How Can Reading Improve Your Emotional Intelligence? - Plus 4 Magic Bullets to Bail You Out During Your Psychological Session

Isn't strange to discover that you can improve your emotional intelligence by reading. Some people avoid to read, and this can impact their brains in different ways. 

Before going deep into the latest research, it is vital to discuss what emotional intelligence (EI or EQ) is? You can find various definitions weighing different ideas, yet the basics remain the same. The ability to perceive or recognize different emotions; to generate or access certain emotions so that they can guide thoughts; to understand emotional knowledge and emotions in themselves; to reflect emotion in a manner that enhances your intellectual growth. 

The main idea is to measure how do you identify, control and use emotions for your intellectual growth. When you enjoy a high EQ level, you tend to easily, accurately and instantly solve emotional problems.  You will find yourself quick at perceiving emotions that others are feeling and trying to convey. 

Scientific Studies Prove "Reading" A Tool To Improve Your EQ

Recently, Josh Jones has penned down an article while referring to various scientific studies that reading can improve your "emotional and cognitive intelligence, by changing and activating areas of the brain responsible for these qualities."

He also quotes Carnegie Mellon study, for example, found that "100 hours of intensive reading instruction improved children's reading skills and also increased the quality of... compromised white matter to normal levels." The findings, says Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, suggest "an exciting approach to be tested in the treatment of mental disorders, which increasingly appear to be due to problems in specific brain circuits."

One study, conducted by psychologists David Comer Kidd and Emanuele Castano of the New School for Social Research, tested the effect of differences in writing quality on empathy responses, randomly assigning 1,000 participants excerpts from both popular bestsellers and literary fiction." They discovered that “scores were consistently higher for those who had read literary fiction than for those with popular fiction or non-fiction texts,” notes Liz Bury at The Guardian. 

Other research has found that descriptive language stimulates regions of our brains not classically associated with reading. “Words like ‘lavender,’ ‘cinnamon’ and ‘soap,’ for example,” writes Annie Murphy Paul at The New York Times, citing a 2006 study published in NeuroImage, “elicit a response not only from the language-processing areas of our brains, but also those devoted to dealing with smells.”

Magic Tips to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence

Besides reading extensively, you can go through a few tips to improve your emotional intelligence which shall help you during your psychological interview. 

1-    Become Aware of Self – this step involves assessing your different emotions along with considering what effects they have. Consider how to react to your environment and how different emotions affect your behavior towards others and self. Assess and evaluate which emotions help you make better decisions or make you feel good about yourself and portray you as a positive person to others. This way you can analyze which emotions you respond to situations tend to make you weak and can be eliminated them.  

2-   Observe And Analyze Your Reactions When Stressed – observe your behavior in stressful situations. Do you often get angry? How and you behave or what you do when in a problem? Do you blame others? Can you keep your emotions in control in tensed situations? You can train your emotions to stay calm in a stressful situation which is very important both in your personal and professional life. 

3-   Be Aware Of Your Social Behavior – Another way of knowing what is emotional intelligence or on which level you stand it, is to observe how you react with different people and analyze how they react to you. Are you considerate? Do you listen to others or just like to say your own? Are you open-minded or conservative towards others? Do you understand what the person in front of you is going through or feeling? Train yourself to be kind to others and understand what they are going through and why. Also through interacting with different people and analyzing your behavior and the behaviors of others, cultural sensitivity can be developed. 

4    Emotional Management – this can be done through controlling different emotions, behaviors, and feelings. Start dealing with your emotions in a healthy way. Start being responsible, act reliable, adapt to change, be compassionate, etc. Positively training your emotions and behaviors tend to make managing of your emotions easier and thus give you more control over them. 

Referenced: Josh Jones

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