EI – How successful people stay calm

The experts tell us that stress is a necessary emotion. Our brains are wired in a way that makes it difficult to take action until we feel at least some level of this emotional state. The downside however is that prolonged stress can be harmful to your physical and emotional wellbeing. In fact one study, referenced in this link, found prolonged periods of stress (and the associated anxiety) can damage the part of the brain that is responsible for our self control – ie our ability to keep a lid on our emotions, to suspend judgement, to keep focused. Self control is a critical competent of our emotional intelligence. And a strong EI capability is essential for effective leadership. So how can we improve our self control?

This link to a blog by Travis Bradberry, Ph.D, identifies effective strategies that successful people employ when faced with stress.  Many of these strategies are simple and many may seem obvious, but the real challenge lies in recognizing when you need to use them and being able to actually do so – often in the moment, in spite of your stress.

Travis suggests successful people stay calm by :stress stop

  • appreciating what they have
  • avoiding asking “What If?”
  • staying positive and practicing positive thinking (noticing what is working, and what there is to look forward to)
  • disconnecting from work
  • limiting caffeine
  • getting enough sleep
  • squashing negative self-talk
  • reframing their perspective
  • focusing on their breathing
  • making use of their support system

Which of these strategies can be part of your ‘good habits’? The first step is awareness of the need to do something, and then to commit to making it happen. And good habits need time to perfect…try them, practice and practice again!

Link to the ‘Linked In’ post entitled – How successful people stay calm