Just Breathe

Does deep breathing help us develop our emotional intelligence?

“Emotional intelligence is your ability to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others, and your ability to use this awareness to manage your behavior and relationships” (Bradberry & Greaves, 14).

One of the four key elements of emotional intelligence is self-awareness. “Self-awareness is your ability to accurately perceive your own emotions in the moment and understand your tendencies across situations” (Bradberry & Greaves, 24). To be self-aware of your emotions and other individuals’ emotions, it is essential to understand how you deal with stress. Deep breathing exercises restore mental clarity and relieve stress. These exercises allow you to stop your mind from running and listen to both yourself and others. Deep breathing enables you to manage your emotions and for your emotions not to manage you.

Let’s try it out:

  1. Close your eyes and inhale a deep breath slowly.
  2. As you exhale through your mouth, place one hand on your chest and the other hand on your stomach. If the hand on your stomach moves more than the hand on your chest, then you are breathing adequately (Bradberry & Greaves, 102).

-Jordan Stohler, member of the 2022 Emerging Leaders Cohort

Bradberry, Travis & Jean Greaves. Emotional Intelligence 2.0. TalentSmart, 2009.

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