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Does the absence of Emotional Intelligence and "Slow Life" cause stress in Today's Millennials?

Updated: Apr 15, 2022

Have you ever noticed the difference in the rush of feelings you go through when you go to your home town? And subsequently, for a substantial office presentation or meeting in the middle of city traffic?

Coming to my personal experience, the moments of stressors I have had were always related to the fast-paced city life. And my inability to respond positively to any situation. In fact, right now, I am writing this article in the middle of my home shift. Home shifting is generally considered one of the stress triggers. While I write, I can think of hundreds of overwhelming thoughts going through my mind. Or maybe just choose to react positively by saying, ‘everything is figure-routable. Here I can either have cortisol running in my veins or dopamine simply depends on how I train my emotions to flow consciously or unconsciously. Stress is a psychological condition if we stop overlooking our habitual patterns of thought and behaviour that cause unnecessary stress. We can manage stress effectively and positively.

Slow living:

I believe slow living is not some kind of fad or trend. It has always existed in human history. It is just the increasing needs and population of this highly tech-savvy world. Also, with this, in the past few decades, it has been making slow living a need of the hour to re-introduce its existence to keep appropriate pace with your lifestyle. Slow living enhances your mindfulness and awareness and naturally guides you to be in the present. It allows you to live a life of freedom and grow creatively at your own will. Denmark is consistently at the top of the list for one of the happiest countries in the world, considering their infamous long winters. One of the reasons it maintains its position lies in the ritual followed by danish people called “Hugge”, inspired by the long winters in Denmark.

Hygge is all about cosiness and surrounding you with the things that make life enjoyable, such as love, laughter, warmth, light, seasonal food, and living in the moment. Though it’s gained importance through long winters, people also enjoy warm weather hygge during summers. Some activities may include outdoor picnics, bonfires, outdoor movies, and being more companion with nature. Be it any season, the basic idea behind this ritual is only awareness, some slowness, and the ability to be present and recognize and enjoy that moment feeling it within. The journal “Nature” research study published in 2011 found that those in the cities had a 21% increase in mood disorders and a 39% increase in anxiety disorders. This rising amount of mental disorders only signals us to rethink switching back to a slow pace lifestyle or creating an environment like hygge amidst the city life.

Emotional intelligence:

Emotional intelligence is the ability to master your emotions and those of others, so we can use this information to guide your own thinking behaviour in beneficial ways. Having the ability to master your emotions enables us to deal with complicated feelings and awareness. Unfortunately, emotional intelligence has never been an active part of today’s education system. People with high emotional intelligence are more adaptable to frequent changes. This means the stress triggered by the fast-changing digital age, unavoidable in nature, can be managed through improving and practising emotional intelligence in our day to day lives.

In psychological terms, stress is the reaction to something that threatens our physical or mental equilibrium. When the body is under stress, it releases stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, the ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ response. The overflow of stress hormones increases the permeability of the gut lining. The human body triggers two reactions in response to registering any external message. One response is governed by the logical mind, and the other response is governed by the emotional mind. If you respond impulsively, the second reaction takes control. You might have heard this advice many times from your elders, teachers or mentors to count from 1 to 10 when experiencing anger or take a deep breath when feeling negative feelings. The science behind this is to buy time as the emotional mind works one-hundredth of a second before a logical mind.

No doubt, stress will be a part of today’s high-technological world. It is impossible to eliminate all forms of stressors like increasingly demanding work culture, rising academic pressure, diversity and abundance of choice etc. What we have in our control is our emotional intelligence and understanding of our body and mind’s need to relax at any given point in time.

Stress is practically challenging to self-diagnose as we humans often overlook our emotional symptoms until it manifests in physical form and turns into chronic stress. Building awareness around it is a must to successfully address your overwhelming emotions and turn the response into a positive reaction with practice. No matter how many limitations we have on a human body, we are blessed with free will and choice by the creator. Let’s utilize it to nurture ourselves aligned with the laws of nature. Next time whenever you notice any unconscious negative thinking pattern which could be a reason for your future stress, don’t forget to replace it with a positive or sensible response.

For me, it’s ‘Everything is figure-routable’. What's yours? Please share your comments and your experiences with handling stress.

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