information, our emotions get activated before we can properly think about it. Emotional intelligence, or EQ, is about effective communication between our brain’s rational and emotional parts. So when you are working from just your emotions and not thinking rationally, you’re working with a lower EQ.

Since we feel emotion before the rational part of our brain can process information, understanding what we are feeling and why we are feeling is the basis for emotional intelligence. The more you can process emotions and understand them, the more emotional intelligence you will have. EQ defines how we manage behaviour, navigate social situations, and make personal decisions.