Do you ever feel like you are at the mercy of an emotional runaway train? Maybe it’s just me. But if you dare to admit that you too have been known as that “emotional train wreck” at one point or another, then this is for you.
So what’s the deal with these things called emotions anyway? Sometimes they seem to be an annoying part of life that get in the way of everything. There are those who by nature are not very emotional, and there are those who seem to feel every emotion to the deepest extreme.
The problem is that neither extreme is really all that effective.
So let’s talk about the purpose of emotions a bit.
First, emotions are a great indicator of being human. You’re welcome. Emotions are indicators, they speak to us regarding situations. They tell us if something needs to change, or they tell us that things are pretty awesome and we are doing something right. Think of them as a temperature gauge, if you will.
The problem is, our temperature gauge isn’t always accurate. Yeah, I know. Dumb.
We tend to believe that emotions are triggered by a specific person, place or situation. But reality is, it’s broken down a little deeper than that. It’s our interpretation and coinciding beliefs of the person, place, situation or even ourselves, that triggers the emotion. If we can learn to take a step back and start to challenge or put the interpretation on trial, then we can begin to manage our emotions and not be at the mercy of emotional crazy train.
So what I want to give you is some few practical steps to hopefully help bring some balance to it all.
1.Weigh the Evidence
So when that triggering event happens, we have to first identify “What is my interpretation right now?” Most the time these are irrational, fear driven interpretations. So now we have take that interpretation and put it on trial. Like with any trial, we have to check and weigh the evidence. If we take our emotions out of it, what are the black and white facts about the interpretation? Is it possible that there is more to the story than what we see in the moment? Do we need to ask more questions before responding out of emotion?
The biggest challenge to this is we have to be willing to consider that maybe, just maybe, we are.. ugh.. wrong. I am warning you, this one involves being brutally honest with yourself and owning your own shit for a little bit.
2. Notice the thoughts or internal picture of how you want to react.
We’ve all seen it in the movies where the character is imagining jumping across a table and smacking someone around. We play that same internal picture. You don’t have to fight it, notice it and play the tape through. I mean sure, smacking that annoying coworker may feel great in the moment, but the outcome is probably not going to be effective for your life.
3. Make a decision.
Now that you know what you are interpreting it as, have challenged or validated the emotion, noticed what you want to do, you are now equipped to make a decision, but you have to own it. That’s the scary part about this step. There are always going to be consequences (wanted or unwanted). We either regret what we did out of emotion or we are glad we didn’t react a certain kind of way. But no matter what, the decision is ultimately yours.
Of course these are not changes that are made overnight and will take plenty of practice before becoming a new way of thought. But the first step to making changes is self awareness! Now that you know, you know!
Comment below and let us know how this works for you!