- Meditate. Focus on your breathing and sensory impressions for as little as five minutes a day to improve self-awareness and strengthen your ability to resist destructive impulses.
- Eat. Your brain burns glucose rapidly under stress, leaving you vulnerable to destructive impulses. Don’t spike your glucose levels with sugary foods. Whole foods provide a steady energy flow for a longer window of self-control.
- Exercise. Moving your body as little as 10 minutes releases a neurotransmitter that soothes your brain. Walk off stress and anger.
- Sleep. Fatigue inhibits your brain’s ability to absorb glucose and your ability to control impulses. Lack of sleep makes you crave sugar to raise your glucose. Get plenty of sleep so you can eat and act with control.
- Ride the wave. If you can wait 10 minutes before succumbing to temptation, you’ll often find the wave of desire has ebbed and you can move on.
- Forgive yourself. Don’t slip into the vicious cycle of losing control, hating yourself and losing control again. Accept bad feelings after a mistake, forgive yourself and focus to what you will do in the future.
How to Increase Your Emotional Intelligence With Self-control
Last week we discussed increasing your emotional intelligence with self-awareness. Self-awareness is one thing AND controlling what we become aware of is another thing. Self-control is a another aspect of Emotional Intelligence that can be improved. Self-control can be improved with practice. Forbes.com contributor Travis Bradberry lists six strategies based on research by Florida State University: