Minimise your stress by raising your Emotional Intelligence

Minimise your stress by raising your Emotional Intelligence

We are just 49 days away from Christmas and people are already showing signs of stress. So I thought it might be useful to give you a few tips to help you reduce your stress levels.

Unfortunately, we can’t completely eliminate stress in our lives because most forms of stress are extrinsic, therefore beyond our control. What we can control is how we let situations, and the associated stress, impact us. Increasing your Emotional Intelligence is the best way to do that.

It has been shown that (EQ) is more important than one’s intellectual ability (IQ) in determining success in people’s lives and careers. As we know, it’s not the smartest people that are the most successful or the most fulfilled in life. You probably know people who are academically brilliant and yet are socially inept and unsuccessful at work or in their personal and professional relationships.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. It generally includes three skills:

  1. Observation:  Emotional awareness, including the ability to identify your own emotions and those of others;
  2. Application:  The ability to harness emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem solving;
  3. Regulation:  The ability to manage emotions – both your own emotions and other peoples.

How do you raise your emotional intelligence?

All information to the brain comes through our senses, and when this information is overwhelmingly stressful, instinct takes over and our ability to act will default to the “flight or fight” response. Therefore, to have access to the wide range of choices, to make good decisions and to manage our stress levels, we need to be able to bring our emotions into balance at will. Fortunately, there are key skills for controlling and managing overwhelming stress, which can be learned and developed by anyone.

Check out these five stress-busting strategies:

1. Rapidly reduce stress in the moment

  • Realise when you’re feeling stressed. Observe what it feels like in your body so you can recognise the symptoms in the future.
  • Identify your default stress response (ie, fight or flight) and practice doing the opposite in the moment.
  • Engage the senses to reduce your stress, e.g. relaxing music, uplifting images or photos of friends and family, buy your favourite flowers to have in your work/home environment
  1. Recognise and manage your emotions
  • Many people are disconnected from their emotions—especially strong core emotions such as anger, sadness, fear, and joy. This may be the result of negative childhood experiences that taught you to try to shut off your feelings, e.g. ‘boys don’t cry’
  • Start to notice and name your emotions simply by answering the question “what am I feeling right now” throughout the day – it sounds simple but you’ll be surprised what comes up
  • Mindfulness meditation is a great way to calm the mind
  1. Connect emotionally (non-verbally) with others
  • Only 7% of our communication comes from words. The other 93% is the non-verbal cues we send out. Be mindful that your body language is aligned with the words you use.
  • Be present, make eye contact and truly focus on the people you’re with whom you’re communicating with interest.
  • Pay attention to nonverbal cues you’re receiving, such as facial expression, tone of voice, posture and gestures, touch, and the timing and pace of the conversation.
  1. Connect through humour and play, even in challenging situations
  • Humour, laughter, and play are natural antidotes to life’s difficulties; they lighten your burdens and help you keep things in perspective.
  • A good belly laugh reduces stress, elevates mood, and brings your nervous system back into balance.
  • It’s never too late to develop and embrace your playful, humorous side.
  • Try setting aside regular, quality playtime. The more you joke, play, and laugh—the easier it becomes.
  • Find enjoyable activities that loosen you up and help you embrace your playful nature.
  • Practice by playing with animals, babies, young children, and outgoing people who appreciate playful banter.
  1. Resolve conflicts positively
  • Stay focused in the present. When you are not holding on to old hurts or events and resentments, you can recognise the reality of a current situation and view it as a new opportunity for resolving old feelings about conflicts.
  • Pick your battles. Arguments take time and energy, especially if you want to resolve them in a positive way. Consider what is worth arguing about and what is not.
  • Forgive. Other people’s hurtful behaviour is in the past. To resolve conflict, you need to give up the urge to punish or seek revenge.
  • End conflicts that can’t be resolved. It takes two people to keep an argument going. You can choose to disengage from a conflict, even if you still disagree.

Stress is one of the greatest hindrances to our ability to perform optimally. Start practicing the above tips to manage your stress and maximise your opportunity for success.



Athena Coaching

Linda Murray is a successful businesswoman, coach, strategist and mentor, speaker and trainer. Linda’s talent is teaching women to increase their commercial success while using their authentic feminine approach. She mixes her personal experience in business, her strong academic background and her observations of hundreds of businesses to show businesswomen and female executives how to enjoy greater commercial outcomes and accelerated individual success. Linda has coached countless clients to greater success through improved business strategies, increased profits, leadership development, increased team engagement and greater personal satisfaction and commercial confidence. Linda balances the extremes required in business. She has the unique ability to focus on both the big picture and the details; the numbers and the people; the sales and the administration; the left-brain and the right-brain. Linda has a track record in assisting women in business and female executives to identify the commercially profitable big picture strategy and then create an achievable action plan to implement it. Linda built her first successful business in her early 20s, growing her business to a team of 25 bookkeepers and financial controllers. Linda’s business model modernised the bookkeeping industry dramatically – by constantly challenging the traditional models of client management and service delivery. After experiencing the results that business coaching delivered in her business, Linda became passionate about coaching. Linda sold her financial business to start Athena Coaching, where her clients enjoy the benefit of her proven commercial experience combined with state of the art coaching support and her exceptional academic background. Linda has a Masters of Business Coaching, a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology and Philosophy), is an Accredited Professional Coach and Certified NLP Practitioner.


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