Emotional Wellness vs. Emotional Intelligence: What’s the Difference?

October is National Emotional Wellness Month. It also happens to be Emotional Intelligence Awareness Month. The two might seem to go hand-in-hand. Yet, it’s essential to understand the differences between them and how they can impact your life.

The main difference is the very definition of each quality. Emotional wellness refers to your ability to recognize your own emotions and the emotions of others.

Emotional intelligence refers to identifying and managing your emotions and the emotions of others. It also focuses on your ability to think your feelings through and problem-solve how to deal with them

In all fairness, both do sound similar. What are the differences, and why are they important?

Understanding Emotional Wellness

Emotional wellness is sometimes used in a religious or spiritual sense. While there is nothing wrong with that approach, those “circles” aren’t the only platforms for boosting your overall wellness.

Emotional wellness can equate to emotional awareness. When you are aware of your emotions, you can learn to process them more fully. This type of wellness is often linked to the practice of mindfulness or being completely aware of the present moment.

When you attuned to your feelings, you can let go of things that may have been dragging you down from the past. You can let go of your worries about the future. Being emotionally well allows you to recognize your emotions for what they are. You can do that without hanging onto any negativity.

Being emotionally well doesn’t mean you experience happiness all the time. But, it can certainly leave you with a sense of contentment. When you’re emotionally well, you’re more self-aware. So, you will have a better understanding of why you feel the way you do. That can help you to get to the bottom of negative emotions faster, to work through them.

Understanding Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is often talked about in a professional setting. It refers to your ability to identify your own emotions, as well as the feelings of others.

Unlike emotional wellness, emotional intelligence requires three things:

  • Emotional awareness
  • The ability to harness and use your emotions to problem solve
  • Regulating your emotions and helping others

Someone who is emotionally intelligent is exceptionally aware of what they are feeling at any given time, whether positive or negative. They also tend to pick up on how others are feeling.

No matter how subtle the emotion, someone with high emotional intelligence can feel it and figure out how to work through it. People who are highly emotionally intelligent tend to have careers in leadership positions. They know how to interact with others, even though they might be more prone to high-stress jobs.

For example, law enforcement and stress often go together, but police officers usually need high emotional intelligence to work with people who might be struggling.

What Are the Differences?

The critical difference between these two measurements is that one tends to focus more on your overall wellbeing, while the other allows you to take your emotions and use critical thinking to work through them.

Both are skills that you can improve. If you are trying to boost your emotional wellness, you will try things like reducing your stress, seeking balance in your life, and focusing on positivity.

Honing in on your emotional intelligence might require you to improve your listening skills, responding instead of reacting, and using more assertiveness when you communicate.

There is no reason you can’t be emotionally well and emotionally intelligent. They are both measures to work toward and can help you find balance with your feelings.

If you are curious about the difference between the two or want to know more, please contact me for more information. Or visit my page about Law Enforcement and Stress to learn more about how I can help those in high-stress environments.