All posts by katkinson

11 Jul

Emotional Intelligence, Stress and Emotions

hands of people sitting at a wooden table taking notes

The Power of Psychosocial stress

We often think of outside factors as stress inducers, for example – sitting in traffic, job changes or moving. But psychosocial stress (as in stress in relationships) is cited as one of the top stressors for people when it comes to emotional stress. What research shows is that what people think you of and how you interact with them sometimes really does matter.

Exchanges that are uncomfortable like direct conflict, situations that leave your wondering if you responded correctly, or situations that leave you worrying where you stand with that person can tax your mind and body. Awkward or uncomfortable situations can also lead to more conflict, misunderstandings, and stand-offs, leaving you feel anxious or depressed.

Your body has a natural way of responding to stress, sometimes boldly (for example somatic responses like sudden pain in your stomach or back), or sometimes in more subtle ways (for example, a sudden questioning of self-worth). Other signs that stress is impacting you can be changes in sleep or eating, changes in mood, or losing your temper over small things. Also having an inexplicable lethargy and general lack of motivation, might be signs that someone or some situation is taxing you.   

How does Emotional Intelligence help with the resolution of conflict?  

“Emotional intelligence means being able to read your own and other’s emotions and being able to respond to the emotions of others in a cooperative, functional, and empathetic manner”.

                                                               John Gottman, Ph.D., The Gottman Institute

 

Responding to people and situations is normal for us. We are engaged with the world around us and are permeable as humans; things are bound to impact us. Believe it or not, practicing self-care in those uncomfortable moments is one of the best way to help yourself. The self-care skills here are about learning to regulate your emotions. In other words, be in control of them, not have them hijack you or the situation. Taking charge of our emotions can feel quite contradictory to our instincts, which often tell us to keep doing what we have always done in these type of situations, keep fighting – physically, verbally or psychologically to prove we are right or because of that script playing in our head that says we need to defend ourselves. Those thoughts are often due to fear, which can actually elicit unfounded beliefs. Often, we continue to engage and champion the cause, pushing to make sure we are right and heard. But research in social and emotional intelligence actually shows that practicing vital emotional intelligence skills like empathy, understanding, and patience and are actually better for your mind and body. They allow you to become more aware of your thoughts and responses and in turn, allow you to better control your behavior. They also impact the outcome of conflict in a more positive way.  As counterintuitive as these concepts feel in the moment, approaching the relationship from this perspective can not only make you feel better but also help prevent a negative outcome. Compassion and understanding are also precursors to compromise, which in marriage is a key factor to success.  

“Emotional Intelligence is the measure of an individual’s abilities to recognize and manage their emotions and the emotions of other people, both individually and in groups”.

                                                               TheSkillsYouNeed.com

 

7 ways to handle emotional stress

Take a break. Not forever, just from the situation in that moment. Walk away when things get heated or super uncomfortable.  Break up the tension and go for a walk or ask to “sleep on it” before the yelling starts or before you start to say things you will later apologize for. Give yourself and the other person a change of pace and a chance for a fresh perspective.

Channel your energy through another outlet. Try talking to a friend that can be neutral, supportive and objective. Or try writing things out in a journal. Just write, don’t edit, and get as much out as you can.

Practice mindfulness. This is about taking quiet moments to reflect and think. No, you do not need to sit cross-legged, with palms up chanting “Om” (you can if you want :^) This is more about developing an awareness of your thought process. Learning what triggers you and why, simply by reflecting about it. Observing your thoughts and reactions with curiosity not judgment is a great way to support yourself.

Go for a walk or workout.  Sounds like a distraction but actually exercise has been clinically proven to help with depression and changes in mood. Raising your heart rate pumps blood through your body and into your brain, releasing endorphins, which kicks off a whole other series of chemical responses in your brain. It may not solve the issue itself, but the minute you start working out, you are practicing great self-care by helping your body diffuse the stress and tension out of your body.

Try to dialogue vs. debate. When you return to the conversation, make sure you are both in a calm state. Instead of trying to win the battle and lose the war, try pursuing a dialogue vs. another heated debate. Become a good listener and practice compassion. If what is being said is a trigger for your, don’t say anything, but try really listening from the other person’s perspective, even if you don’t agree with it. Repeat back what they are saying in an understanding way. Then just sit with that. Don’t judge. Keep the dialogue going in an open manner and look for something you can take with you as a learning lesson.

Think before you speak. Why you are engaging with such passion or rigidity to what the person is saying? Do you really need to say it in a way that will be perceived as hurtful or insulting? What can you gain from engaging in battle? Is this topic worth the fight? Is there another way to hold your position and not hurt the other person in the process?

Look from an accountability perspective. What will be the outcome of what you are doing and/or saying? What will you be accountable for in this situation? Is the topic worth fighting over? Is there another way to resolve it or say what you need to say in less harming way?

Next time you find yourself getting heated, try one of these techniques to move towards peace of mind.


Resources:

The Institute for Social and Emotional Intelligence

Types of Stress and Their Symptoms 

Emotional Signs of Too Much Stress

5 Ways to Cope With Emotional Stress 

Tap Into Your Emotional Intelligence to Resolve Conflict

Empathy is the Key to Conflict Resolution or Management 

6 Brilliant Things People With Emotional Intelligence Do Under Pressure

Evolve As A Leader: Top 11 Emotional Intelligence Skills For Improved Business Performance

 

01 May

The Top 5 Social Media Management Tools

top 5 social media management tools

Experts recommend finding one social media platform to start building your business and gain followers. The best way to find out which platform to use is to either: look up industry trends and see where you competitors are posting or research which platform your customers frequent.

This list is for when you finally find that social media platform, you’re going to use to promote your product or service and suddenly realize there aren’t enough hours in a day to create and post all those ideas you have. These products are great for when you need help posting regularly and consistently.

For successful social media posting strategies, experts recommend:

  • -decide how often do you want to post
  • -creating content beforehand so you have it ready to go
  • -posting regularly and consistently

This is also a great project to outsource if you have limited time and are thinking about hiring help. A virtual assistant can help create the content and set-up the scheduler for you! 

5 Top Auto-Schedulers

 

  1. Tailwind: for Pinterest. This is how they describe their product:
     

    “Discover Content, Schedule Posts, Monitor Conversations, Amplify Reach and Analyze Results. All with One Tool”.

    Way to set the bar for meeting customer needs Tailwind!

  1. Hootsuite: is a management tool that allows you to schedule posts across multiple platforms. It includes a post scheduler, analytics and a search feature for influencers. 
  1. Buffer: this product is great for scheduling posts and managing multiple social media platforms. Good for use with teams and give them access to what you want. They are often recommended for Instagram and have a feature that allows you to upload directly to that platform. 
  1. Postcron for LinkedIn. They claim ease of use by offering to post content across multiple platforms including Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. They offer the ability to add multiple images and a location feature. You can also add a watermark to your images. 
  1. Postplanner: for Facebook. They market their management tool to individuals and small businesses looking for maximum engagement. And they have a search engine that looks for top performing content. Nice!

 
 


Resources:

Top 12 Social Media Automation Tools to use in 2018

The Top 12 Pinterest Tools for Marketers

 8 Twitter Tools You Must Try

5 Free Twitter Tools to Schedule Tweets

Best Twitter Scheduling Tools

7 Best Time-Saving Instagram Scheduling Tools

Here’s Why You Should Automate Your Facebook Posts

27 of the Most Social Media Marketing Tools You’ll Need in 2019

 

08 Apr

How to Use Positive Affirmations in 6 Easy Steps

note-to-self

It’s so easy to create an affirmation.

But honestly, how often do we actually do this?

I think about it . . .  and forget as life gets in the way.

We move fast in today’s world. Our brains, our thinking, our activities, our agendas. It seems like things are always moving.

But did you know that many experts both in the fields of Psychology and Spirituality recommend slowing things down? At least long enough to relax a bit and gain some clarity and vision about what you want to achieve.

The most successful entrepreneurs have certain habits that help them daily and one of them is to think – alone, and often.

Thinking is the part we take for granted, along with visualizing.

Successful entrepreneurs allot time to think and they do it often.

They also visualize their goals and dreams.

inspirational quote with butterfly

They do vision boards, goal boards, story boards; they set goals and set markers to track performance and achievement. They mark their wins and then turn around and do it again.

And it all starts with thinking and visualizing.

So where do you begin?

Well how about with some positive affirmation?

Positive affirmations are combing the art of thinking with visualizing.

Here’s a quick exercise you can do right now:

  1. Select a word that you like.
  2. Just think about it.
  3. Now picture the word, say it and feel all the warm fuzzy stuff that comes along with it.
  4. Let the images flow for 3 minutes.
  5. Don’t forget to breath and relax!
  6. See what resonates with you, what images peak your interest. Don’t judge, just be with it.

Here are some words to get you started:

Abundance
Peace
Determination
Surrender
Focus
Tranquility
Success
Resilience

Start this as a habit once or twice a day and take note of how you feel afterwards.

Your deepest desires and dreams are already in your head, just waiting to be discovered by you.

The solutions you seek are there. You just have to access them.

Maybe the time to do that is now. Simple affirmations and daily visualization exercises are a clear path to starting that.

Enjoy!

19 Nov

8 Ways Creating a Vision Board Can Help You

photo with collage magazine, inspirational quite and creative imageryy

“So, what is a Vision Board?

It’s you. Your dreams.

Your best Self.

Just waiting to be”.

Christine Kane, Founder, www.VisionBoardPro.com

Creating a Vision Board is a process that helps you tap into your visions, dreams, ideas and goals by physically working in a creative space focused on this process.

It’s more than just talking and thinking.

It’s doing.

Writing or picturing images and putting these thoughts, images and words together helps manifest your highest values, your dreams and deepest desires.

It’s a process. And it helps to designate time and space to it.

Before Creating the board, ask yourself:

  • What is it going to represent, what does it mean to you?
  • What feeling do you want when you look at it?
  • What images will make you feel satisfied with the project?

 

“What is it you want to be, do and have?”

–      Christine Kane

You can create a general Vision Board generally or focus on a specific topic or area of your life. For example:
Goals, Dreams, career, relationship, lifestyle.

inspirational quote with butterfly

8 Ways a Vision Boards can help you:

  1. Create Focus
  2. Gain Clarity
  3. Actively set intentions
  4. Tap into your Inspiration
  5. Offer you an opportunity to tap into another part of yourself
  6. Helps you uncover more layers of you
  7. Connect with your inner voice, your source, your Goddess, and your own inspiration
  8. Provide an opportunity to reflect on your life by connecting with your heart and soul

Creating a Vision Board is often a process that becomes a source of inspiration.

The act of creating a board turns into heart and soul work.

3 reasons why Vision Board workshops are so powerful for people:

  1. You get to practice self-care and spend a whole day attending to you!
  2. You have the opportunity to focus on these dreams, goals and this vision. Yes, all those things that you never quite get around to.
  3. And you have undivided attention on yourself, to get to know yourself better.
  4. You get to designate time to get more focused on those things that are waiting to manifest.

Workshop environments allow you valuable time to walk, think, reflect, and envision.

For more information about Vision Board Workshops I am offering, please visit: Etainservices.com


Resources

What is a Vision Board?

Create a Vision Board for Success

5 Reasons Everyone Should Make a Vision Board in 2018

Why Vision Boards Work

 Books

The Complete Guide to Vision Boards, Christine Kane

My VISION BOARD BOOK, Sebrena L. Flagg-Briggs

YouTube.com

3 Types of Vision Boards for Entrepreneurs

How to Make Your Own Vision Board

 

05 Sep

12 Must Have Social and Emotional Intelligence Skills for the Workplace

 

etain services Karen Atkinson

Over the past few decades, thanks to Dr. Daniel Goleman, the term “Emotional Intelligence” has become an every day word in the American workplace. Most people have a vague notion that it’s something using emotions and smarts to make good decisions. When I read his first book “Emotional Intelligence, Why it can matter more than IQ” (1995), I was thrilled someone was acknowledging the emotional world we live. Today, when I talk to people about emotional intelligence, I would say, most people still don’t fully understand what it means.

Over the past 2 decades, Caruso, Salovey, Mayer, Ciarrochi, Goleman and Belsten have identified social and emotional intelligence attributes. These are qualities that a person utilizes which enable them to develop and maintain healthy communication, behavior and relationships. Several of these theorists have created their own assessment tools to help others determine where they fall within this skill set. The Institute for Social and Emotional Intelligence, founded by Dr. Laura Belsten, offers the SEIP, Social and Emotional Intelligence Profile, which offers 26 competencies!

There’s much more to this than we realized.

Quick review: What is Emotional Intelligence?

The term “Emotional Intelligence” is now being expanded into “Social and Emotional Intelligence”.

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to be aware of our own emotions, in the moment, and to use that information to manage our behavior appropriately.

Social Intelligence is the ability to be aware of the emotions of others, in the moment, and to use that information to manage our relationships.  

– Institute for Social + Emotional Intelligence (ISEI)®

What they have found is that there are more than just a few things that make up Social and Emotional Intelligence. These are skills, meaning that they can be taught. And they are behaviors, that when utilized, are better indicators of workplace performance, productivity, and long-term success, for individuals and for businesses. They are not mutually exclusive, nor are they exhaustive. But they are definite contributors.

Here are 12 of the skills:

  1. The ability to be Self-Aware. It sounds self-indulgent but really it’s not. This is a skill needed as a foundation to develop healthy relationships with oneself and with others. The feelings (and thoughts) that someone has, in that moment, are what will dictate their responses and behaviors towards others. This is also the foundation for changes in behavior.
  1. Create an emotional vocabulary. Having language about emotions themselves allows for the healthy expression of feelings. This, by the way, is a normal process for people. When someone is self-aware and able to use an emotional vocabulary, they are also more able to develop healthy communication habits.

Note: Some people think that talking about or expressing emotions means they are weak, but that’s an outdated notion. Research actually shows the opposite – people generally function better in relationship when they are able to have a healthy expression of emotions.

  1. Practice Empathy. This is the ability to feel the experience of others. This means stepping out of our own heads and trying to really get the experience of another. This is another tool that builds the foundation for social relationships. Different from sympathy, research shows genuine empathy is the key to building trust and deeper relationships.
  1. Be aware of your own body. Good self-care reflects in a person’s presentation of himself or herself, body image and impacts self-confidence. It’s also part of what Social Psychologists call the Self-World construct, which is our understanding of how we see the world and how the world sees us.
  1. Learn to manage emotions. This is the opposite of emotional hijacking. Actively choosing to manage emotions like anger, for example, directly reflects a person’s theory about emotions. And it’s directly linked to a person’s value system and moral choices. Managing emotions is also a sign of emotional maturity and gives a person a better sense of himself or herself. For leaders, it allows more control over situations and engenders support while providing a feeling of safety to others, which can be critical in high stress situations.
  1. Develop coping strategies. This is critical for emotional resiliency and to develop emotional maturity. This can include stress reduction exercises, journaling, breathing exercises, and meditation or prayer, to mention a few. Many learn to develop these strategies in therapy or through coaching. Using habits like these, in a regular basis, increases emotional resiliency – the ability to emotionally tolerate and handle difficult situations.
  1. Practice assertive communication skills. The goal here is to develop an approach towards building healthy relationships through developing healthy communication skills. “I feel” statements are one example.
  1. Utilize limit setting. When someone actively chooses to put boundaries in place around a relationship or activity, they often can feel empowered or more in control. A feeling of managing things is also importance when managing the regulation of emotions.
  1. Learn how to understand other’s emotions. This is not the same as empathy. This is about learning to recognize cues in other’s behaviors. Tuning into others behaviors, facial expressions, and communication increases effectiveness in the communication. One way to build empathy is through the ability to recognize cues in a person’s expression, tone or body language.
  1. Manage negative emotions: like anger. Unbridled rage or passive-aggressive behavior can do more damage and actually hinder relationship building.
  1. Practice listening. Really listening. People generally need to not only be heard but also understood. One way to practice this skill is to listen to someone else and then reflect back what he or she said.
  1. Develop strategies for difficult situations. These are tools to think about in advance for when stressful situations come up. Some call if a “plan b”.

Executive, Performance and Life coaches have taught these skills for years. The great thing is that each of these traits can easily become skills that help a person function better in relationship and in life. For companies, they can be qualities that become embedded into the company culture through the employees and managers, to increase team building, improve performance and increase sales.

About the author: Karen Atkinson is a certified Life Coach and Social and Emotional Intelligence Trainer. If you would like more information about this topic or if you are interested in workshops or trainings, you can contact her at Katkinson@EtainServices.com.


Resources:

Dr. Belsten, Laura, founder, Social and Emotional Intelligence Certification, Institute for Social + Emotional Intelligence®, 2017

Ciarrochi, Forgas, and Mayer (editors), Emotional Intelligence in Everyday Life, 2nd edition, Psychology Press, 2006

Goleman, Daniel, Emotional Intelligence, Why it can matter more than IQ, Bantom Books, 1995

Harvard Business Review, HBR’S Must Reads On Emotional Intelligence, 2015, Harvard Business School Publishing, 2015

ISEI-logo-2017

05 Sep

A Quote for September

“Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance.”

                                                                       ~ Brian Tracy

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