Emotional intelligence and wellbeing are critical parts of everyday life. The idea that we need to be self aware and to make sure we are doing our best for ourselves and others in terms of our mental health as well as our physical health is becoming more and more mainstream. And thank heavens for that!
In January, after the whirlwind of party season is over and we might be left with a nagging guilt after over-indulging, the tendency is to hit the gym, start running, have a “dry January” or start a diet. But we often overlook the equally important habits that improve our emotional wellbeing and stop us from falling into a winter lull at work.
I’ve always been fascinated with emotional intelligence, and how it translates into our professional and family lives. I think that at this time of year it’s easy to feel melancholy or overwhelmed, and it’s a great opportunity to remember some of the key ways emotional intelligence can make us happier at home and at work.
Emotional intelligence uses the part of your brain which develops the slowest. That’s because EI is acquired by experience; learning from different and repeated situations how you and others react to things. EI is about the way we see ourselves, our empathy towards others, and an ability to understand how we are understood by others.
More than just being “sensitive”, EI means understanding how our actions and interactions affect our happiness and the happiness of others.
Emotional intelligence is basically made up of a few different factors. Going back to work after the holidays can be challenging (yes, we did see your Facebook memes). Maybe you’re not feeling the rhythm of your usual routine.
Try keeping the basic principles of EI in mind by remembering the key principles.
Just like the muscles in your body become stronger the more you use them, emotional intelligence is about actively building up techniques and practices that work for you. Think about the factors above, and focus on the key elements of being happy at work.
Can you find the meaning and purpose in what you are doing? You’ll be happier and more productive if you can find elements of your work that align with your personal values.
Do you feel optimistic about the future? Trying to better understand your needs and having a concrete plan for yourself will help you to relate and express these things to the people around you.
Are you actively building positive personal relationships and friendships? Being connected to others, and investing time in building those relationships, will make you feel better about being at work and make those around you feel it too.
Don’t make January a dull month you just have to get through. Embrace the new beginning, and make sure you start the year actively trying to be happier, healthier and more emotionally intelligent. And don’t leave your new techniques at the office door!