I truly think that recognizing your emotions and learning to manage them is one of the most important life skills you can have!
Feelings aren’t “good” or “bad”, it’s how we deal with them that matters most. These emotions drive our thinking and decision making, which in turns affects ALL of our relationships.
Being aware of our emotions can help us talk about feelings more clearly, avoid or resolve conflicts better, and move past difficult feelings more easily.
I created a simple 5 step process to help you do just that!
This process involves practicing a bit of ego detachment and cultivating self awareness. These are huge life skills that will improve your relationships with others, and most importantly yourself.
The 5 Step Process to Managing Your Emotions:
Acknowledge the emotion— the first step is always awareness! As soon as you notice an emotion stirring, acknowledge it and see it for what it is. Let it sit for a minute while you process without judgement. Acknowledging an emotion signals an important reminder to self that your feelings are ALWAYS worthy, regardless of “right” or “wrong”.
Take a step back— sometimes when emotion takes over, it’s very hard to see other peoples perspectives, which holds us back from resolution + growth. In NLP, we learn a tactic called “Perceptual Positions” that is so simple yet SUCH a powerful tool to cultivate. This involves taking a step back, and putting yourself in the other persons shoes (2nd position). After you’ve visit this perspective, detach yourself from both emotions and put yourself in the shoes of a non-biased bystander (3rd position). Play around with different perspectives and see what insights you gain.
Shake the need feel understood— When we fight so hard to convince others of our opinions and beliefs (with emotional attachment)… we end up hurting ourselves. Yes it’s important to have confidence and sometimes conviction in who you are and what you believe in, but the key is to be able to do that while detaching from the emotional NEED to be right or persuade others. This is one of our egos tricky tactics to tying our worth to external circumstances. Sometimes others simply don’t have the capacity to understand you or be aligned with your perspective, and that is OK.
When in doubt, zoom out— in the midst of an argument or intense emotion, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the little details of the situation. When this happens, take a moment to look at the BIG picture. What’s the underlying emotion or overarching “point” to consider or process here? Is there a deeper emotion tied to this, perhaps fear of failure or loss? Zooming OUT on the situation will help you gain a more clear perspective on where the emotion is stemming from.
Take action— when there’s an emotion, there needs to be action to process and release it or else it’ll stay trapped. Trapped emotions build on each other and can create a very toxic inner environment. Decide how you’re going to handle your feelings, and act on it— how you’ll resolve the problem if you have control over it, how you’ll better cope with it going forward if you don’t, or how you’re going to release it in the moment.
Describe your current awareness level around your emotional patterning and triggers.
Do you find it hard to put yourself in other peoples shoes during heightened emotion?
Each of us has a specific baseline emotion that we gravitate towards when under stress; for some it’s anger, frustration, sadness, worry, overwhelm, etc… which is yours?
What actions typically follow your heightened emotional state?
How do you currently process through your emotions? Do you need alone time, space, to talk it out with a friend, address it head on in the moment…