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Emotional Intelligence

5 different techniques you can use to manage your emotional reactions
1. Positive Self-talk

Positive self-talk is useful to counteract internal triggers such as a tendency to dwell on negative thoughts.

You use gentle, kind words to reassure yourself, to counteract negative thoughts patterns such as:

  • all-or-nothing thought - Where you see a situation as a complete failure if it's less than perfect. A sysmptom is using "always" and "never" statements.

  • "Should" statements - Where you plague yourself with guilt-laden, backward-looking thoughts.

  • Personalization and blame - Where you unfairly blame yourself or others for problematic situations.

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2. Reality Check

You can give yourself a reality check to step outside your initial emotional reaction and put a more helpful perspective on the problem. This can take various forms, depending on your emotion.

For example:

  • Reframing - Useful for combating anger. This is where you try to see the situation from a different perspective.

  • Using logic - Useful for combating excessive worry. You stop irrational, anxious thoughts in their tracks by being realistic and not just assuming your worst fears will actually happen.

  • Seeking other perspectives - Useful for combating sadness and grief. You try to see the situation in a new, more positive light by - for example - asking yourself what you gained from the disappointment or loss.

3. Change of Scenary or Task

It's important for your mental and physical wellbeing to have a balance of exciting and calming activities. Variety helps to combat stress and prevents emotional breakdowns. Some emotions require specific types of activities to combat them. Anger calls for soothing, calming activities, while sadness calls for more energetic ones.

For example, you can:

  • See a funny movie or read an inspiring book

  • Spend time with a friend who makes you laugh

  • Get some exercise by going dancing, playing sports, or going for a stroll

  • Spend time in an area of natural beauty

  • Listen to music

  • Take up a hobby or 

  • Do something artistic

4. Disclosure

When someone upsets you, it can help to get your feelings out in the open to avoid dwelling on them or trying to suppress them.

However, be careful how you go about it because you may say something you'll regret later.

Keep the following tips in mind:

  • If you feel angry, allow yourself a cooling off period so you can be clear headed when you talk to the other person

  • Create a letter detailing your grievances, but don't send it. Simply expressing how you feel can bring a feeling of release.

  • Roleplay the event with a friend to find out how you could handle it when the time comes.

  • Don't dwelve too deeply into your emotions when you talk to the other person. This might be inappropriate in the workplace.

EI and Leadership
5 techniques to manage your emotional reactions
5. Use of Humor

Laughter can help to drive away negative emotions like anxiety, sadness, or anger. But beware of using humor inappropriately - sometimes it can make things worse!

Appropriate humor -

  • lightens the mood

  • doesn't offend anyone

  • puts things in perspective

  • helps you weather bad situations

  • connects people

  • strengthen relationships, and 

  • smoothes over differences


Inappropriate humor - 

  • belittles or ridicules other people

  • is cynical, biting, aggressive, or sarcastic

  • is used to cover up true feelings

  • creates rifts between people, and

  • weakens relationships.

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