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Stress impacts all of us in a number of different ways. Our cognitive ability (how quickly and effectively we process information) diminishes as our stress level elevates. The ability to make effective decisions is also dramatically downgraded. In his book The Stress Effect: Why Smart Leaders Make Dumb Decisions, author Henry L. Thompson points out that in addition to cognitive ability and decision making, the simple and often overlooked fact is that as stress goes up, emotional intelligence also drops. That's right, just when you need it the most, your ability to access the emotional intelligence you have is lowered.