Emotional Intelligence in Confinement
We know we should be at home.
What at first were going to be a few days, has become a longer confinement than expected by all.
We begin this situation with an initial state of surprise, of confusion. We had to suddenly adapt, reorganize ourselves. See how our plans and projects were paralyzed indefinitely. Many businesses closed. Much work activity stopped.
When can we go back to our old life?
Worrying moments, family dramas in too many cases. In short, circumstances of all kinds that make us live this stage in totally different ways.
As this situation lasts longer than we expected, it is logical that we go through different states of mind and go through various phases.
We can feel as if we are on a roller coaster, feeling a positive and optimistic euphoria when we sing “ Resistiré ” on the balconies . Getting excited when we see around us signs of solidarity and affection.
But also sadness and concern when we find out that family or friends start to get sick or our work situation worsens so much that the economic and work problem joins the rest of the situations and problems.
What good is emotional intelligence in these cases?
Can you help us in the different states we go through in this period?
YES , if we understand that it is not a magic formula that will remove our problems at once. Nor will it make us "happy" all the time, putting a forced smile on real problems or personal tragedies.
Taking advantage and using Emotional Intelligence appropriately is:
- Identify the emotions we are having.
- Give them attention and not hide them, being aware of their existence. All emotions have their motivation, their reason for being and they try to tell us something.
- For this I must listen to myself. I must give myself time and space to see what happens to me and try to find out why it happens to me. It is a personal and individual work.
- Once I know how to define what happens to me (the more I am able to detail it, the better), I can give it a name and I can start looking for a solution. If I already know what is happening to me, I can look for a concrete solution.
NOTE : "Maybe it will help us to define what happens to us, clearly define what I want to achieve, what point I want to reach: "I want to feel less sad", "I want to exercise", etc. And the more detail my goal to achieve, the better solutions I will find."
- I apply my solution and see what happens. If it changes something in me and I get to feel better, if it solves my problem, etc. I can continue in that line that I have verified that it has worked for me.
- I can try several alternatives if the first one doesn't work for me, or the second one, etc. I will keep looking until I find the one that produces the best result for me. Not necessarily that it will solve it, that most likely cannot be achieved at least for the moment, but I can find the option that makes me feel better.
Hiding emotions is only used to generate other emotions that in the end cost us twice as much to manage.
When we feel fear, worry, anguish ...
Specific things (I get sick, my family members get sick, lose my job), things that can be clearly and specifically identified, usually have an origin, a why, for example: “ I am a person at risk because I work in a hospital, I am very exposed and working I am at high risk ”. There is a reason to be afraid. It is logical and understandable.
But there are other times when we have an abstract, intangible fear that makes us fear and worry about many things at the same time and nothing in particular (“ I have a bad feeling”, “This is going to be much worse still”, “Surely this it brings us many problems ”) and this type of anguish is much more difficult to reduce and control.
When we do not know how to express our fear of something in a concrete way, we have fewer weapons to face it.
Fear warns us and alerts us to risky situations, those in which we have to be prepared and look for solutions or alternatives to apply. It has its positive side, like everything. And above all learning.
If I am afraid of getting sick because I am a person at risk, I will have to increase my precautions with myself and with my own.
If, in addition to doing that, ill, not all illnesses are being experienced in the same way, therefore I will solve the situations as they appear, not before having them, because at the moment I am only afraid of getting sick, without it having happened still.
I can control the fears and worries one by one, not live them all at the same time, which will be when they produce great anxiety for everything that can happen and that will happen ... Or not. We do not know.
The fear is not going to go away but I can have it stabilized. That it does not prevent me from acting or block me excessively. I am aware that it exists and I have it. And it is I who must control him, not him me.
If we have uncertainty, loss of control, insecurity ...
They are several emotions but very related and they are often accompanied.
Normally when we express what happens to us, we do not say only one thing. We define ourselves because we feel worried, insecure, with loss of control around us, we do not own our life and this feeling can be very common at this time because reality has imposed itself on our projects, on our daily lives.
We had to adapt immediately to an extreme situation for which we were not prepared.
We have had to make radical decisions or postpone our plans for when this whole situation ends and we can return to our routines.
But this uncertainty can be more controlled if, for example, in my job search plans, I use this time to review my professional profile or train in new tools because I know that now is not an optimal time to find a job but to prepare or improve my formation. The training offer at the moment is being very wide and as soon as you use social networks and job portals you will find webinars, seminars, workshops, talks ... All online to facilitate the use of this period.
I can also have my feeling of loss of control a little less if I prioritize at this time the tasks that I can do (safely), those that the situation we are going through allows me and put aside what I cannot do.
Focusing on everything I did before and now I can't, does nothing but increase our frustration, especially at this time of confinement in which we have our daily activities totally reduced.
I can control and organize the tasks that YES I can do and about them is on which can act either on a personal level or in the workplace. For example, spend my time making a detailed plan of action to implement as soon as this situation ends.
But there are so many emotions that we can feel ...
It is often said that emotions are neither negative nor positive, the important thing is how we manage them and what we do with them. Feeling that we are the ones who control them and not the other way around.
The Emotional Intelligence help with these emotions that alter our well - being, that cause us stress and dominate us.
It does not delete or change them, it helps us manage them. If we are also in a situation like the one that happens to us, it can be essential to make this process more bearable.
Everything that contributes to improving our day to day life is becoming essential in our lives.
Why not use it to our advantage?
“When I say controlling emotions, I mean really stressful and disabling emotions. Feeling emotions is what makes our life rich. " Daniel coleman