Mind over Muscle….the need for Emotional Intelligence


 About 3-4 decades ago, the use of brawn over brain was prevalent and a necessity to make a successful livelihood. Times have changed and the brawn has given way to the brain. Today, what matters to succeed at work and in life is right between your ears. Its how and in what way you exercise it, that reflects the degree of your success.
 
As a result, you have to struggle with and manage stress constantly. This stress is contributed by various means, be it trying to keep up with the pace of the day to maintaining and balancing work and personal relationships. And it’s more now days than decades ago when physical labor and simple living were prevalent. Those who have seen both times I speak of might agree with me. Today’s generation only knows what they see and experience and hence, for them stress is a part of life.
 
In recent times, the mind has to deal with the constant and continuous influx of rapidly changing and insurmountable amounts of information, evolving work and life dynamics, complexity of needs and wants and things you have to do to keep it all together while trying to meet all the challenges thrown your way.
 
How to cope with this stress? How do you control it and not let it consume you?
 
First, let us all accept that stress is a part of life today and instead of battling it, embrace it and then, confront it. You may ask, how?
 
When you are under high levels of stress, rational thinking and decision making are compromised. The first key skill is the ability to quickly calm yourself down when you’re feeling overwhelmed. When you manage stress in the moment, it shows your strength and resilience. This skill helps you stay balanced, focused, and in control, no matter what challenges you face.
 
Next, analyze your stress conditions and figure out the source. What is causing it?
 
Once you know the source, do not keep thinking about and reanalyzing it. Instead, plan on confronting it without being judgmental and then, confront it. Half the battle is won right there.
 
For example, if it’s a work situation that is contributing to your stress, confront the situation or the person, perhaps your boss who put you in the situation. Talk through the issues you are facing and suggest changes that are going to help you as well as help the work situation be successful. You decide the approach you want to take. The end goal is to alleviate stress from the situation and not burn any bridges either. Hence, set a positive and persuasive tone to your discussions. Be direct in your efforts to alleviate the stress. Remember, the end goal is to manage stress. It’s not about the work or the relationship. It’s about the end product of the work and to have you in a better place to contribute to the end result. More likely than not, you will come out with a change to the situation that will relieve you of the stress.
 
Third, learn to live in the present. Do not stress over something in the past since you can’t change it or the future since you are not there yet. What you can control and make better is the present. Ensure that is stress free and that you are enjoying quality time, whether at work or at home with your loved ones.
 
Build a positive perspective around your daily life. Make small changes that fulfill you and celebrate small victories that bolster your positive frame of mind. Keeping it this way requires continuous and reinforced effort, hence, find support in family and friends.
 
In the longer term, you will see a change in your perspective and behavior that will keep you a step ahead of the anomalies that come with today’s complex lifestyles.

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