Do you have control of your emotions or do they control you?
We are already on our third EI attribute this week. Let’s talk about self-management (sometimes also referred to as self-regulation); the ability to control impulsive feelings and behaviors, manage your emotions in healthy ways, take initiative, follow through on commitments, and adapt to changing circumstances.
The following five elements make up self-management (- Skills you need):
Does this ring a bell? If you read our second post about self-awareness it might not be surprising to you that self-management actually builds upon self-awareness, because you can only act on an emotion if you are aware it exists (if you missed the post about self-awareness now is the time to go back and check it out).
And by the way, our ability to self-regulate as an adult has roots in our development during childhood. Another reason why educating our children on Emotional Intelligence is so important.
To show you how important this skill really is in life, check out this super cute video about the famous Marshmallow Experiment.
Follow-ups years later found that kids that waited for the second treat, and thus showed more self-regulation, were rated more academically and socially competent and had a greater ability to plan and handle stress.
But there is hope! Even as an adult there are ways to practice your self-management. Mindfulness and cognitive reappraisal are only two techniques that will help improve your resilience and ability to face difficult circumstances in life.
Here are some more exercises on how to improve your self-management:
📍 Take deep breaths
📍 Distinguish emotion from reason
📍 Share your goals
📍 Count to 10!
📍 Just sleep on it
📍 Talk to a friend
📍 Say cheese and laugh!
📍 Take time to think
📍 Talk to yourself better
📍 Use visualization
📍 Get better sleep
📍 Get your body language in check
📍 Speak to someone who is impartial
📍 Take time for exercise
📍 Control the controllable
For more details check out the book Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Bradberry and Greaves.
Use it or lose it! The key is to find the strategies that work best for you, practice them until they become habits and help you respond more effectively to your emotions.