Coping with Fear and Panic: How to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence
As economies around the world re-open this month, businesses are starting to prepare for their transition to a “new normal”, where social distancing guidelines are still part of our everyday lives. With the anxiety and dread surrounding these uncertain times, it can be a challenge maintaining emotional intelligence during the Coronavirus outbreak.
The precariousness and unpredictability of the sociocultural and economic aspects of our lives can be overwhelming. It can bring to a fore a sense of vulnerability and hopelessness. To combat the negative effects of this pandemic on our mental well-being, it’s crucial that we try to manage our Coronavirus anxiety by putting emotional intelligence at work.
Emotional intelligence and leadership are two indispensable competencies that business leaders need to cultivate at this time. When situations make us feel afraid or panicked, it can be hard for us and our team members to focus attention on the right priorities. Negative emotions such as fear and panic can also keep us from thinking clearly and creatively, as well as from making rational choices.
Coping with Panic and Fear
With the limited amount of emotional support available due to our physical distance from our family and friends, there’s a very real risk that our emotions could run amok and wreak havoc in our lives. Here are some things that you can try to take control of your emotions during this pandemic.
Emotional Intelligence at Work
1. Be Aware of What You’re Feeling
It’s normal to feel apprehensive at an unnatural time such as this, but keeping your emotions bottled up can be disastrous. Rather than deny our emotions, a better approach would be to become more aware of what we’re feeling. Practice observing your emotions and naming them, especially when the emotions you’re feeling are intensely negative. This will help you distance yourself from what you’re feeling and lessen its impact.
2. Focus on the Things You Can Control
Much everything that is happening in the world today is beyond our control. However, there is still a lot we can do to manage our situation. Take back some level of control by focusing on areas of your life that you can manage, such as your personal relationships. Get in touch with your family and friends and see if there’s anything you can do to help them.
3. Watch Your Media Diet
Too much is happening at a rapid pace that it can be hard to keep up. Fake news and articles that peddle conspiracy theories and unverified claims also abound in social media today. When we consume media that cause unnecessary stress and fear, it will take a toll on our mental health.
Try to limit the number of minutes that you spend on news, and do what you can to avoid malicious sites that seek to spread misinformation.
4. Discover New Hobbies and Forms of Recreation
Have you always wanted to learn how to play the guitar or any other instrument? Is there a novel you’ve been meaning to read? Whatever it is, now may be the best time to pick up a hobby to keep us entertained. A hobby will help take your mind off what’s going around us and give us a sense of control. Learning something new will also make you feel good about yourself.
5. Practice Meditation
Additional stressors can lead to weakened immune systems, and now more than ever, we need to keep our minds and bodies healthy. Consider meditation or taking short walks in your neighborhood to calm you down. If you are so inclined, you can also spend time in prayer to help lower your anxiety levels.
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