Handle Stress with Emotional Agility

You’ve read tons of articles on stress. These days, who isn’t under pressure? Even kids at stuck at home because of COVID-19 are having difficulties coping.

You’ve also heard of advice on handling stress. But, have you heard about emotional agility that may be the solution to managing stress nowadays?

So, what’s emotional agility?  It’s a concept popularized by Susan David, PH.D., a Harvard University Psychologist. Here’s her definition:

“Emotional agility is an individual’s ability to experience their thoughts and emotions and events in a way that doesn’t drive them in negative ways, but instead encourages them to reveal the best of themselves.”

Knowing Good and Bad Stress

People commonly refer to stress as something unpleasant. So you often hear them complain about how it’s making life more difficult for them.
But, stress can be good.

Take performers and athletes, for instance. Before they go on stage or enter the arena, they feel stress. But, it’s this “feeling” that gets them ready for their challenges. So, they practice, innovate and improve well before their performance.

Closer to home, people don’t talk about stress before a job interview, a first date or entering a contest. Activities people look forward to wouldn’t be described as stressful. Exciting is the more appropriate word to classify these.

“Bad” stress impacts people negatively. It’s relative, though.  A chore or an event can upset a person but not another.  “Bad” stress can increase blood pressure and cause headaches.  Also, these cause negative feelings.

Practice emotional agility

When someone or something stresses you, self-diagnose for the reasons. Are you sad, angry or afraid? Zeroing on the emotions that cause stress will help relieve you of this.
For instance, you may be mad at certain people, so every time you see them, you’re stressed out. Dig deeper and you might discover the source of your anger. You might be angry because you’re holding grudges.

Also, you can be stressed because you’re fearful of failure. Addressing your fear is already half the battle won.
Completing tasks can be stressful. For instance, many are stressed going to work because they don’t realize they dislike their jobs. Often, there are some things they are not fond of doing.  So, they get upset.

But once, they recognize the source of their stress, they can either look for other options or talk to their bosses. Maybe, they’ll be assigned to other tasks.
There are more instances, where you can apply emotional agility. This requires you to analyze the core reasons that stress you. Life will never be stress-free.  But, you make it a bit easier by relieving yourself of unnecessary stresses.

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