How Do You Remain Calm in Emotional Situations?
No matter how problematical emotions can be, they help us deal with everyday interactions with those around us. Like antenna, we pick up the emotions of other humans. Our own experience of the same emotions enables us to empathise with the people we meet. This helps us gauge how to react to them.
Dealing with another person’s emotions is sometimes easier than dealing with our own. Our own emotional state may sometimes feel as if it is beyond our conscious control. You’ve heard the term “to think with your head or your heart.” When we begin to think with our hearts instead of our heads, we are acting on our emotions rather than using logic.
In our close personal relationships, it often works best when we follow our emotions. But in the workplace, logical ‘head focused’ reasoning is usually preferable to an emotional reaction. However, regardless of whether we choose to act on them, our emotions can often be triggered.
Everyone has different emotions triggered by different situations, depending on our own experiences and beliefs. Negative emotions, like fear and anger, are often triggered by situations that involve a challenge to ourselves, or cause us to feel offended. Positive emotions, such as happiness and pride, can be triggered by circumstances that involve us being praised, admired, shown appreciation or compassion.
Regardless of whether an emotional trigger is negative or positive, our emotional reactions are usually instant. If we choose to act on our emotions, we don’t tend to think things through and consider the best course of action to take. Emotional reactions can therefore cause conflict, misunderstandings and mistakes.
Calmness is a Virtue
Feeling emotional is part of life. However, we don’t need to act on every emotion we experience. Decisions made from a state of calmness are very often the wisest.
When we feel calm, we use logic to consider a situation, how to act and the possible outcomes. A calm state of mind provides us with ‘head space’ to work things out. Being calm means that we are more likely to take our time when it comes to initiating changes; we don’t feel the urge to rush in.
For a very emotional person, constantly reacting to emotional triggers can be exhausting – being on an emotional rollercoaster is rarely a pleasant ride! Learning how to remain calm in an emotional situation, no matter what emotional triggers we experience – allows us to step back from situations and eliminate some of the stress they cause.
How to Remain Calm – No Matter What
When we experience an emotional situation, a triggered reaction happens very quickly. When dealing with people in the workplace, if we feel an instant emotion in response to their words or actions, we are usually being emotionally triggered. Learn to recognise the signs of an emotional trigger. This is the window of opportunity in which we can choose to change how we react.
As soon as you recognise the signs of an emotional reaction, stop yourself in your tracks. Just stopping your immediate response is often enough to ensure you consider your words and actions from a logical perspective.
If you can, physically remove yourself from the situation. Take a walk or spend some time admiring the view from an office window.
Take Deep Breaths
Julie Hanks at World of Psychology suggests you practice taking deep breaths. She says, “When you feel like flying off the handle, take a deep breath. Deep breathing slows down your fight or flight response and allows you to calm your nervous system and choose a more thoughtful and productive response.”
If you feel a reaction building during an emotional situation, allow yourself to mentally travel forward in time and review the results of your reaction as though they have already occurred. Were your words and actions productive or non-productive? What were the consequences?
Don’t Bottle Emotions Up
We tend to react emotionally when we bottle up how we feel. Investigate ways to express your emotions without suffering the consequences of allowing them to escape. Try writing down exactly how each day’s emotional situations make you feel. Journaling allows us to learn and grow from reviewing our own feelings.
Also, consider trying yoga and meditation – both are great for stress and emotional relief.
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