This One Thing Can Make a Difference in Your Day

Don’t underestimate the power of positive thinking. Your mindset can truly make a difference in your mood and the day’s outcome. We are now six months into the pandemic and many are struggling day in and day out with the situation at hand. It seems the longer the lock-down continues, the less in control we feel. Now is the time to control your mindset. As the saying goes, you may not be able to control what is happening, but you can control how you respond to it.

I recently had the pleasure of listening to organizational psychologist and keynote speaker Dr. Ernie Mendes. One profound message that resonated with me during his keynote message was that stress comes about by living in the past and anxiety comes about by living in the future. Instead of living in the past or the future, oftentimes causing anxiety or stress, it is critically important to live in the now! And the now is measured not by days, but by hours, moments and even situations.

Be Present

Dr. Mendes, author of the book Empty the Cup Before You Fill It Up emphasizes that emotional intelligence is the key to the now. Be present in all situations. If you are focused on what happened before, or what may happen next, you cannot fully be in the now. Dr. Mendes focuses on emptying the cup, in other words, clearing your mind, before you can fill it up with new information. 

Meaning-Centered Leadership agrees. To be fully engaged, you must be present. Ways to ensure you are in the now is to focus on your mindset. For instance, clearing your head before going into the next meeting or call will re energize you. One great way to reset your mind is to do breathing exercises. Take deep breaths, close your eyes and focus on the moment. Allow your worries to exit your mind. Be conscious of your mood, your mindset and your thoughts. 

What is EI?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to manage your emotions effectively. The goal is to manage your emotions enough to decrease your stress and anxiety and increase your happiness. EI gives you the ability to be present in relationships and increase your empathy towards others.

Emotional intelligence begins with self-awareness. You must understand yourself and how you control your emotions in a variety of settings. Consider how you respond to social aspects around you. How are you managing your relationships, both inside and outside of work? In any given moment, spot check – Am I happy? Am I sad? Was my resonse emotional? Do I sound angry? Was my response to this situation appropriate? Am I present? 

How Can You Assess Your EI

Do you have moments of emotional outbursts? Are you finding yourself in a negative mindset throughout the day? Do you often blame others or situations for negative outcomes? Are you struggling with interpersonal relationships? 

If you answered yes to many of these questions, it’s time to develop a higher, more positive emotional intelligence level. To be emotionally intelligent you want to aim towards responses which value others’ opinions. Be positive and thoughtful in your approach. Ask authentic and meaningful questions. Be sensitive to others in meetings and conversations. Ensure that others are able to feel trusted enough to ask questions without feeling abused in the answers. 

Don’t Worry… Be Happy

You can improve your emotional intelligence by consciously stepping back throughout the day and checking in on your mindset. Mindset checks require a conscious effort to pause and assess. As you are beginning this process, you may even want to set a timer to remind yourself to check-in. 

At these check-ins, let go of the worry. Free yourself of the frustrations or anxieties of the day. Breathe. Be honest in your assessment of how a situation was handled. Examine how you responded to different situations throughout the day. Then, focus on the ‘happy’. Set yourself up for success.

Positive Self-Talk & Mantras

One way to control your mindset is to develop a mantra that reminds you of all the good around you. Choose a few words of positivity and hope. “I believe in me.” “I choose to be happy.” “Today is a perfect day.” Stand up, breathe deeply and recite your favorite positive mantras. This positivity can quickly set the tone for the next hour of work. Take these emotional, mind-setting breaks often to ensure success. You can improve your emotional intelligence when you make the choice to do so. It will take time, practice and a conscious effort to do so, but you will find that the more you practice, the easier it becomes!  You got this!

As quoted by Ralph Waldo Emerson, For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness.  Choose happiness!