The holidays are a time of joy and togetherness, but, according to the Mayo Clinic, are also a time of increased stress, Fast Company reports.
Emotional intelligence can help manage that stress.
People who are emotionally intelligent are reported to have less stress, according to a study by Athens University of Economics and Business at the University of Greece. This is because people who are emotionally intelligent have more coping mechanisms to handle stress, and they use them regularly to keep stress at bay.
Below are seven ways you can increase your emotional intelligence and decrease your end-of-year stress as we ring in the New Year.
- Be aware of yourself
Knowing yourself helps you combat your stress. By being more aware of yourself and your feelings, you can determine what causes your feelings, why you feel the way you do, and how to make yourself feel better. Often, early intervention is key, so if you recognize your stressors early, you can curate techniques to handle them.
- Be aware of others
Being aware of yourself is not the only way to be emotionally intelligent. In fact, being aware of others indicates higher emotional intelligence than being aware of yourself. By knowing other people and being aware of their emotions, we are less likely to take their feelings and actions personally.
- Respond, don’t just react
When a situation occurs, our knee-jerk instinct is to react immediately. More often than not, this is not helpful when trying to handle the situation. Instead, take some time to be thoughtful – consider the problem, the parties involved, and the best solutions.
- Listen deeply
Too often we listen to respond, not to understand. This holiday season really listen to what your loved ones are saying. Consider their meaning and how they are feeling. Usually, people just want to be heard. Make an effort to hear them fully.
- Boost your emotional vocabulary
It is important for us to be able to articulate our feelings. Properly expressing ourselves is critical to being understood by others. Being able to accurately tell someone you are frustrated with them is often the first step to moving past the situation and ridding yourself of that negative emotion. Communication is the key to progress.
- Consider multiple perspectives
Being able to consider multiple perspectives is a sign of increased emotional intelligence. By understanding there is more than one side or view, we are more likely to respond reasonably and fairly to a situation. This is extremely important during the holiday season when we are surrounded by more people than usual.
- Ask for help
Knowing when to ask for help is a sign that you are aware of your limitations and are willing to reach out to others to help you carry your burden. There is no better time to ask for help than the holidays – a season of giving, selflessness, and love.