By Cynthia Alexander
OUR article earlier this year raised awareness about the harmful effects of stress – now termed ‘the silent killer’. However, we are conscious that more people are experiencing chronic (long- term) stress as a result of high unemployment, unhealthy relationships, financial difficulties and attempting to balance work/home and dependents. Therefore, this article focuses on the emotional impact of stress and how Emotional Intelligence can help to mitigate the harmful effects of stress.
Long-term stress is a major contributor to premature aging. It has been linked to cancer, mental health problems, suicide and psychological illnesses such as anxiety and depression. Recent research from Argentina also suggests stress appears to be related to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Their study found that 72 percent, nearly three out of four Alzheimer’s patients had experienced severe emotional stress during the two years preceding their diagnosis.
Emotion is now at the heart of a lot of scientific research which explains that emotions underlie the majority of stress we experience, it influences our decisions, provides the motivation for our actions and creates the substance that determines our quality of life .
Definition of emotion: A strong feeling deriving from one’s circumstances, mood or relationship with others.
Emotions are a vital part of the way our brain is designed. They are strongly linked to memory and experience and are not consciously controlled (emotion is energy in motion). This is why it is important to learn how to recognize and manage our emotions.
There are several approaches that you can use to help manage your emotions and reduce stress. However, we believe the most effective method is developing your Emotional intelligence. Daniel Goldman, an internationally renowned psychologist draws on groundbreaking brain and behavioural research which argues that human competencies like self-awareness , self-regulation , social awareness and empathy add value to cognitive abilities in many domains of life (e.g. workplace effectiveness , leadership, health and relationship).
Self-awareness is the foundation of emotional intelligence. Once we become aware of our emotional response and the thoughts that cause them, we are better placed to implement strategies to change how we feel to reduce stress. Remember emotions have no power of their own. You have to feed them with your thoughts, your energy and intention, so check your emotions regularly. If you experience a negative emotion, such as anger, resentment frustration, loneliness, try to put things into perspective and concentrate on something positive to change the way you feel. Roman 12:1-2 tells us “be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind” read your Bible or confide in someone you trust.
To learn more about our Self Mastery Masterclasses on emotional intelligence and stress management, please call us on (758) 715 2748 or email us at email@example.com to find out more information