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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Mindfulness Training Improves Weak Emotional Intelligence: Symptoms and Strategies Defined

I find that more and more parents and teachers are complaining that our youth have underdeveloped social skills.  Instead of face to face encounters, many youngsters have their attention buried in their electronic devices, and they are not learning to read important social cues. As a result, many children are not developing their emotional intelligence.  

We are now learning that mindfulness-based approaches can be very beneficial to both the learning process and the development of emotional intelligence.  This is a form of metacognition that can help youngsters gain a sense of control over both their thoughts and emotions. In addition, these practices can improve self-esteem and resilience.

What Does Mindfulness have to do with Emotional Intelligence?
Psychology Today defines emotional intelligence as "the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and those of other people." It involves the following three skills: emotional awareness, emotional application, and emotional management. Some believe that mindfulness is the foundation of emotional intelligence. By exercising our attention through mindfulness, we can actually teach the brain to become more emotionally astute. As an added benefit, people with a well developed emotional intelligence usually display high levels of resilience, experience more trusting relationships, and they are better able to manage their social interactions, attitude and temperament.

What are Some Key Symptoms of a Weak Emotional Intelligence?
  • Student often feels like others don’t “get it,” and it makes them feel impatient and frustrated.
  • Student often criticizes others.
  • Student is easily annoyed or angered when someone disagrees with them or has a different opinion.
  • Student is unaware or surprised that others are sensitive to his or her comments or jokes.
  • Student believes that his or her ideas and assertions are right and rigorously defends them.
  • Student finds others are to blame for his or her own mistakes.
  • Student has trouble managing negative emotions.
  • Student lacks compassion or empathy for the feelings of others.
  • Student resists learning anything new.
  • Student has trouble reading facial expressions and nonverbal communication.
  • Student easily gives up when learning new content or when they reach a difficult problem.

What are Some Activities that can be Done to Develop Emotional Intelligence?

Ready Made Activity Cards for Developing Emotional Intelligence:
I created a set of Mindfulness Activity Cards for Developing Emotional Intelligence based on the current research on emotional intelligence and social emotional learning.  There are 50 cards in the set, and they can be used in therapeutic sessions or classrooms to help develop mindfulness, emotional regulation, emotional intelligence, resilience, and community. Additionally, they can be used to teach authentic dialogue and develop self-esteem. These task cards are ideal for individual sessions, round table discussions, and circle groups.  I also have a series of Mindfulness Activity Cards for Developing Working Memory.  

Would you like to Watch a Video Blog on this Content?

I hope you found this helpful!

Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Learning Specialist Courses.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to http://www.learningspecialistcourses.com/, https://godyslexia.com/, www.goodsensorylearning.com, www.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz  
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