Emotional resilience at work - Articles

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« 15. Reducing stress for very busy people: Tips 6-10 »

Written by Rachel Green. Director, The Emotional Intelligence Institute. Author of "How to develop emotional resilience and manage your emotions".

People with high emotional intelligence have been found to cope better with organisational stress but how can you develop your emotional intelligence so that you ride through a stressful day easily? 

The steps can be very quick, simple and easy. Managing your emotions doesn't have to be hard. Here are some brief tips for you - I've kept them short because I know you are busy!

This is the second in a two-part series of articles on developing emotional intelligence and resilience so you handle stress easily. 

The first article is on "Reducing stress for very busy people: Tips 1-5". This article is on tips 6-10.

Emotional intelligence and stress tip 6: Be outdoors

Being outdoors in sunshine and fresh air can blow the cobwebs away, refresh you, and help you keep things in perspective.

Go outdoors, if it is safe and possible. It will help you keep your serotonin levels boosted (good for stopping you from feeling down or depressed) and it can help keep your Vitamin D levels up.

For example, you might eat your breakfast or lunch outdoors so you're getting fresh air and hearing the birds sing at the same time.

You need to stop to eat - so choose a beneficial place to do this.

Staffrooms can be bad for you! Complaining to co-workers can be bad for you. Sitting at your computer can be bad for you.

It's more emotionally intelligent to take a break. Go outdoors.

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Emotional intelligence and stress tip 7: Find built-in exercise 

Going to the gym can take a lot of extra time in your day. An alternative is to build exercise into your daily activities so you don't have to stop for extra exercise. For example, you might:

  • Live in a house with stairs so you automatically have built-in exercise.
  • Take the stairs instead of the lifts at work.
  • Walk across town to a meeting instead of taking a bus or car.
  • Walk with your children to school instead of taking the car.

If you live an active life, extra exercise need not take a lot of extra time. This is emotionally intelligent.

Emotional intelligence and stress tip 8: Employ help

Get help. You don't have to do everything yourself.

For example, you might employ someone else to clean your home so you can have 2 extra hours in bed on a Saturday morning or quality time with your partner or family. Now that is emotional intelligence in action.

I have a friend who as a working mum employed a University student to come in and cook three main meals a week - so the fridge was always stocked with good meals for herself and her teenagers. It was cheaper than take-aways.

I have had a cleaning lady for 20 years now - she only comes in once a fortnight but she makes sure the house is okay.

Employ help, it's worth it.

Emotional intelligence and stress tip 9: Create laughter

Laughter can dissolve stress. Go out of your way to have laughter in your life.

  • Keep a book of jokes, funny stories or hilarious cartoons beside your toilet so you have a laughter break while you're in the toilet.
  • Have DVDs of comedy to watch at night.
  • Keep comedy CDs in your car to listen to on the way to and from work.
  • Watch a funny movie instead of a grim tense one.
  • Play silly games with your children.
  • Play games as a family, including all the grown-ups such as grandparents.
  • Tell each other jokes in the staff room.

Laugh and boost your immune system. Part of emotional intelligence is being able to manage your own emotions and manage the emotions of others. Laughter can do both at the same time.

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Emotional intelligence and stress tip 10. Breathe calm thoughts

While you're driving the car, walking the dog, or standing in the lunch queue send out thoughts of peace and calm.

Say in your head, "peace" as you breathe out. Say in your head, "calm" as you breathe in.

You have to breathe throughout your life, so this takes no extra time. You are thinking anyway, so why not think thoughts of peace and calm and finish your jobs feeling relaxed. You don't even need much emotional intelligence to be able to do that, do you?

How high is your emotional intelligence & emotional resilience?

There is so much that you can do to develop your emotional resilience and the E.I. Institute has a number of options to help you:

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