29 Slices
Medium 9781855755017

STRESS-FREE EMOTIONS

Gladeana McMahon Karnac Books ePub

Emotional intelligence is about learning to be emotionally smart. It is not always the person with the highest IQ who does best. Emotionally smart people get the most from managing their own and other people’s emotions. If you can learn the skills of emotional smartness, it will help you to overcome your stress. When you are stressed you may find that people behave differently towards you. They may decide not to consult you because they do not want to add to your burdens, or because when they do you do not listen to what they have to say or just say no because you don’t want another thing to deal with. They may talk about you behind your back, and you may get a reputation as someone who is best to be avoided. The skills fall into five key areas.

Emotionally smart people are able to identify their own emotions. This means learning to tell other people how you feel. It means taking responsibility for your own emotions by starting sentences with ‘I feel …’.

Emotions can be difficult, and emotionally smart people know when to take care of themselves. For example, when you find things difficult what are the things you do to take care of yourself? Do you have a long hot bath and relax? Do you talk to a friend? Do you get a DVD or video and watch that? There are times when you need to take care of other people’s emotions and there are times when you need to motivate yourself and others.

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Medium 9781855754300

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Gladeana McMahon Karnac Books ePub

There are a number of studies that have shown that angry people can harm themselves. A recent study found that being angry could, in the long term, harm lung function, and other studies have shown a link between anger and coronary heart disease. There certainly do seem to be a number of physical problems associated with being angry and that is not surprising when you consider that muscle tension and an increase in heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure are all present when a person becomes angry.

In addition, if anger turns to physical violence, then an individual is also more likely to become injured.

Anger does not cause problems like nervous breakdowns. Many people who suffer from mental illness may feel angry, but anger itself does not cause mental illness; it is more of a by-product of the illness. For example, if someone is experiencing bouts of anger due to suffering post traumatic stress disorder, then it is possible that the individual may need psychiatric or psychological care of some description, but his or her anger is attributable to the condition and is not something that is the cause of it.

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Medium 9781855755017

STRESS-FREE THINKING

Gladeana McMahon Karnac Books ePub

Whenever you learn something new, regardless of whether it is a practical skill such as using the Internet, or a mental skill such as changing behaviour or negative beliefs, you go through a set sequence of learning:

•   stage one, unconsciously incompetent;

•   stage two, consciously incompetent;

•   stage three, consciously competent;

•   stage four, unconsciously competent.

This process is known as Robinson’s Four Stages of Learning

Don’t know it and can’t do it.’

You feel unhappy but have no idea why.

I begin to notice just how often I have negative thoughts but I don’t seem able to change anything.’

During this stage, you become aware of what is happening but seem unable to do anything about it. This is the awareness stage: for example, realizing the ways in which you make yourself feel stressed by magnifying situations in a negative way, but not being able to stop.

I have skills and can handle situations better although I still have to think about what I am doing.’

You now have a range of strategies to use, but you still have to think about what you are doing, as it does not feel natural.

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Medium 9781855753815

ANXIETY-FREE EMOTIONS

Gladeana McMahon Karnac Books ePub

Emotional Intelligence is about learning to being emotionally smart. It is not always the person with the highest IQ who does best. Emotionally smart people get the most from managing their own and other people’s emotions. If you can learn the skills of emotional smartness it will help you overcome your anxiety.

The skills fall into five key areas, examined below.

Emotionally smart people are able to identify their own emotions. This means learning to tell other people how you feel. It means taking responsibility for your own emotions by starting sentences with ‘I feel …’

Emotions can be difficult and emotionally smart people know when to take care of themselves. For example, when you have had a difficult day what are the things you do to take care of yourself? Do you have a long hot bath and relax? Do you talk to a friend? Do you get a DVD or video and watch that? There are times when you need to take care of other people’s emotions and there are times when you need to motivate yourself and others.

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Medium 9781855754300

THE ANGER-FREE DIET

Gladeana McMahon Karnac Books ePub

Anger can be made worse by taking stimulants such as tea, coffee, colas, and chocolate, all of which contain caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant, and stimulants are best avoided when we are experiencing emotions such as anger. Because we produce stress hormones when we are feeling angry, this can affect our blood sugar levels, and they may indeed drop dramatically. Therefore, in order to keep those levels balanced, it is important to eat ‘little and often’ during the day. It may also be helpful to avoid refined sugars and other substances that ‘give too much of a high’ too quickly. Slow-release foods such as carbohydrates (potatoes, pasta, rice, bread, apples, and bananas) are a much better idea as they fuel the body in a more even, controlled way.

These days it is impossible to avoid information on healthy eating. However, what we eat also has an effect on our confidence levels and our ability to cope emotionally.

As was outlined in the ‘Stress busting’ section above, our bodies produce stress hormones and release fatty acids and sugars to help us cope with a perceived crisis. When such events take place our bodies’ natural blood sugar levels are disturbed, and this is also the case when we become angry or anxious. Our blood sugars help us regulate the fuel requirements needed by our bodies. Low blood sugar or hypoglycaemia contributes to symptoms of anxiety.

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