Today's tip for increasing your emotional intelligence is the most simple and straightforward you're ever going to get. For many people, this tip has the potential to have a bigger impact upon their emotional intelligence (EQ) than any other. The catch? You have to cut down on caffeine, and as any caffeine drinker can attest, this is easier said than done.
Most people start drinking caffeine because it makes them feel more alert and improves their mood. New research from Johns Hopkins Medical School shows that performance increases due to caffeine intake are the result of caffeine drinkers experiencing a short-term reversal of caffeine withdrawal. By controlling for caffeine use in study participants, John Hopkins researchers found that caffeine-related performance improvement is nonexistent without caffeine withdrawal. In essence, coming off caffeine reduces your cognitive performance and has a negative impact on your mood. The only way to get back to normal is to drink caffeine, and when you do drink it, you feel like it's taking you to new heights. In reality, the caffeine is just taking your performance back to normal for a short period.
Caffeine disrupts the quality of your sleep by reducing rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the deep sleep when your body recuperates and processes emotions. When caffeine disrupts your sleep, you wake up the next day with an emotional handicap.
Like any stimulant, caffeine is physiologically and psychologically addictive. If you do choose to lower your caffeine intake, you should do so slowly. Some people report feeling flu-like symptoms, depression, and anxiety after reducing intake by as little as one cup a day.
If you'd like to set a baseline for your Emotional Intelligence, request a free trial Emotional Intelligence / DISC (Behavioral Intelligence) from us at firstname.lastname@example.org. As for the caffeine, I'm right there with you. It's tough....