Do you pay attention to your feelings?
Yesterday, as we drove to Apeldoorn in the early morning for interviews, the traffic was worse than normal. Here in the Netherlands, it’s called “spitsuren” (rush hours). It was becoming clear that we were going to be late.
Sometimes we can all get caught up in a cycle of our own emotions and negativity.
Have you been there?
Remember, you have a choice. You have the ability to choose your response to any situation.
We can choose to vent our emotions and “fly off the handle” which may increase our stress levels.
Or we simply put a lid on them, which can also be ineffective and over time, even quite destructive.
So, what else can you do?
Self-management is key.
It is all about how you act, react, or whether you take no action at all.
Firstly, you need to be self-aware enough to understand yourself and what triggers your emotions to be able to manage them well. Being self-aware of our feelings is a prerequisite to regulating them.
Yesterday, Monic was my rescuer as she spoke calmly, gently and measuredly, suggesting some possibilities for next time – which all made sense to me!
“So, we’ll be late” she said…
Although she was traveling in the car with me, she’d been studying for over an hour and wasn’t directly invested in the problem at hand. That really helped, by simply getting another perspective.
Secondly, learning to pause is a great way to control our emotions.
In its simplest form it may be simply counting to 10 in your head or stepping away from the situation somehow for 5 minutes before you decide how to act.
Thirdly, shift your mood.
Move your body around, put some upbeat music on, take a walk, give someone a hug, or talk to someone. All of these can help.
Fourthly, ask yourself – what’s important now?
Be accepting that things go wrong! That’s life. Rather than dwelling on what you can’t control focus on what you can control in the future, rather than dwelling on problems that have already passed.
Finally, one of my favourites is to consider “how will this look in 6 months’ time?”
That’s a simple way to put things into perspective on any situation. Will you even remember? How much energy do you want to expend on something that you won’t even be thinking about in a few days’ time!
How do you control your emotional triggers?