Understanding emotional intelligence and its effects on your life

Experts say emotional intelligence -- the ability to read, understand and respond to emotions in ourselves and others -- is crucial in predicting our health, happiness and success.

Story highlights

  • Emotional intelligence is not only the ability to read our emotions and those of others
  • It's also the ability understand and label those emotions, to express and regulate them

(CNN)You might think you're fairly intelligent, but are you emotionally intelligent?

It's our emotional intelligence that gives us the ability to read our instinctive feelings and those of others. It also allows us to understand and label emotions as well as express and regulate them, according to Yale University's Marc Brackett.
Most of us would probably like to think that we can do all of the above. We spot and understand emotions in ourselves and others and label them accurately in order to guide our thoughts and actions.
    But many of us tend to overestimate our own emotional intelligence, according to Brackett, a professor in the Child Study Center at Yale and founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.