Most people get trapped in negativity and distorted thinking particularly in challenging and stressful situations; they are often unable to control their impulses, causing them to overreact. These people will have to handle both their stress, and the added feelings of self-blame, and regret.
Emotional intelligence is not limited to managing and controlling our emotions as hiding them can impact negatively our health, but learning how to express them in an assertive way is important as well.
Assertive communication is your ability to express your emotions without hurting the feeling of others, and without stepping on people’s toes (this subject will be discussed in one of the coming articles)
To manage your emotions, you will have to understand what trigger your emotions? According to Aaron, psychiatrist at the university of Pennsylvania, dysfunctional attitudes (or limiting beliefs) and negative self-talk are at the root of people’s feelings of sadness.
A dysfunctional attitude is when people focus on the negative instead of the positive side of their experiences and their weaknesses rather than their strengths.
A negative self-talk as already explained is what you keep telling to yourself which may be true only in your mind. These two combined create a negative and pessimistic view about yourself and the environment you are in.
A lot of frustration, anger and sadness don’t come from others or the external factors but stem from the interpretation we develop within us. Dissociating between the two aspects is a key step in the process of emotional self-regulation.
Alert Allis developed the ABC model (ChallengeDay5), which can help you tremendously in dissociating between the Activating event, the Belief, and the Consequence or the reaction. If the belief (B) that you are nurturing is “why this always happens to me”, then the consequence (C) can be only dramatic.
Changing the belief will change the consequences. You may not be able to change people or the circumstances, but changing your perception about them, can change your reaction
THE POSITIVE SIDE OF OUR NEGATIVE EMOTIONS
People don’t know how to listen to their emotions, that’s why they keep complaining bout them on a daily basis. When frustrated, they turn the same music to their hearts and they end up even more frustrated. They don’t pause and reflect as they position themselves as victims instead of taking responsibility. If you are frustrated about something, what is the cause of that frustration? A lot of people may already know the sources of their pain and frustrations but they don’t dare to take action.
Your emotions can be a great source of information that can guide you in decision making. To understand your emotions, you need to understand the messages behind them.
- Fear: is caused by a belief that your well-being and security are threatened, which may exist only in the mind. A lot of my fears have never happened.
- Anxiety: is caused by the belief that something bad will happen in the future.
- Guilt: is caused when you disrespect your engagement or when you do something. that you are not proud of.
- Anger: is caused by the belief that one of your values have been transgressed. If your values are about transparency and honesty and you take decisions in contradiction with these values, then you may feel angry.
- Sadness: is caused by the belief that you’ve lost or will lose something, which can be the result of what you keep repeating to yourself.
THREE STEPS TO MANAGE YOUR EMOTIONS
Consider these three steps to decode the messages behind your emotions whenever faced with a challenge.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-MOTIVATION
Decoding the message behind your emotions is a great step ahead but it is not enough to keep going. One of my students had many conflicts with his peers, got overwhelmed and decided to quit his master studies. He never came back.
The conflict has never been the problem as conflicts are part of our lives, and giving up has never been a solution.
The challenges of life will never stop and self-motivation is crucial as it is the fuel of the mind that will keep you moving despite the hurdles.
How can you keep yourself self-motivated?
Motivation is part of the emotional brain. Identifying what motivates you, what drives your actions or your values and priorities can be a tough mission as you will have to go through the deep layers of the brain like an onion to understand what really motivates you. Doing what you are passionate about is what will enable you to never give up and grow persistent.
THE BENEFITS OF MANAGING YOUR EMOTIONS
There is a panel of benefits behind self-control as they can impact your integrity, your relations, your flexibility and adaptability which are among the top 10 soft skills needed nowadays according to the global economic forum.
When you learn how to control your emotions and master them, you will also improve your credibility. Have you ever met someone credible and trustworthy, who overreact for every single detail?
Your emotional self-regulation will make you flexible independently of the environment you are in, which will develop your adaptability as well.
All combined will contribute to more optimism and a strong commitment to your goals.
Go for new experiences, nurture new thoughts, take new choices, embrace new habits, and this is what will trigger new emotions.
Challenge yourself, learn new skills, love differently, and start doing things in a new way.
If you do like everyone, you may end up becoming no one.