Gratitude & Reducing Stress During the Holidays

As we enter the holiday seasons and wind down the year, everyone has had their share of success and things that haven’t gone as expected.  It is also a time of year when many people struggle and can be overwhelmed by the challenges and circumstances they are facing.  I hope this can help get you through these potentially difficult times.

I’ve read the book Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves.  In the book, they talk about IQ, EQ, and Personality.  Our IQ and Personality are pretty well set when we are fairly young and don’t change much.  Fortunately, the one that can directly impact our relationships, advancement, and overall success can be developed.  Emotional Intelligence is a like a muscle that can be developed and strengthened if exercised properly.  Here is why that’s important and one way you can improve it.

Our EQ can be defined as the time between a stimulus (something happens to you, was said to you, or something you read) and how you respond to that stimulus.  We control three things in our life:

  • What we think
  • What we say
  • What we do

No one else, other than us, has control over these three things.  According to the book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, one of the chief contributors to us not responding properly and not having good emotional intelligence is stress.  Keeping a gratitude journal is one way to keep your stress in check and strengthening your emotional intelligence.

The concept is simple and very effective.  Each day keep track (by writing it down) of one or two things you are grateful for.  It’s hard (not impossible, but harder) to be stressed about something if we keep reminding ourselves of what we are grateful for.  It’s hard for the mind to focus on two things at once.  If I’m grateful, I’m less stressed.  If you get in the habit of writing those things down, after several days, you can review your list.  As the list grows, your stress goes down and your emotional intelligence improves.  As your emotional intelligence improves you will start responding to things and not reacting to them.

Here is my challenge for you, starting today and for the rest of this year, keep a gratitude journal.  Write down anything (it doesn’t matter how small you think it is) you are grateful for, keep adding to the list, and reviewing it on a regular basis.  If you do, your stress will decrease and your EQ will increase.

Finally remember this, it’s not what happens to us in life that determines our success.  Rather, it’s our response to what happens to us that determines our successes and failures.

Go make it a less stressful holiday season by being grateful.


From Sales Development Expert, Jack Kasel

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