By Adaku Efuribe
‘Give yourself permission to take care of your own needs first. This is a critical skill that many people – women especially – tend to feel guilty about. If this is you, repeat after me: “It is not selfish to take care of myself.” If you become weak or volatile from lack of self-care, you are all but useless to others’. Christine Carter
To function as an ‘emotionally balanced’ individual, we all need to ‘love our neighbours as our self’. It’s a well-known fact that we cannot give what we don’t have.
If you don’t have love inside of you, you cannot show love to others.
Loving yourself would help you develop high emotional intelligence to withstand every form of adversity, difficult moments and bad behavioural attitudes that come your way.
What does ‘loving yourself’ entail?
For starters, get enough sleep (6-8 hours a day). It’s harder to regulate your emotions when you’re tired. In addition, don’t skip meals. Research shows that keeping your blood sugar stable will make you less aggressive if you get angry. And always remember to take a moment to leave a toxic environment, if possible, and breathe deeply if you find yourself in a particularly difficult situation.
- Do not neglect your body, soul and spirit.
- Feed your Mind with good thoughts
- Feed your body with nutritious food
- Feed your soul with all things good and worthy
- Exercise to keep your body healthy and in good shape
Our minds work like computers, what you put in is what you bring out; garbage in garbage out.
What do you constantly feed your mind with, are they worthy things? Do you dwell more on negatives? You ought to take out time to count your blessings and avoid fixing your mind on negativity all the time. Your thoughts become actions and your actions will in turn become habits.
How do you control your emotions?
To build up emotional intelligence, avoid associating yourself with toxic environments or people, who constantly drain your energy?
Spend less time with individuals who constantly bring you down or discourage you. Even if being in their midst is inevitable, try as much as possible to limit the time you spend with such people and do not taken them seriously.
Warren Buffet captures the essence of being in charge of your emotions in this quote;
‘You will continue to suffer if you have an emotional reaction to everything that is said to you. True power is sitting back and observing things with logic. True power is restraint. If words control you that means everyone else can control you, Breathe and allow things pass’
Sometimes it feels as though practicing emotional intelligence is for certain people and you think because of your temperament you cannot do it, you have to burst out in anger and respond to ‘every dog that barks at you’.
Although some people tend to have a calm demeanour, or they inherited their temperament from their parents, you can still build your character and decide on how to respond to situations or harsh words said to you.
You need to understand that someone who is a bully has issues and you on the receiving end must quickly calculate how to respond and not react.
Sometimes silence is golden, this may work in certain situations and not work in other situations. The tone of the voice is a very powerful tool in any situation; if someone is shouting or speaking to you with an angry tone, you can make up your mind to respond with kind words.
This is very difficult to do, but the joy that comes with you restraining your self is far much better than the stress that comes with you responding in anger. Words spoken in anger cannot be retrieved, walk away if you can or say nothing.
Always assess every environment to know whether it is safe, you need to be self-aware and know when someone’s action could cause an anger outburst from you. One practical way to control your anger emotions before it springs out of control is to Inhale deeply and exhale slowly as this helps to reduce tension.
Leave the toxic environment and stay alone for some time, this gives you more time to handle the situation and think about your next line of action.
As we mature in age, one thing we must take very seriously is being in control of our emotions, when we are in control, we can live healthier happier lives.
Live in the present: Breathe, Laugh, Believe
A story was told about a successful woman, when asked to share her secret of success.
She smiled and said
‘I started succeeding when I started leaving small fights for small fighters. I stopped fighting those who gossiped about me… I stopped fighting with my in laws…I stopped fighting for attention…I stopped fighting to meet public expectation of me…I stopped fighting for my rights with stupid people…I left such fights for those who have nothing else to fight…And I started fighting for my vision, my dreams, my ideas and my destiny… The day I gave up on small fights is the day I started becoming successful’
Are you leaving in the past, spending time thinking about past events you cannot change?
Why not turn a new leaf today and start living in the present? I mean focus on the now, and be optimistic for your future. Look after yourself because no one else would do that for you