"When awareness is brought to an emotion, power is brought to your life." —Tara Meyer Robson

What if I told you that listening to Prince (or your favorite artist) in the morning could help you perform better at work?

What if you could increase your happiness by simply breathing more intentionally?

What if I told you that your calendar could be an incredible weapon against anxiety and depression?

They truly are all interlinked.

I was honored to share these findings and more with The Legal Value Network during my virtual keynote “Emotional Intelligence for Daily Success” to a talented, accomplished, and rising group of professionals.

Coming in to a presentation like this, most people (especially those in the legal profession) aren’t quite sure what they’re going to walk away with other than some temporary warm and fuzzy feelings. What attendees walked away with is a full understanding that they are in the perfect position to reclaim their time, energy, happiness, and success through exercising emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is a dance with yourself and with others on a minute-by-minute basis.

It’s truly understanding your emotions (self-awareness) and what you do with them reactively (self-management) which is a dance unto itself. We are all trying to navigate how we feel and what to do with those feelings as we are bombarded by e-mails, calls, Zoom meetings, social media, and more on a continual basis.

Add active listening and observation of others (social awareness) and how you manage their emotions with yours (relationship management), and the dance sometimes seems more like a mosh pit than ballet.

The key to all of this is how you manage yourself as you will never be able to control the behavior and emotions of others.

You can increase your emotional intelligence on a daily basis — and most ways are easy and actually quite fun.

Here are the top five ways that you can increase your emotional intelligence every single day:

1. Protect Your Calendar

We often complain that there's not enough time in the day but fail to acknowledge responsibility of saying "yes" too much. If you have priorities that you're putting off, block time to address them to keep your needs met and your stress down.

Additionally, when you go from meeting to meeting to meeting with no breaks in between, the priority of needs and action items fall and you leave yourself little to no time to react and respond. Schedule time in your day, every day, just to acknowledge a project or an issue to move it forward.

2. Reflect Through Journaling

The key is self-reflection. By being more aware of your day, your actions, your reactions and bringing them all into a focus of what was good and not so good, you can understand where your triggers get the best of you.

Keep a journal of things, people, meetings, or any other stimulus, that sends your mood in a different direction. Put that emotional response into words then practice a new response to take back your emotional energy.

3. Move Your Body

In as little as 15-20 minutes a day, exercise in any form is an endorphin charger that will help you balance your energy and emotions.

Whether it's to release stress or just disconnect for a while, this dedicated time will help you get your thoughts balanced and your physical well-being up. Especially as we’re sitting more than normal, it’s better that your body craves movement more than another dose of sugar to make it through.

4. Music Is the Answer

Music has a profound effect on our mental status, so be your own emotional intelligence DJ.

Build a playlist of songs that relax you, motivate you or just make you happy and want to dance. Whenever you start to feel like you're losing control of your emotions, flip on your personal playlist. Better yet, I highly recommend making a playlist for all moods that you encounter that will help you turn the corner on a bad direction.

5. Set Sturdy Boundaries

One of the most valuable lessons we can learn is how to set proper boundaries for ourselves and for how others treat us. By simply and calmly expressing yourself and limiting any damaging conversations, you're protecting yourself from unwarranted abuse and the weight of guilt and doubt that you carry afterwards. This also ties back to scheduling.

Don’t be afraid of taking breaks, investing in your self-care or self-education. Simply set your out of office letting people know that you’ll be back in 20-30 minutes which will free you from the mental jail of having to check your phone every two minutes.


Rich Bracken is a global keynote speaker, media personality, podcast host and inspirator. He routinely works with companies, associations, and individuals across the country looking to establish sustainable change and improvement in their approach to achieving their goals. Rich is a frequent speaker and writer on topics such as emotional intelligence, leadership, goal setting and achievement, change management, and communication.

Learn more about Rich and connect with him at richbracken.com.