How to Manage Your Emotions Effectively I How to Control Your Emotions

How to Manage Your Emotions Effectively

How to Manage Your Emotions Effectively

A popular topic on the internet for the past few years has been Emotional Mastery. The reasons for its popularity are probably: stress at the workplace, expectations to do well in life, urbanisation and the pressure that living in large cities bring. Emotional Intelligence (EI) which in it’s simplest form teaches you how to manage your emotions effectively, started in the 1980’s and has become the buzz word in the corporate world {Corporates do engage with EI Coach Practitioners to get their workforce trained and coached on Emotional Mastery}, as well as in the everyday lives of people.

Enter 2020 and the Covid 19 pandemic; the emotional turmoil that 7 billion people have been facing for the last 3 months has brought this back in focus. Emotional Mastery has seen a surge on Facebook, Instagram, Vlogs, Blogs etc. People are writing about the emotional challenges they are facing on social media, and their eagerness to work through it {get something going to help themselves deal}. In lieu of this, universities have created courses that are being offered for free to the public. However, there is still a lot to be done, considering that the problem the human race is facing is a rather serious one.

In that vein, I’d like to offer you a framework to keep you going when you are feeling low, and your emotions have taken over your state of mind. Read on to understand how to manage your emotions effectively:

Recognise ~ The first step is to acknowledge an emotion when you first sense it in your body {this emotion could simply be a symptom of irritability whenever you see your child throwing a tantrum at home}. The first sign of this emotion {irritability} will be a physiological response. You may experience a temperate change around your ears and neck region, or your breathing rate may increase. So, start to calibrate these physiological responses to avoid going into a full blown emotional overdrive. If you are able to recognise an emotional response development, you can then catch that emotional outburst while it is about to happen and this way, you will give yourself time to act ~ by changing your breathing pattern, or moving around to manage your emotions.

Acknowledge your emotions ~ There is a concept in EI where you are required to name your emotions to manage them {Name it to Tame it}. If you are feeling angry about something, then your emotion of anger has taken over. You can take a deep breath, and say, “I am feeling angry.” By acknowledging what you are feeling, your emotion will regulate itself, and your Pre-Frontal Cortex {which is the thinking part of your brain} will get back in control. You will subsequently feel that you can think through a congruent response which is required in that particular context.

Connect with your emotions ~ Emotions are a mechanism to protect us from situations which are life threatening or will impact our lives negatively. They act as an alarm system in many ways to bring things to our conscious awareness, so that we have a choice to act on them. For example: If you are anxious about a presentation for a very important client ~ I would advise you to first recognise your emotion, acknowledge that you are ‘fearful’, and then appreciate that your emotion of fear has sent a signal to you to be ready for an important task. Considering the task is important in nature, the degree of emotion being presented by your mind will be of a higher magnitude. Connect with the emotion, and find out strategies required to handle the situation ~ your emotional response to the context will then be managed.

Many people have been extremely fearful about their future due to Covid 19, and some have even been on the verge of an emotional breakdown. They may have lost sleep and hunger, and may even have lost their behavioural response towards others by being irritable or angry. When you first acknowledge that you are ‘fearful’, fear as an emotion is signalling to you and getting you ready to protect yourself and your family first. Said “protection” may be of a physical nature, where you are required to maintain social distancing and wear masks. It may also be of a financial nature, in terms of whether the basic necessities of food and medication are being taken care of, and whether there is a constant source of income being generated. So again, an emotion is providing a signal to you to do a course correction, to stay alert for opportunities, and to develop alternate strategies for the future.

Meaning Making ~ We as humans are meaning makers; we have a pre frontal cortex to think, and that makes us different from other species on Planet Earth. Emotions as such reside in our Limbic system, which is one of the largest parts of the brain. A person gets an emotional response based on external triggers which are in his/her surroundings ~ he/she can see, hear or feel something externally, or can generate it internally by seeing an image, hearing a sound, or through self-talk. The emotions convert into feelings by meanings that we provide to them, and that puts us in a state of mind which later leads to behaviours.

For example: A person slaps a boy hard on his neck. I see the act from a distance and can feel the pain on my neck. I immediately get angry and think to myself ~ how cruel must that person be to be physically harming a young boy. The meaning that I gave to the context leading to my feeling angry and irritable is the meaning, and the meaning is “How cruel that person is, slapping a young boy!

When I reach the spot and check with the shopkeeper as to who that nasty person was and why he slapped the boy, the shopkeeper tells me ~ ‘Ah that man, he is very pious and a learned scholar of this neighbourhood. He spotted a scorpion on the neck of the boy, and because he didn’t have much time to think, he struck the scorpion off the boy’s neck with a slap. He is a saviour!” After hearing that, my irritability is gone and so is my anger ~ because the meaning had now changed. This is one of the most advanced techniques for Emotional Mastery.

Change the meaning that you provide to the context or situation ~ it’s a very powerful way to teach yourself how to manage your emotions effectively.

 

To conclude: I can’t manage my emotions; I can manage my emotions. Whatever you are thinking, your mind will assume it as the truth. So, spend time to upgrade your thinking process by paying conscious attention to what you think, and how that serves you. High quality thinking will go a long way to support your developing a strong resilience and emotional control.

About Vikram Dhar: He is an award winning Celebrity Life Coach, Speaker, Author, and the founder of NLP Coaching Academy, NLPCA {NLPCA is the premium Coach Training Academy of India}.

 



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