Stress management strategies using EI

Stress management strategies using EI

Have authentic, emotionally intelligent relationships with people. Associate with those whose company you enjoy and who support you. Authenticity requires self-awareness and emotional expression so that when in conversation with an individual you are able to share your feelings openly, including any distractions impairing your ability to concentrate on them.

Stress management strategies using EI

Looking deeper

This article is part 3 of a series about Work/Life Balance, Stress factors and coping strategies, and using EI strategies to manage stress.

Please read the previous 2 articles for a fully immersive learning experience:

Work-Life Balance and EI

Stress factors and coping techniques for managing stress

Understanding the true cost of our values and beliefs is a powerful tool of EI approach to stress management.

 

Stress management strategies using EI

In this article

In the last article, we looked at stress factors and coping strategies for managing stress and briefly touched on what EI strategies can be used to manage stress. We dig deeper into each of these below:

  1. Manage your relationships
  2. Manage your environment
  3. Manage your lifestyle
  4. Manage your attitude

 

Stress management strategies using EI

Manage your relationships

Have authentic, emotionally intelligent relationships with people. Associate with those whose company you enjoy and who support you. Authenticity requires self-awareness and emotional expression so that when in conversation with an individual you are able to share your feelings openly, including any distractions impairing your ability to concentrate on them.

The relationship should be equitable and based on a sense of mutuality. Whilst the degree of give and take may vary from time to time based on your needs, it should find an agreed equilibrium. When worries start to build up, talk to someone with whom you have a close relationship.[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”17100″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Learn how to have assertive conversations with those who create anxiety by not acknowledging your feelings and rights. As much as possible, clear your life of people who drain your emotional battery creating unacceptable anxiety and conflict.

Don’t drift along in troublesome and distressing situations or relationships. Take action to change rather than trying to avoid the problem or deny it exists. Taking chances is the key to emotional wellbeing.

Protect your personal freedoms and space. Do what you want and feel, but respect the rights of others. Don’t tell others what to do, but if they intrude, let them know.

Set up a co-coaching relationship with someone you trust, preferably someone with coaching experience. Meet at least once a month, split the time and have a scheduled telephone call every week. Select life-improving books to read and share together. Tackle real issues, including denial and avoidance, with each other. Consider using a journal, to prepare for the co-coaching sessions, writing the results up at the time and after reflection.

Watch your conversations for faulty thought patterns, such as selective envy, disaster forecasting, finding the scapegoat, generalisation and projecting our reactions onto others.

Stress management strategies using EI

Manage your environment

For one week, take note of changes to your stress levels and the environment you are in at the time.

Being ruthless, identify the stressors and think what you can do about them (for example, clutter in the house, shed and garage, or your journeys to work, or the lack of a study or ‘den’ for you).

Surround yourself with cues from positive thoughts and relaxation.

Find a time and place each day where you can have complete privacy. Take time off from others and pressures.

Stress management strategies using EI

Manage your lifestyle

Change your lifestyle by removing the causes of stress. Effective time management is just one of many ways to keep from succumbing to stress overload. Make time to learn and practise relaxation or meditation skills.

Engage in a vigorous physical exercise that is convenient and pleasurable. Check with your doctor before engaging on a new programme if you are unused to it. Sometimes it helps to get a friend to exercise with you to keep the discipline. Go to a gym or fitness centre with instructors with recognised qualifications. Always do their induction session.

Short breaks during the day (every 45 minutes if working at a computer) can help improve efficiency and wellbeing for the rest of the day. In addition, the breaks help with avoidance of problems with posture (lower back syndrome), eyesight and repetitive strain injuries (RSI).

Maintain a reasonable diet and sane sleeping habits. Use alcohol and medication wisely – you must be in control of them and not vice versa. Avoid the use of sleeping pills, tranquillisers and other drugs to control stress (exercise really helps with sleeping problems as does a diet that acknowledges foods that can stimulate you throughout the day or encourage sleep at night).

Stress management strategies using EI

Manage your attitude

One definition of stress is:

‘We are not upset by things but rather the view we take of them.’

Epictetus

You may have a positive attitude to something that is causing you and others around you stress. It may be a weakness because of its extreme nature when it could be moderated and become a strength.

Apart from the need to balance life and career, our personal characteristics play an important role in creating stress.

Seek the view of others on the characteristics that might add to your stress, such as:

1. perfectionism

2. misdirected anxiety

3. need for approval of others

4. pessimism

5. impatience

6. a wish to avoid conflict

7. poor opinion of self

8. misplaced optimism

If we wish to avoid undue stress we must recognise the role such characteristics play and be prepared to modify our values.

 

Stress management strategies using EI

An EI approach to reducing stress

You might want to experiment to see what works best for you. The features of an emotionally intelligent approach that can tackle stress are:

  • increasing competencies in self-awareness, self-control and in awareness of others
  • viewing life as challenges to seek and not as obstacles to avoid – review your obligations from time to time and make sure they are still good for you; if they’re not, let them go
  • using assertiveness through a balance of responsive and assertive behaviours
  • identifying positive approaches to events, rather than just worrying with negative thoughts

 

  • understanding the true cost of our values and beliefs
  • not becoming one-dimensional – don’t let one thing dominate you, such as a current project, schoolwork, relationships, career, sports, hobby, etc.
  • open yourself to fresh experiences (try new things, novel foods and new places)
  • take responsibility for your life and your feelings, but never blame yourself – ownership of your life is a better philosophy than a blame culture

 

If we wish to avoid undue stress we must recognise the role such characteristics play and be prepared to modify our values.

 

A FINAL TIP

Make a stress management contract with yourself and, if you like, your staff. List what you need to start, stop and manage more effectively.

We hope you found this article useful, please share it if you know someone who may benefit from reading it, or browse the Management and Leadership courses we offer here. All our courses are fully accredited by the CMI.

Source: Instant Manager Emotional Intelligence Series by CMI

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Have authentic, emotionally intelligent relationships with people. Associate with those whose company you enjoy and who support you. Authenticity requires self-awareness and emotional expression so that when in conversation with an individual you are able to share your feelings openly, including any distractions impairing your ability to concentrate on them.

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Browse our courses

High impact, virtual micro-learning for maximum output. All programmes are £100 and can be toped up to a full CMI Level 5 Qualification.

For all levels of managers, fully accredited qualifications to supercharge careers and earning power.

Aimed at leaders managing projects, although the qualification is also open to learners wishing to build on their general management skills.

For all types of consultants, either wishing to enter the field or already working and looking to develop into strategic roles.

For all types of leaders looking to develop their leadership and communications skills, and nurture and build effective and functional teams.