By Susan Begeman Steiner
Honoring emotions is an important element in achieving Emotional Intelligence. And our moods – both “good” and “bad” -- are an important part of our emotional being.
Have you noticed that things go more smoothly when you are in the mood to do them? Traffic lights change to green and you find a great parking place when you’re in a good mood. And when you’re in a bad mood, seems like almost everything goes wrong.
Moods come and go in their own timing, so practically speaking, how can you capitalize on the good moods and mitigate the bad moods?
For example, it isn’t always possible to be in the mood to do something you must do. Sometimes you just have do it anyway. So the question becomes, how can you get yourself in the mood to enjoy what you’re going to do? Here are 3 keys that can help:
1. Design rituals
I have a goal of doing yoga every morning. Sometimes I’m not in the mood. To help me start my stretches, I have a ritual. I spread out my yoga mat and put on music that I like. The music is soothing and calming and it reminds me of how good the yoga stretches feel. Pretty soon I find myself happily stretching.
Another simple example of a ritual is one you can do as you start a new project. Clear off your desk and get yourself a cup of coffee. With a clean desk and a cup of coffee, you can imagine yourself making a good start on your new project.
2. Say affirmations
An affirmation is an encouraging phrase that you repeat to yourself. As humans we always have affirmations running -- often the affirmations are not very affirming. So why not try some affirmations that are actually encouraging to you and can help get you in the right mood? You can even combine rituals with affirmations. Here are a few examples of affirmations:
• “This will be fun. I love to [something about the task that you really do like to do].”
• “I am learning a lot!”
• “It is good to enjoy life and take chances.”
3. See the bigger picture
When you need to do something that you are not in the mood to do, take a moment to think about why you might to do it. Ask yourself what you will get ultimately if you do it. Sometimes seeing the big-picture value can make the task itself more appealing to do.
Enjoy your life and your moods. Allow your emotions to enrich your experience of life, but don’t let them stop you from doing things you need to do.
Comment by Suzie Doscher: Effective team building requires the soft skills offered under the heading EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE. In the article below you will see how new studies are confirming this. Increasing the level of Emotional Intelligence in the workplace brings a healthier work environment. Leaders and employees alike gain the skills that allow them to express their needs more clearly. When the company knows what the teams need to function more smoothly, they know what has to be changed or offered.
Article by Kristian Sjøgren
It is not a big workload that causes depression at work. An unfair boss and an unfair work environment are what really bring employees down, new study shows.
The development of workplace depression has surprisingly little to do with work pressure. The sense of being treated unfairly by the boss, on the other hand, is closely associated with the risk of becoming depressed.
A huge pile of unfinished work is not the main reason why employees become depressed, concludes an extensive new Danish study.
Surprisingly, the study indicates that a heavy workload has no effect on whether or not employees become depressed.
Instead, it is the work environment and the feeling of being treated unfairly by the management that has the greatest effect on an employee’s mood.
”We may have a tendency to associate depression and stress with work pressure and workload; however, our study shows that the workload actually has no effect on workplace depression,” says one of the researchers behind the new study, psychologist Matias Brødsgaard Grynderup, PhD, of the Department of Clinical Medicine at Aarhus University.
”This suggests that the risk of workplace depression cannot be minimised by changing the workload. Other factors are involved, and it is these factors that we should focus on in the future.”
The findings were recently published in three articles in the scientific journalsOccupational and Environmental Medicine, Psychoneuroendocrinology and The Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health.
A study of 4,500 public employeesThe researchers handed out questionnaires to 4,500 public employees at Danish schools, hospitals, nurseries, offices, etc. They also conducted personal interviews with most of the participants to determine who suffered from clinical depression.
Our results actually show that high cortisol levels are associated with a low risk of developing depression. This means that we may be able to use cortisol measurements as an indicator of the risk of developing depression.
Matias Brødsgaard Grynderup
They also examined the concentrations of the stress hormone cortisol in the participants’ saliva.
From the questionnaires, the researchers could determine the sense of justice that the employees felt in their workplaces. The feeling of justice in this context includes the feeling of being heard by one’s manager and the feeling of everyone being treated on equal terms in the workplace.
Asked why people still tend to associate work pressure with depression, Grynderup says:
“When high levels of work pressure and depression appear to be linked in people’s consciousness, it is not because a heavy workload increases the risk of depression. Or that’s not what we found in our study. Instead, depression can make work assignments appear insurmountable, even though the depression was not caused by the workload.”
High cortisol levels do not cause depressionThe study also looked at the link between cortisol levels and the risk of developing depression.
Previous studies have indicated a link between work pressure, high cortisol levels and the risk of developing clinical depression. The new study, however, points in the opposite direction:
FactsThe Danish study differs from similar international studies in that the findings are not based on the individual’s experience of the work environment, but rather on the aggregate experience of the healthy employees in a given work department.
In this way, the results are not affected by depressed employees who, as a result of their illness, often have a negatively tainted experience of their work environment.
“Our results actually show that high cortisol levels are associated with a low risk of developing depression. This means that we may be able to use cortisol measurements as an indicator of the risk of developing depression.”
How to avoid workplace depressionThe new findings can be used as a guide for future focus areas when stress and depression become a part of the workplace.
The study suggests that looking at the employees’ own assessment of the work environment and possible changes to the work environment has a much better preventive effect on depression than reducing the workload.
”When the employees’ sense of justice plays such a central role in minimising the risk of depression, this is probably the area that the preventive work should focus on,” says Grynderup.
“I recommend a management style in which there is a clearly expressed wish to treat employees properly – combined with a transparent organisational structure.”
Self-Help Book / Personal Development