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Memory decoded part 1 : Why do we forget?

Memory decodedReading Time: 4 minutes

Ever felt a little deceived by yourself when giving a test and having to forget a topic which you had studied thoroughly.One feels helpless especially during these times. Memory is also quite complex to fully understand and grasp. But, the upside is research has helped making it easier. This means we know that why learning, forgetting or memorizing happens.

Even speaking scientifically there are many grey areas which still require adequate clarity over the matter. Research in memory has led to evolving methods to study rather efficiently, help treat Amnesia, Alzheimer, Parkinson and Training. 

When we talk of memory we broadly concern ourselves with two factors,

  1. Memorizing

  2. Forgetting 

From academic point of view the former suggests ability (if one calls it ability) to recall or recognize information that is already processed. The latter seems to hinder our most important cognitive function of recognizing or recalling information as and when we please. 

 

Off course we would want to remember everything and not forget anything. This feat has been achieved by a few, to give an example, Kim Peek suits the description. A Savant who could read a book in just one hour. He remembered everything he read. But Kim was a genius with a split brain.

Since the article’s title is Why do we forget?, we shall stick to why or what factors can make us forget where others can limit forgetting. 

Believe it or not forgetting is an intrinsic part of learning or remembering. Brain meaningless information easily. To state it simply brain seems to forget information which is less useful and keeps which we use often.

From point of view of giving exam, memory has often disappointed us when sitting and recalling in examination hall. 

Memory for a simplistic understanding can be divided into 2 types, 

  1. Long term memory

  2. Short term memory

 

From exam and other relevant information long-term memory is the point of discussion. Generally accepted view is that information with respect to time fades as time passes by. However, this viewpoint is credited much with.

 

Forgetting happens, because :

 

  • Interference,

Psychologists say that people tend to forget when people information currently being learned interferes with information which is already there. For example, you already know how to drive a bike but now, for a long time are driving a car. Then you probably have forgotten how to drive a bike. It may be that you would now need a little brush up before driving a bike.

  • We consciously choose to remember things rest we forget,

Act of choosing has importance when it comes to memory. It helps the mind direct effort to certain more relevant or important details of the subject matter. Retrieval inhibition is a phenomena where you remember details of information that you consciously made an effort to remember but forget other related details. 

Example, from a list of 50 names of cities if you try to remember 30 rest 20 you will forget.

  • Memory distortion or biases,

It occurs as and when we are presented with facts or details which were not known to us. We are programmed to view the world through “lens” ,  everyone has a different lens. We have these lenses which are biases.These biases also protects our very own existence (personality, beliefs etc).

People under interrogation tend to produce more just opinion of themselves than they usually are or would have been.

  • What is hard to remember, we simply choose to forget it,

Memory is linked to emotions and mood. We tend to forget things which have caused us great pain and suffering. These are repressed memories.  Freud, had argued that repressed memories are pushed into unconscious mind where they persists causing psychological problems. 

  • Memory reconstruction or False memories, 

Sometimes the case is such that we create memories rather than having experienced it. This can certainly be the case when eyewitnesses are called to give their testimony pertaining a case. It has been found that many a times eyewitnesses themselves are not aware of false memory reconstruction happening. 

You may ask why? This happens because many a times people fail to identify origin of such memories. To state it simply, many a times eyewitness will fail to discern source or origin from where memory would be coming. 

  • Mood congruence effect,

This essentially mean even mood effects are memory. Mood serves as retrieval cue. We are more likely to remember things when we are in good mood. Also, we are likely to remember a positive information in good mood and similarly as negative information in bad mood. 

You can understand it as, if you had a bad day you are most likely to remember all the bad things that had happened to you. 

Memory is funny but it is very useful. Honing it, is a challenge. Practice and training can help improving memory to an extent. At best memory works as sequence or array of information not as isolated bits information. 

Read Also, Memory Hacks

Visit our site brainpundits

Good luck!!

 

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Using Pomodoro technique to study better

Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Ever heard the advice from parents boasting that in their time they used to study night and day for an exam and probably wondered is that all there is to get good marks. Sitting and studying for longer duration will certainly get you in list of toppers, right? .. Wrong! Actually slogging for long hours may not be that beneficial. Chances are, you would forget most of it.

You have heard this phrase “All work no play, makes Jim a dull boy”. Turns out this is true regarding your work efficiency. Studying continuously for long hours will make you prone to mental exhaustion.

 

However, this doesn’t mean that you entertain the idea that studying for shorter duration. Doesn’t work that way.

 

There are many examples when students of schools, colleges and institutes ask that how many hours of study is required to score good marks or clear an examination.

 

Obviously, much of discussion revolves around the number of hours taken proportional to your result. There seems to be a tacitly agreed upon consensus that more numbers of hours (time) one puts in more better will be the result.

 

Coming back to the antithesis established in first para, that studying for 15 hours duration on average is not beneficial but debilitating.

To our rescue there is a technique which helps us study throughout the day and is not so menacing as methods suggested by our parents/peers talked about. Time is of the utmost importance, when we are studying. We can use time more efficiently and perhaps do less mental labor.

 

A time management technique that helps,

 

Pomodoro technique

 

This method of time management was invented by Francesco Cirillo. Believe it or not the technique suggests taking breaks and fragmenting studying sessions into intervals. So, in a way it is suggesting you to take breaks in between your study sessions.

 

Step by step guide to use study session

  1. Study for 25 – 30 minutes.
  2. Take break but not longer than 1o minutes.
  3. Study again for 25- 30 minutes.
  4. Repeat these study sessions with short intervals or breaks in between those study sessions (breaks should not extend beyond 10 mins).
  5. After approximately 5 such sessions you would have studied for  2.5 hours and your break would have been 40 minutes.
  6. After 5 such study sessions it is suggested taking a longer break of about 25- 30 minutes. This will replenish you again for intensive study sessions.
  7. Study throughout the day using this technique. You will feel less exhausted.

 

Pomodoro technique allows for mind to replenish by taking systematic breaks. It helps reduce procrastination also. You can study longer more effectively without mentally exhausting yourself. It makes you more efficient in your studies. This way you will be doing smart work and not just hard work.

 

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The Marshmallow Experiment, Success determinant?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

So, do you like one marshmallow? or two or three for that matter. The more the merrier (assuming you like marshmallow). The marshmallow study was conducted by Stanford psychologist Walter Mischel during the 1960s and 1970s as series of experiments.

The study was insightful as it provided an explanation for some becoming successful later on in their life and others not so.

 

The experiment was successful in finding a link between self control and success. The idea so perpetuated then was that delayed gratification can make or break it for you. Off course will power, persistence, determination etc were linked to it.

 

So, what was the experiment?

The experiment conducted with some children. Children separately were brought to a room and offered one marshmallow.

Subsequently, children were offered a choice.

 

They could either eat it or they could wait for sometime (while the first marshmallow was kept right in front of them as temptation) and get another one if they had not eaten the first marshmallow.

 

So, essentially to get the second marshmallow kids would have to resist the temptation of not eating the first. This meant that every kid put into such a situation had to resist the feeling of not eating the first marshmallow so as to receive another for a certain amount of time.

 

Observations

Some children were able to delay the gratification and could resist the temptation of not eating the first marshmallow. While others simply gave into the temptation.

 

What does this imply?

 

Delaying the gratification had larger implications. Those children who were able to delay the gratification and those who could not were tracked for more than 35- 40 years to see how they fare in life.

 

Fast forward, children were tracked and assessed to find that only those who could resist the temptation had fared well in their respective careers as compared to those who ate the marshmallow right away.

 

You can also watch the video here – Marshmallow Test

What does this mean for you ?

 

Other than intelligence there are certain non-cognitive factors which determine your success. Intelligence will not do everything for you. Effort, self control, will, and delaying gratification are important factors in determining how successful you will become in life.

 

Current research is questioning the established view of this experiment. It finds that it is variable along socio-economic status and susceptible to cultural variations.

Can also read – Pavlovian conditioning

Your takeaway from it,

Non-cognitive factors such as will, self control, and delaying gratification have positive impact in determining your success.

 

Traits such as being disciplined or having strong will-power and even good self control can help you achieve your goals in life. Even if you are not that intelligent there is good enough chance of you succeeding in life if you have these attributes. As intelligence alone does not determine success.

 

Goodluck to you!!!

 

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NeuroScience says you become mature at 25

Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

In many societies you become eligible to vote when you turn 18. This rests on sound logic that you are mature now to elect your representative. When is comes to drinking alcohol, WHO reports that in almost 65 percent of the countries drinking age is 18 and above. Some of the countries like Sri lanka, Pakistan and USA have 21 years and above as legal age to be consuming alcohol. Legal age for girls to get married is 18 years in India.

 

Why I am telling you all this, is because such distinctions are rested up on the fact that roughly 18 years is considered as the age when you get matured enough to vote, drink or marry.

 

So, 18 years seems fair, right?

 

Wrong! at least Neuroscientists don’t agree with it. According to Dr Sandra Aamadt, we are likely to get mature around 25 years of age. To put more clarity to it first let’s talk about maturity first.

 

What is maturity?

Maturity is the ability to make a good sound judgement and have average if not better decision making ability. To make it more simpler you know what you are doing? Why you are doing it?

 

Research By Dr Aamodt,

 

Brain scans shows that prefrontal cortex of the brain develops well beyond the age of 18. The prefrontal cortex of brain is responsible for decision making and judgement. The research also suggests that roughly around 25 years, one becomes mature enough to make sound decisions.

 

The prefrontal cortex regulates our emotions, social interactions, risk assessment and planning.

If the age maturity is 25 then it has some serious implications. Like for example Punishment award system to criminals, Age of marriage, Consent laws, Education etc.

 

The scholar suggests a flexible system which accounts for different age for different functions. There can be exceptions to this rule since there could be people who mature at 18-19 or may be 21 years of age.

 

However, the study points generally maturity strikes at 25 or may be little over that. Since your prefrontal cortex keeps developing beyond 18.

 

So, if you have done something you regret or may be feel guilt about before you turned 25. You could forgive yourself or ask for forgiveness knowing maybe you weren’t that  mature enough to take good decision.

 

Goodluck!!!

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The Psychology of Voting – Indian Elections 2019 Special

Indian Election 2019Reading Time: 3 minutes

We all have voted at one point of our life. With the elections running in India, this article looks at the psychology behind voting behavior. Read on.

 

 

The election season is active in India as the voters are exercising their right to elect the next Prime Minister of India. While the Lok Sabha elections are proving to be a feisty affair as the election campaigning reach fever pitch, but how does a voter make a decision?

This article talks about the psychology of voting behavior and how research has tried to analyze elections, especially voters.

 

The Altruistic Act of Voting

 

Voting in itself is one of the most altruistic acts that a person can do. A person takes out time and makes an effort to cast his/her vote, in which he/she may not even get the reward. It is an act for the hope of greater good of society.

So, it is always interesting to know what motivates one to vote. Research over the years has tried to answer by analyzing various data sets over the years in the context of western nations. Let’s see what they talk about.

 

Party Identification

 

The most powerful indicator of a voter’s preference is his/her identification towards a particular political party. If a person, for example, has over the course of his life has always associated with one party, he/she is more likely to vote for that party.

Research has shown that this association usually strengthens as the voter gets old. So, this is a fairly strong predictor of a voter’s motivation.

 

Perception of the Candidate

 

Studies have also shown that the voter’s perception of the candidates plays an important role in their voting behavior. Election campaigning plays an important role in creating and maintaining perceptions about the candidates.

That is why most campaigns save their advertising money for the last phase of the campaign to try to have a last impression before the voter votes.

 

First Impression is the Lasting Impression

 

However, research has shown that first impressions are very powerful. It usually informs the voter early on about the candidate. So, ideally, it would be best if the candidate used his campaign money on early advertisements.

 

Excited About Newcomers

 

Another assumption among political observers is that people are cynical about politicians and often expect the worst from them. But interestingly research has shown that people are actually eager to learn about new and upcoming candidates in elections.

They actually approach the new politician with optimism and hope for someone, to be honest about his/her work. For example, when the Aam Aadmi Party came, it was earlier accepted by all as a party that would bring change in politics in India.

 

Ill-Information Works Best

 

Studies have shown that voters are especially attuned to unfavorable information about political candidates. If a voter learns a bad thing about a candidate which damages his reputation, that information is more likely to stick.

On the other hand, any good information learned by the voters about the candidate doesn’t have that much influence. So, that is why we see during election campaigning negative advertisements everywhere criticizing the opponent.

 

The Primary Effect

 

There are also various voters who remain unaffected by all the campaigning and remain undecided till the voting day. They make their decision on the voting day itself. It has been found that sometimes the undecided voter, often makes the decision based on what’s the name of the voting list.

As a result, it has been found that candidates who have the first name in the voting list, end up getting 2.3% more votes on average than other candidates. And that small percentage matters a lot in close election races.

 

To Conclude

So, no matter who you vote for in this Indian election, remember all of these ways that you, the voter is influenced into voting. Happy voting everyone, till then cheers and keep exploring yourself with Braindpundits!

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Use Ebbinghaus forgetting curve to memorize better

Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Believe it or not forgetting is natural part of learning anything.

 

Hermann Ebbinghaus, German Psychologist, is credited with research on forgetting when learning. Ebbinghaus had discovered that much of what we read/learn is forgotten during the first hour of learning itself.

 

Memory works in a way, that it remembers meaningful information more easily and it stays longer than meaningless information. Meaningless information is simply any information which is not in use for brain or has run out it utility. Example, it could be that information which you read for an exam and post examination have problem recalling it. Mind has an intriguing way or remembering and rejecting information. 

 

Ebbinghaus had conducted experiment for both meaningful and meaningless retention. However, Meaningless information is important for us to study because by knowing why we forget our course material we would be able to understand and find solutions for it.

 

Below is retention (y-axis) vs time lapsed (x-axis) graph

 fig. 1

In figure 1, Notice the retention drops substantially in the first hour itself. Much of what we learnt (around 80 percent) is forgotten after 2 days only. This is found to be natural and universal, meaning all exhibit this phenomenon with little variations.

However, Good news is that you can change it by disrupting the pattern exhibited in Curve.

 

READ also SQ3R method of studying

Key essence is to minimise forgetting is periodic revisions of course/lectures/study material

Figure 2 Image from www.salesactivator.com/resources/blog/impactful-curve-forgetting/

 

The point is to revise periodically whatever you have  studied or read. The periodic revisions will help you retain better with least amount of mental effort.

Best way to do it is

  1. Revise after learning it once, or after attending a lecture.
  2. Again, Revise a day after your have learnt it.
  3. Again, Revise a week later.
  4. And Again, Revise a 28 days/month after learning.

In figure 2, notice that at approximately 75 percent on the y-scale (retentivity) there is an acute fall in remembering/retention. So after every learning session you should revise/review the course/notes/study material.

 

Hermann Ebbinghaus, has provided a gainful insight on how are memory works and how forgetting happens. The stressing viewpoint here is that this forgetting can be subject to change and you can maximize your learning.

Goodluck!!!

 

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Use the 80/20 rule to get good marks

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Vilfredo Fritz Pareto, an Italian polymath. He was an engineer, sociologist, political scientist and economist. He is famous for his book ‘Manual of political economy’ and for pareto’s principle.

 

It is this Pareto’s Principle that you can apply to make your study effective. Pareto’s principle is also called “Law of the vital few”.

 

To put it simply “ roughly 80% of effects/results come from 20 percent of causes”. This wonderful discovery of pareto happened when he observed that in his garden 20 percent of pea pods produced 80 percent of the peas.

 

During his stay in Lausanne he had discovered that 20 percent of the people in Italy owned 80 percent of the land. Pareto in 1909 had published it in book stating that this principle generally can be applied to wealth and other things and that this rule could be observed in any generation of any society.

 

Taking further, this 80/20 rule can be generally be applied to,

 

  • Investment
  • Studying
  • Farming
  • Marketing
  • Business
  • Trading
  • Economics
  • Research

 

And many more you can think of. Vilfredo pareto was able to discover that this using mathematics as a tool in political science and sociology.

 

Using 80/20 when studying,

 

What is 80/20 rule?

When applying to studying it is your 80 percent of result will come for 20 percent of your studying particular topics.

 

What does above imply?

This means that in your course there are some topics which are more important than others. This also means that areas you should focus on should not be even but weighted and not a constant, when it comes to focusing your attention and directing your efforts.

 

How do you go about it?

 

The first thing that you should do is to study the previous years papers to find what all questions are coming in the exam.

 

Usually, you will find some pattern. You will get to know from which topics the questions are usually coming. This essentially means that there are some topics which are more important than others. Some topics or sections from where the questions are regularly coming and other topics usually are not so popular with paper setters.

 

What does 80/20 have to do with studying previous year question papers?

Precisely everything, through this 80/20 rule you know that there are some topics which are of more importance than the others. This means your studying effort should not be evenly distributed but weighted accordingly. According to 80/20 rule your 80 percent of paper will come from 20 percent of the topics. (assuming these are exact or fixed estimates but a good estimate)

 

Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it, yes it is !

 

To make it simple, an example,

Supposedly there are 5 topics in a test that you have to prepare :

You should as stated above complete your assessment of previous years papers and mock tests, notice which of the topics are more prominently coming in your tests. Mark those topics, these are topics you should focus more on. For example topic 1 and topic 4 are more important as most questions are coming from these. You should focus more on them as compared to other topics.

 

This means that your effort is not evenly divided but distributed unevenly in your topics that you have to prepare.

 

So, apply 80/20 here, your test shall comprise of majority of questions coming from topic 1 and topic 4, rest 20 percent would be coming from others. Hence, your efforts should be best directed to topic 1 and topic 4 and other topics should be revised but your priority is topic 1 and topic 4.

 

Here it is, another smart way to study or prepare for an exam. And by the way this rule can be applied elsewhere also, just have to be creative.

 

Goodluck !

 

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Taking a Break: Why ‘Dropping’ a Year is Not a Big Thing

Why ‘Dropping’ a Year is Not a Big ThingReading Time: 4 minutes

We are told from everyone not to ‘drop’ a year if we fail to get into that esteemed institute or university. But in this post, I argue that taking a break in life is not only a good thing but also an essential thing. Read on.

 

Ever since we start going to school from our early ages, we never stop. From kindergarten till 12th, we are on a continuous march. And after 12th class, we have to make a decision about college and then our college life starts.

After that, we usually get a job, which usually goes on till we are in our late 50s or early 60s. In between, we get married and have kids and our own family. Everything seems planned, and more importantly, fixed. And any sense of deviation is frowned up on by the society, your peers and even your family.

In this post, I will argue the opposite and talk about ‘dropping’ a year and how it can actually help you in various aspects. Let’s try to see first why the idea of ‘dropping’ a year is seen as something negative.

 

‘Dropping’ a Year – What Exactly are We ‘Dropping’?

One of the reasons why dropping a year is looked down upon in the society it is because of the expectations attached to each age bracket of our lives. Society – an extension of our peers and families – has standardised expectations of how our lives should go, which I mentioned earlier.

Any person who seems to step away – intentionally or unintentionally – from this set track faces a backlash of an emotional kind from the nearest kin or friends. This leads to self-questioning and even depression at times. As we, seem to have, fallen under the eyes of our peers.

Also, look at the way the phrase is coined – Dropping a Year. What exactly are we dropping? We don’t have the ability to drop time, literally. Some even call it ‘wasting time by not being on the set path’.

 

Pausing Life to Know Yourself Better

 

I would like to offer an alternative way to look at the same thing. Our lives have become so fast-paced that we sometimes lose track how fast things pass by us. From our school days to our college days and then our work life – all seem to fly past us without us noticing.

And during all these phases we fail to see how we, as a person, change. We do not reflect on what we are doing and how it may be affecting our lives. And in the process, we end up doing things which we might not even want to – prime example choosing a certain stream which may not be right for you. Or even doing a certain job which is not right for you to begin with. Which often leads to discontentment among the people.

I argue that it is important – imperative even to take a break, or pause life for a bit. Pause life so you can reflect on what you are doing, why you are doing it and what does it mean for you. Take a break to reassess your life, your wants and needs, and your passions.

 

A Personal Anecdote

Just to give you an example, I will narrate my story. In class 12th I had taken the subjects PCM or ‘non-medical’ as commonly known. I didn’t know why I took them but I guess I was just following the herd at that moment.

Lo and behold, I ended up failing 12th, unsurprisingly. After that, I took a break, paused my life for a few years. Yes, years! I didn’t take the 12th board exams for another couple of years as I felt it was not what I wanted to do. Sounds blasphemous, right?

Instead, I did other things – I read literature, some philosophical in nature, watched a lot of world cinema, traveled and had new experiences. In all, I went on a journey to discover myself in order to know myself better.

After this break, I found myself reinvigorated and more confident about what I wanted to do. Roughly 10 years later, I am on my way to do what I want to do and feel at peace about it. And yes, I did clear that 12th eventually.

 

What You Can Do

Well, I am not saying everyone takes a break of 2-3 years and start wandering around. For those students who feel comfortable and know that they want to do what they are doing, then you don’t need to.

But for those who feel things are moving too fast and you feel confused about yourself and what you want to do. Then taking a break is always a good option. Take that trip or do some volunteer work or read that novel you’ve been putting off or start reading literature if you haven’t or start learning a musical instrument – whatever floats your boat.

The idea is to explore other avenues that life has to offer. And in doing so you will explore yourself – which is the main objective. The period of break depends on you and your comfort level.

At first, your peers and family members will strongly object to it but it is something worth resisting. But its always better to stop and explore the things you feel like doing rather than going with the flow and doing things you don’t want to do.

 

To Conclude

Now, what I have said is a very personal opinion about life and how to explore it. It doesn’t that is a right way or ‘the’ right way. But it is one of the ways as there is no right way. As in the end, life is all about trying to be the best version of ourselves. Till then cheers and keep exploring yourself with Brainpundits!

 

 

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How to deal with regression while reading

How to deal with regression while readingReading Time: 2 minutes

Regression happens when we are reading. To explain it simply it means when we are re-reading the text. I am sure almost everyone has gone through regression. It reduces both our reading speed and efficiency.

 

Imagine if it happens to you when you are giving a test and you get stuck with that text/para/lines. Then what will you do? Often what I have observed is that people when reading either

 

 

  • Read it loudly
  • Subvocalize  
  • Would frown
  • Bring text closer to the eyes.

 

Both of the methods prove to be inadequate.

 

Being a voracious reader. I am a daily newsreader. I have extensively read art, literature, nonfiction, meteorology, law, Macro Economics, and politics.

 

Problem is trying to hard or focusing more through facial expression will not help.

 

There are many reasons for regression

Mental Fatigue Poor Comprehensibility Distraction
Stress when reading Disturbances

outside/inside

Not much of Reader

 

One of the basic reasons for you regressing is either the topic which you are reading seems tougher to comprehend or you are not much of a reader.

 

So, you must read as much as you can fighting the regression as it comes along. Progressively, you will tend to regress less than you used to. It is a fact.

 

Some hacks that I use whenever regression happens,  

 

  • If you are reading for a long time and you start to regress/reading the same lines again, then you should probably take a short break, probably a tea break.

 

  • Regression may happen when your text is very closely written and is comprehensive. A textbook with long paragraphs and shorter font should be avoided.  Since reading requires eye movement closely placed text and shorter font will make it likely that you will regress.

 

  • Usually what I have noticed is that eyes tend to vacillate between some lines or a para, re-reading it. This is costly when you are giving an exam. If you notice yourself stuck in regressing, Jump to the next most suitable lines, which your mind is able to comprehend easiest. Skip those lines if required and come back to them after reading whole text/chapter.

 

  • Most important, consciously make an effort to understand whatever you are reading. Let it be slow at first (if it is). Reading is a skill. Any skill takes time to develop, you have to put in practice into it.

 

Regression is not necessarily a bad thing. It might be indicating something, for example, distraction, lack of concentration, boringness with respect to text which you are reading, and disturbances.

 

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How to Boost your Emotional Intelligence

How to Boost Your Emotional IntelligenceReading Time: 4 minutes

Did you know that there’s another intelligence to us that we don’t explore much? That’s right, we are talking about Emotional intelligence and it is a very important component of our personality. In this post, we will discuss how to boost your emotional intelligence. Read on.

 

Emotional intelligence is an important component of our overall personality. It can be defined as the ability to understand and manage and express effectively one’s own feelings. EQ or EI also helps us navigate emotions in daily conversations and activities.

It is absolutely essential in the development, formation, and maintenance of relationships and interpersonal connections. And unlike IQ, which is believed to be static over the course of our lives, our EQ actually evolves and increases as our desire to learn to grow.

In this post, we will talk about certain ways to boost your emotional intelligence so that you can have meaningful conversations and make strong bonds in your daily lives.

 

Managing Negative Emotions

We all get sometimes negative emotions – depending on the circumstances that surround us. And sometimes these emotions can overwhelm us beyond despair. In order to navigate and manage these feelings, we need to change the way we think about them.

  1. Reducing Negative Personalisation – The first way you can do that is try avoiding jumping to negative conclusions. For instance, if someone is not replying or behaving in a weird way – do not think straight away it has something to do with you or something bad has happened. Instead, look at that situation from multiple points of views before reacting.
  2. Managing the Fear of Rejection – One of the difficult negative emotion that always engulfs it the fear of rejection or failure. Navigating this is often tricky and the fear itself – and not the actual rejection or failure – can bring you down.

 

The best way to navigate these feelings is to think and working towards strong alternatives and having multiple options. This helps because no matter what happens you will have options nonetheless. As they say, you should never put your eggs in one basket.

Managing Stressful Situations

Our daily lives have become hotbeds of stress and anxiety. It is important for us to know how to handle such situations. When under pressure or extreme stress, the most important thing you can do it keep calm and keep your cool.

If in case, the stress getting too overwhelming then you can do certain things to calm yourself down: 1. Put cold water on your face and get some fresh air; 2. Try avoiding caffeinated beverages; 3. You should also try doing aerobic exercises which will help you feel energetic.

 

Being Assertive and Expressive

There are times when we want to set boundaries or be outright about our emotions so that the other person does not take undue advantage. That is what being emotionally assertive means. This could mean by practicing our right to disagree or saying “NO” without feeling guilty about it.

It is all about setting the right priorities and able to express how we feel. This also means effective means of communication with the people around you. Better communication and effective expression of emotions often lead to a congenial environment.

 

Being Proactive and not Reactive

We all face sometimes unreasonable people in our lives. Be in the workplace or someone in your class and it can be challenging as that person can severely affect your mood.

If you are in such situations and feeling aggravated and feel that you may be about to burst open, you can do certain things remain calm. 1. Take a deep breath and try counting backward to ten. Usually, you will calm down and you will not react to the other person. 2. Another way is that you can try putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. Even though that does not excuse unacceptable behavior, but still the idea is to remind yourself that people may be acting because of certain personal situations themselves.

 

Bouncing Back from Adversity

We all know that life often gets tough and we have to face tough situations, often setbacks. But it will depend on how we think and feel and act towards’ life’s constant challenges. The way we think and feel in such situations can be a difference between optimism and pessimism.

In order to escape unscathed from these challenges is to keep asking yourself questions – how to learn from this experience or what can be done now. The more insightful questions you can ask at these situations – the more you will optimistic about the future.

 

Practicing Empathy

Most of us, when we hear the sad news about someone else, feel pity or sympathetic towards them. However helpful, that is not what desired but being empathetic is the key towards building strong interpersonal relationships.

Practicing empathy means trying to feel what the other person is feeling and then helping them get through it. This not only helps in building a strong relationship but also strengthens your ability to understand people more effectively.

 

To Conclude

Emotional intelligence has the ability to evolve over time. It is up to you as you need to have the desire and will to keep improving. Improving EQ is very helpful and by these techniques, you can easily increase your EQ and be a stronger and better person.

So, what are you waiting for, start using these techniques and be a better version of yourself? Till then cheers and keep exploring yourself with Brainpundits!