6 Ways to Build Your Emotional Skills in Stressful Times

In today’s world, many factors may cause you to feel stressed. Traffic, long meetings at the workplace, financial problems, pandemic illnesses (like COVID-19), or losing a loved one are frequent factors nowadays for challenging situations. How do you respond to those stressful times? How do you make important decisions under pressure? What kind of activities do you choose to manage your emotions? Do you care about emotions more, and ignore objectivity? Of course, it’s challenging to make reasonable and logical decisions when your feelings are intense. However, because that stress affects your decision process, the consequences of those challenging experiences may affect your business, social, and mental life negatively and permanently.

Stress management provides you to show your difference everywhere. Many life experiences, like employment interviews, social relationships, health problems, family life, financial status, and more, require you to handle negative emotions. To make decisions that you do not regret, and to motivate yourself and others, you need to manage your stress by developing emotional intelligence.

Here are six activities for building emotional skills and managing your stress.

Related: Negativity Harms Your Body, Your Mind, and Unfortunately, Your Life

1. Define Your Emotions

A person has a lifelong journey to get to know themselves and develop emotional intelligence, which helps to manage feelings in challenging situations.  This person will have more resiliency when they experience difficulties, like depression or burnout. However, being resilient does not mean being on either extreme of the spectrum (being overly emotional or emotionless). The point is to recognize your emotions, how they make you feel, how you act when experiencing them, etc.  This will help you build your basis for learning how to self-regulate these emotions and develop ways to cope with feelings like anger, hate, depression, or unhappiness.

emotional skills

2. Recognize What Causes Your Stress

It is normal to be stressed in challenging situations. But which situations cause you stress? To define your emotions and constructive responses for those emotions, it is important to determine situations that cause stress for you. You may be stressed in those situations again and again. However, when you know those specific conditions, you can plan activities for building emotional skills before you encounter those situations. For example, you can choose to be alone, you can listen to a specific song, or you can talk with somebody that helps you to de-stress.

3. Try to Look from Different Viewpoints

Think about a moment that is stressful for you. You may generally think about those situations from your own perspective. When you continue to justify yourself by noticing your own emotions and thinking, you may continue to be stressed. Fortunately, there is a trick for countering this! Try to see things from another person’s perspective! Why did a person act or feel a certain way? Think about the person’s past experiences. When you continue to approach people and situations like this, you might decrease conflicts and judgments.

emotional skills

4. Perfection is Harmful

Thinking that everything must be perfect harms building emotional skills. Thinking that things should be always complete, perfect, and successful is annoying and stressful for you. Life is never perfect, so your products, emotions, and thinking are not going to be perfect every time. Letting go of the expectation of perfection will help you feel more productive, creative, and less stressed.

5. Take the Lessons from Your Mistakes

One of the most important activities for building emotional skills is taking lessons from past failures. Mistakes sometimes inflict pain, make people feel that they are insufficient or unsuccessful. However, successful and logical people analyze the reasons and the consequences of their mistakes. To avoid making the same mistakes and make reasonable decisions the next time around, you need to figure out why you made the mistake and how you respond to the mistake.


emotional skills

6. Apply the Cognitive Approach

The cognitive-behavioral approach emphasizes awareness of how your feelings and thinking affect your behaviors. Evaluating negative thinking and emotions allows you to manage them. Also, recognizing how feelings and thinking affect your actions allows you to recognize and fix mistakes. 

Think about it. If you say, “I will never pass this university exam”, you might find your motivation to study decreasing. If you don’t study, you probably won’t pass that exam. You have to recognize that your negative self-talk had a detrimental effect on your preparation for the exam. This contributes to feelings of insufficiency. A positive alternative to that sentence would be, “If I keep steady and study, I will pass this exam.” A simple sentence can alter our outlook. 

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