Managing Emotions Effectively, Aint So Easy. Here’s why.
Learning how to manage emotions are crucial for you to have your best health, perform at your highest level, and live the long, fulfilling, and prosperous life you dream of.
However there’s one problem, its freakin hard work.
You know by now managing ANYTHING takes effort, energy, time, and a lot of deliberate practice. Managing your emotions is no exception.
In order for you to take an emotional reaction and shape it into a healthy response, requires a lot from you.
Let’s be real, you don’t always have the awareness, time, motivation, or self-discipline to shape your emotional response they way you’d like.
Picture a Wednesday evening… You’re only half way through your week, you’ve had a brutal day, you’re exhausted, and you still have a long stretch to Friday.
Naturally, (as Murphy’s Law would have it) someone or something screws up.
But, you’re not operating with all your capacity because you’re taxed. Yet, you’re still in a situation that requires you to manage this huge tidal wave of emotions…anger, frustration, embarrassment, whatever the emotion(s) may be.
Long story short— You will not manage your emotions as well as you’d like. And, this mismanagement can take a toll on your relationships, health, and happiness.
Take a Smart Approach to Stress And Save Your Sanity
Here’s a way you can avoid all that disruption and respond in a way that you feel great about and others do too.
You do this through leveraging BOTH prevention and cure. In other words, you not only manage your emotions wisely, but you prevent unnecessary emotional reactions.
Before you even get to the emotional response, you can shape/reshape your thought.
You must first pay attention to the actual thought tho. You have to observe, listen, come to know and understand the thought, get curious (mindful) about what thought is leading to the emotional response you’re having.
Then, you can reframe that thought.
When you do this, you can sometimes prevent an emotional response all together. If not tho, you can rely on your emotional intelligence and emotion regulation skills to manage the reaction you have. This will help you respond in a way you (and others) can grow from.
How One Kid Took This Approach and Changed his Stress Overnight.
Here’s an example of my son who was experiencing some stress at school. He had changed to a new school and his peers behaved a bit different than what he’d been used to from his former education environment, church, or sport peers. He didn’t seem to like or approve of these kids’ actions and was having a lot of frustration.
Just like at work, school can’t always support a meditation session, a walk outside, or a safe environment for proper emotion regulation practices.
Instead of managing all the emotions, he needed to prevent some of the emotions he was feeling all together by reframing his thoughts.
After spending some time listening to him, we came to understand that his thought that created the emotional response of frustration and anger was this… “my peers should be respectful all of the time” “my peers should not call names” and “my peers should be kind”
Well, we all know this ain’t the real world and I needed to help him balance his own thoughts around his personal ethics and his ability to meet and interact with others right where they were.
While I don’t believe anyone is best served by tolerating disrespectful treatment, it is true that we cannot control others. This was the thought he needed to reframe in his mind.
By “watching his thoughts” he was able to have less emotional reactions and better “watch his words, actions, habits, and character” which, as Lao Tzu reminds us, directly influences his “destiny.”
Here’s What You Can Do To Empower Your Own Thoughts and Emotions .
Take a minute to explore your experiences with this topic?
Do you do better with…
—“Prevention” (identifying and managing your thoughts)
—”Cure” (identifying and managing your emotions)?
Why do you think this is?
Whats one step you can do the next time you’re feelings seem to be taking over and driving your behavior?
I’d love to hear from you. Comment below to share your thoughts.