Emotions are the basic human experience and part of everyday life. Our emotions are signals that can tell you a lot about what is going on for you, even if you cannot immediately understand or notice yourself. When faced with hard choices, difficult decisions, or stress in your personal or professional life, managing your emotions might become difficult. This is because emotions are not something that can be consciously controlled. When faced with an emotionally overwhelming situation in a professional space, you need to know how to manage your emotions.
Emotions and memories are intricately linked. If you’ve had a poor experience before, your emotional reaction to the same situation is likely to be intense. This is why stressful situations at work can feel intense, overwhelming and difficult to manage. Understanding the connection between your reaction and past experiences is crucial to controlling your emotional reaction. Your emotional responses may or may not be related to the current situation or to logic, but you can manage your feelings by using emotional intelligence and emotional regulation. By being conscious of your feelings and using coping strategies, you can create a supportive environment for yourself and the people around you.
If you are overwhelmed and experiencing intense feelings, the way you manage your emotions can greatly improve the situation. Read our top tips below on managing your emotions:
Accepting and identifying your emotions
The first step to managing an emotional response is to accept that emotions are a part of your life. Whenever you notice yourself having an emotional reaction, it is a good idea to take a step back for a moment. If you can take a minute and accept that you are having a reaction that is based on something more than logic, you will have given yourself the space to feel your emotions.
Try creating a non-judgemental and safe space for yourself by knowing that the feelings you have are okay. Emotions happen fast and you can create a space for yourself and try to label what emotion you’re feeling. It is important to recognise those emotions and acknowledge the fact that all intense emotional reactions will be temporary.
Emotional regulation is key
Difficulties in emotional regulation vary by person and by situations. Learning how to attend to your feelings is a crucial life skill. And it is a skill that has to be learnt. By regulating your emotions instead of repressing them, you can experience your thoughts and feelings without reacting in a negative way.
There are many ways to regulate your emotions. After identifying and accepting your emotions, you can identify and reduce triggers that can cause an emotional reaction. It would also be helpful to tune into any physical symptoms you might be experiencing, such as shaking, or heavy breathing.
An important part of emotional regulation is having a roster of healthy coping and self-soothing strategies. Because the fight, flight, or freeze reaction kicks into high gear when you’re overwhelmed with emotion, it’s impossible to think clearly and feel your emotions at the same time.
It might be challenging to stay present in your body or physical environment while emotions are running high. Breathwork can be beneficial. Deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nerve system (your “rest-and-digest” mode), which allows your body to relax. Sensory grounding and box breathing exercises are quick coping strategies that can be used anywhere. You can provide your mind and body with a distraction from your triggers and give yourself the time to let your parasympathetic nervous system kick in. This can include a variety of techniques such as spraying cold water on your face, singing or humming.
Emotional Intelligence Courses to improve self-regulation
Emotional intelligence is a tool that can directly enhance your life, whether you’re seeking to become a better leader, communicate more openly and efficiently with your colleagues, or want to establish great relationships in your professional or personal life. Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognise and control one’s own emotions in order to develop a better understanding of your own thoughts and behaviour. Try out our emotional intelligence e-learning course to learn critical and practical skills about maintaining great relationships in your personal life.
You will be able to communicate effectively, and show empathy and compassion for others. The capacity to be emotionally intelligent can help you in becoming a self-aware, supportive, and empathic person. Our emotional intelligence course can be taken at any stage of your career to improve your self-awareness and empathy.
If you are self-aware and emotionally intelligent, you can understand your own strengths, motivations, and values. In the workplace you will be able to help your team collaborate and communicate more effectively. You can create a supportive workplace and establish a rewarding work atmosphere for your team. Emotional intelligence in the workplace will have an impact on your team’s performance and productivity. Contact us to learn more about how Pathways and our courses can assist you.