17 Emotional Intelligence Exercises

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Having astute emotional intelligence allows us to connect with others, understand ourselves better, and live a more authentic, healthy, and happy life. 

Emotionally intelligent individuals tend to thrive in their personal and professional relationships. Some experts argue that EQ is more pivotal to our success than cognitive intelligence (IQ).

We created this collection of 17 Emotional Intelligence Exercises (PDF) for professionals to help others understand and use their emotions to their advantage.

$ 47

You will be equipped with the following tools:

  • Coloring In For Emotional Clarity

    Allow clients to connect to their emotions and gain clarity around the different emotional states experienced in a given situation.

  • Exploring Action Tendencies

    Increase awareness of action tendencies that result from both positive and negative emotions.

  • Extracting Needs from Emotions

    Identify the personal needs that are satisfied as indicated by the experience of positive and negative emotions.

  • Healing through Writing

    Help clients find meaning and resolution in their trauma through the writing process.

  • Pushing the Ball Under Water Metaphor

    Help clients clarify the distinction between suppression and acceptance of experiences.

  • Positive Emotion Brainstorm

    Generate possible ideas for your client to increase positive emotions in daily life.

  • Reading Facial Expressions of Emotions

    Help clients develop the important life skill of reading the emotions of others by deciphering facial expressions.

  • Ripple Effects from Emotions

    Increase awareness of the consequences of expressing emotions to others.

  • Self-reflecting on Emotional intelligence

    Help clients to take a closer look at their own emotional skills and to systematically assess these skills through an emotionally intelligent lens.

  • The Consequences of Experiential Avoidance

    Make a client aware of the long-term effects and pitfalls of experiential avoidance.

  • The Emotion Meter

    Help clients build the skills of recognizing and labeling emotions.

  • The Feeling Dictionary

    Increase the client’s level of emotional awareness by asking to define feelings or emotions in terms of the thoughts that usually accompany them.

  • The Feeling Wheel

    Train people to be more detailed in describing their feelings and recognize emotions with more accuracy.

  • The Neuroanatomy of an Emotion

    Teach clients the neuroanatomy of emotions to (1) help them understand what is occurring during emotional distress and (2) learn how to effectively reduce this stress based on these insights.

  • Using Music to Express Feelings

    Facilitate clients in commutating their feelings and concerns by using music as a medium to “translate” personal experiences.

  • When Hot Buttons Are Pushed

    Help people identify what their personal triggers (hot buttons) are – and to effectively address them – so that they can respond more effectively the next time they feel triggered.

  • Wise Mind Chair Work

    Introduce clients to the three states of mind depicted in the DBT wise mind model through education and chair work.

This pack contains the 17 highest rated emotional intelligence tools that our practitioners use for their own development, in coaching, for teaching, or in a therapeutic setting. Each of the tools has been created in collaboration with universities and experts around the world. 

All of the tools are rooted in science, draw from the latest research and insights from the field of positive psychology, and include references, practical advice, and a detailed description of how to use them.

Download them today to become an emotional intelligence expert, better help others, and grow your practice.

*Please note that these tools are also included in our Positive Psychology Toolkit.

The following experts create our tools and resources:

  • Alicia Nortje


  • Anna K. Schaffner


  • Claire Vowell


  • Elaine Houston

    B.Sc. (Hons)

  • Gabriella Lancia


  • Heather S. Lonczak


  • Hugo Alberts


  • Jeffrey J. Gaines


  • Jeremy Sutton


  • Jessica Swainston


  • Joshua Bourne


  • Joshua Schultz


  • Lucinda Poole


  • Maike Neuhaus


  • Melissa Madeson


  • Nicole Celestine


  • Oliver Page


  • Tchiki Davis


Yes, of course! While these tools were designed with practitioners in mind, they are written in an accessible way so that anyone can benefit from them.

Upon purchase, you will receive access to a .zip file containing all the tools as PDFs. If you have any difficulty accessing the tools, please contact us at info@positivepsychology.com.

This can vary a lot from one exercise to another. As a general rule, most take around 30 minutes to complete but can take longer if more reflection is required. Some tools take place over a longer period of time, such as a week.

The tools can be adapted for the self, individuals, groups, teams, and different client populations. You are free to use your own experience and expertise to adapt the tools to your own particular scenario.

Yes, but in order to promote good practice, please note that you are advised to use the tools within the boundaries of your professional expertise. For instance, if you are a certified clinician, you are advised to use the training within clinical psychology. Likewise, a school teacher may use the tools in the classroom, but it would not be advisable to use them for clinical populations.

The exercises and interventions aren’t specifically designed for any particular age group, but you can adapt any of them so that they are suitable and age-appropriate.

The vast majority are, yes. Every tool has an icon that indicates whether it has been tested at least once in a scientific study and published in a peer-reviewed journal. We always include references and credits for each tool. The tool developers are academics with scientific and experiential backgrounds.

You’re free to download these tools in PDF format and print them for your personal or professional use, such as in a coaching or classroom setting. You’re not allowed to publish these tools publicly.

Within seven days of your purchase, if you decide that the tools aren’t for you, we’ll be happy to offer a refund.

Absolutely! Send Lucy, our Practitioner Success Manager an email at lucy@positivepsychology.com and she will gladly take care of you. Alternatively, you can call us on 1-424-272-1280 (our working hours are 9am-6pm EST, Monday - Friday). We look forward to hearing from you.


  1. Teresa Wanjiku Ngigi

    The emotional intelligence meditation was a blast! The step-by-step guide helps one stay focused and the results are amazing. Thanks so much for this great job and keep it up!

    Teresa Wanjiku Ngigi MHPSS Advisor

  2. Leah Rubinstein

    I enjoyed using these exercises for my clinical practice. It is a great tool for the cognitive work, it makes the information they (clients) have been holding on to tangible, a big aid in the healing process. Also, it really helped me save time and added to my professional resources.

    Leah Rubinstein Clinician, Mindfuless teacher

  3. Milena Torbica Miloradovic

    I like to use the exercises of the 17 Emotional Intelligence Exercise package and so far they have helped me a lot in my personal development as well as in working with clients. There`s a lot of beautiful and useful exercises like Mindfulness exercises, Interpersonal Effectiveness, EI Questionnaire, exercises that teach us about how to react when hot buttons are pushed…. couldn’t pick which was better. All of them are great and I gladly recommend it to the people who want to work on their own development and improve their relationships with others, or to use them in the coaching process…

    Milena Torbica Miloradovic Director, Education Sector

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