Why Mindfulness Is Your Key to Emotional Intelligence


Illustration by Kate Biben



It might be tempting to try to be anywhere but present with your thoughts right now. If you’re feeling that way, you’re not alone; the ADAA reported that anxiety disorders affect “around 40 million adults — almost 1 in 5 people.” This stat also was reported before the pandemic; what our collective psyche will look like after all of this is over is yet to be fully understood.


There’s good news in there somewhere; you can make this difficult time into an opportunity to develop your emotional intelligence, which will in turn help you cope with the immense stress we’re all feeling right now.


It might feel like a double-edged sword, but the more you sit with your thoughts and work on being fully present in the moment, the better those thoughts will become. This practice is called mindfulness, and it will improve every facet of your life. It’s also the secret to developing your emotional intelligence.


It might feel like a double-edged sword, but the more you sit with your thoughts and work on being fully present in the moment, the better those thoughts will become.

This practice is called mindfulness, and it will improve every facet of your life. It’s also the secret to developing your emotional intelligence.


The Link Between Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is measured with five different components. We need to look internally and externally to get the whole picture since emotional intelligence “considers how we think about ourselves and how we think about and act towards others.” (Learn all about those 5 components here.)


The link to mindfulness is one of those five components: self-regulation. Self-regulation is the ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moves. By increasing your self-regulation, you’ll be able to allow thoughts to enter and then exit your mind, instead of grabbing onto them and dwelling. This is crucial for practicing