During difficult times it can be easy to let stress and emotions take over, turning to unhealthy habits. Dealing with emotions in a helpful way can seem like a hurdle, but taking the time to develop emotional intelligence will not only help you cope with your own emotions, but it will also help you to react to others’ emotions calmly and coolly. Here’s how to develop your emotional intelligence:

Notice Your Emotions

Have you ever been hangry before and not realized it? You start to act very grouchy and are maybe not being nice to people for little to no reason at all. Then, all of the sudden, you realize how hungry you are, eat a snack, and are back to your normal self, wondering why you were upset that whole time. A lot of emotions can create similar situations to this. You are acting or feeling a certain way and lash out without addressing the cause of the problem. Take time to identify your emotions and what may be causing them.

Follow a Pattern

Most emotions naturally ebb and flow, leaving you with productivity highs and lows. Finding those times when you are most productive and happy can be very useful. For example, if there is a complicated issue you have to untangle, doing it during an emotional high will help you to solve the problem more quickly and efficiently. Also, learning how to optimize on energetic times can help you increase your patience and productivity during a difficult time.

Keep Things in Perspective

When things go wrong, it can be tempting to blow things out of proportion. It can also be hard to stay focused on reality if there are different sources giving you different information. Gather information from trustworthy sources and keep your focus on the factors you can control. This will help you keep your emotions in control and properly address others’ emotions.

Doing these things will help you increase your emotional intelligence during difficult times.