Robin Hills (Director, Ei4Change) has been asked to contribute a series of bite-sized, inspirational soundbites for Bolton FM.
Featured every day for a week as The Thought that Counts, these were broadcast on the Breakfast Show around 7.20 am and on the Lunchtime Show usually around 12.20 pm.
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I often contribute to my local radio station's "The Thought That Counts" slot. They usually broadcast The Thought That Counts on their Breakfast Show at about 7.30 and their lunchtime show at about 1.30 over a period of a week. Each broadcast lasts about 90 seconds. My contributions are all based around some aspect of emotional intelligence. I've put my contributions together as hints and tips in this podcast. On this occasion, my reflections cover altruism, optimism and pessimism, the purpose of emotions, emotions within an argument and controlling or regulating emotions. I hope you enjoy the podcast and these The Thought That Counts. The Thought That Counts. As social beings our emotions serve the purpose of signalling to those around us about risks and opportunities. Emotions form a nearly instant communication channel. We read emotions from others from the expressions on their faces or hearing a tone of voice. We then interpret and use that data or information. We don't have to be aware that this is happening. It's an automatic process. Those with high status and positional authority seem to have a greater emotional influence, as do people with whom we have stronger emotional ties. So, in addition to affecting our own thoughts and actions, our emotions affect the people around us, especially those that look up to us and care about us. Emotions are contagious. We have all experienced this. You know how good you feel after having a great meeting with a friend. When you meet a rude shop assistant, you feel bad. Unlike an infectious disease, you can decide which contagious emotions you want to catch and which contagious emotions you want to spread. The Thought That Counts. Frequently, when people express their emotions, they focus on the more obvious or the most powerful feeling. For example, in an argument, it's easy to notice that you're angry. That's probably fairly obvious, but what else are you feeling? You may be experiencing fear, worry, and at the same time, hope and concern for others. What would happen if you were to focus your attention and energy on one of those feelings instead? Anger is going to be quite strong and will probably drive the argument. But in theory, you could choose to express any of the other feelings as an alternative and move the discussion in a different direction. This is not easy. Imagine yourself exhibiting the feeling you've chosen as if you're an actor or a director in a film. How would the actor stand and move? What would they say? What will we hear in their tone of voice? What will we see on their face? Obviously, you can't do this in the throes of an intense argument, but practising will make you increasingly able to bring one or another of your feelings forward having chosen this is a real starting point. You can't always choose what happens to you, but you can always choose how you feel about it. The Thought That Counts. Our ability to regulate or control our emotions is a uniquely human trait, something that other animals are unable to do. People with low levels of self control are more likely to pick arguments, make threats about the relationship, express their prejudices more freely, and hold on to grudges. They're more likely to indulge in unhealthy activities, cheat and lie, and they're less likely to say "thank you". Our willpower is depleted when we're tired, fatigued or hungry, and it becomes more difficult to resist those often tempting, but unhelpful behaviours. Self control can be strengthened with practice, like a muscle. In fact, physical exercise involves a steady application of willpower and so bolsters self control. A funny film, rest, motivation and positive thinking restores depleted resources of self control. When you practice regulating emotions, you affect more than just yourself. Unhealthy relationships and indeed social relationships of any kind, are dependent to some degree on the self control of those In the relationship, Never do something permanently foolish just because you're temporarily upset. Remember, a moment of patience in a moment of anger saves a thousand moments of regret. The Thought That Counts. Are you sometimes described as an optimist or a pessimist? Research has shown that optimism can be learned. Most likely people are born with some predisposition to use optimism or pessimism more. But this is the starting point from which we can learn. Optimism is not the same as positive thinking or ignoring problems. Real optimism requires us to confront reality with the conviction that we can find solutions, and so is linked to our resilience. When we're stuck in pessimism, it feels as if there are no options. Sometimes it's helpful to be sad or scared, desperate or helpless, but we're not likely to solve problems in that state. The secret to optimism is to allow ourselves to feel the feelings that clarify the problem, and then create new options for finding solutions. Be realistic, acknowledge the seriousness of the problem, and consider the alternatives. Studies continue to show that optimistic people have better mental health, suffer less colds, recover from illness quicker and have longer life expectancy. It's not optimistic. It's real. So isn't it worth learning to be more optimistic? The Thought That Counts. Martin Luther King said "Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism, or in the darkness of destructive selfishness". Altruism is a selfless concern for the well being of others. There's a strange and fascinating paradox with altruism. Through selfless giving, we get a lot in return. So, maybe it's not quite so selfless. Maybe it's part of the way in which our brains are wired to work well with others. There has been a lot of research on this phenomenon. Findings suggests that bosses who are kind to employees earn more respect. One study found that private bankers who are focused more on the greater good are the ones who attract the most investments. Whilst altruism may be inborn, it's not instinctual. Our brains may be wired that way, but a switch has to be flipped. I'm Robin Hills from Ei4Change, Empowering your Emotional Management. The Thought That Counts. Transcribed by https://otter.ai