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Thursday
Dec212017

« 6. Cultivating positive emotions: Love laughter »

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

Your levels of emotional intelligence can be reflected in your sense of humour, and in your ability to laugh at yourself.

Laughter builds relationships at work and at home (istockphoto)I was listening to the radio recently. It was a gardening program and participants were talking about recycling kitchen waste. The subject of citrus peel came up and whether this would be suitable for worm farms. "No" said one of the guys, "but cows will eat it."

One of the other presenters responded with a huge grin saying light-heartedly, "That's helpful, lots of us have a cow in our backyard. You have, don't you Stan?"

"Actually I have two in my quarter acre block", he said, laughing.

I roared with laughter.

However this was in stark contrast to the guy who mentioned the cows, he didn't laugh. Instead there was a moment of hostile silence and he continued, ignoring the comments.

Now, it may not sound funny here but it was hilarious. And he spoilt it.

Emotional intelligence includes having the ability to generate positive emotions in yourself and others. Sometimes this can be done by relaxing and laughing at your own expense. If you can't laugh at yourself other people may think you are arrogant, "up-yourself" or boring.

Also, if you are presenting, telling funny stories about yourself can bring great laughter. An audience likes to know you are human, and it's a nice, humble contrast to egocentric presenters. And besides which, laughter is a health tonic and can help give people's immune systems a boost today.

Here are some top tips on how to have more laughter in your life. It's all part of being emotionally intelligent.

Remember, positive emotions are contagious at work.

Emotional intelligence tip 1: Collect funny CDs, videos and DVDs.

Go out and seek laughter. Buy videos or DVDs of comedians, funny movies or silly situations that make you laugh and watch them. Invite your friends and family around to laugh.

It doesn't matter what you find amusing - just make sure something does.

Comedy can help you to lighten emotions. Laughter can break moments of tension and this can help improve or maintain relationships.

When you hang on to tension and carry it around it can have a negative effect on other people.

The emotional impact you have on other people is another measure of your emotional intelligence.

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Emotional intelligence tip 2: Keep a joke book in the toilet.

Take spare minutes to stock up on jokes or funny stories. Keep a joke book in the toilet and come out laughing. I heard yesterday that the average person goes to the toilet 6 times a day and over a life time this adds up to 3 years spent in the toilet. That's a lot of laughter to boost your immune system.

Emotional intelligence tip 3: Share jokes with others.

I have a vision of a world with greater smiles and happiness. The world can seem more fearful and negative than ever before and it's easy to feel despondent and helpless to effect a change. And yet you have the power to change the situation by spreading laughter. If you know a good story, a joke, or have had something amusing happen to you, tell as many people as you can. Laughter spreads.

If you help someone else laugh and she or he tells a second person who laughs, that person will tell someone else too. And on the laughter will roll!

Part of being emotionally intelligent is being able to influence and manage others' emotions in a positive way. Laugher can help you do this.

Emotional intelligence tip 4: Stop taking yourself so seriously.

See the funny side of life. Please give yourself permission to laugh, to not take everything too seriously.

You could join a laughter club, ask others who laugh a lot to teach you how, and in any way possible see both the light and serious sides of life.

Then you'll find a greater range of emotions available to you and positive emotions are needed to balance with negative ones to ensure emotional resilience.

Emotional intelligence tip 5: Be silly.

When we were children it was possible for most of us to do silly things and laugh spontaneously out loud. We've probably all heard children shriek with laughter, they have such a good time.

Regain your lost childhood. Find a time to simply be silly and laugh. Maybe you're too embarrassed to be silly. If you are, find a trusted friend or be silly in private!

Last time my sister came to visit, we went down the road walking like stiff tin soldiers, kicking our straight legs up high, swinging a stiff arm and making marching sounds just like we did as kids - and we laughed big time. Our husbands kept some distance back, but at the same time laughed at our having such a good time together.

Be silly sometimes, it can help you transform "negative" emotions into positive ones. Being able to transform your emotions is an emotional intelligence skill.

Want to develop your emotional resilience, our unique 2 DVD set, plus ebook, plus MP3s are here to help you.

Emotional resilience premium bundle $317 $189. Add to Cart

                   Save $128. Free shipping worldwide

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:

Worried that you don't have enough emotional resilience and that you need to develop your emotional intelligence more? Our unique, practical, 5-star emotional intelligence coaching package is available for you and includes the opportunity to have your emotional intelligence assessed. Boost your resilience now. Find out more here.