We are taught how to sit, walk, eat, talk, read, write, but we are rarely taught about 'how to feel'. We are taught the name of different colors and shapes, but are we taught about different emotions?
As a child we may not have the resources and knowledge to understand this superpower but that should not stop us from learning about the art of managing our emotions now.
Emotions influence the way we think and behave, which is why managing our emotions is the master key to a fulfilled and successful life.
Suruchi Shah, a Life Coach and Counsellor, shares the emotional mastery steps which will help you manage your emotions effectively:
What am I feeling: Every emotion that we feel is sending us a message, all we need to do is become aware of the emotion. Keep asking yourself, what am I feeling ?
If you are feeling angry, ask yourself, what am I really feeling? If we dig deeper most of the times, anger masks vulnerable emotions like shame, helplessness or embarrassment. This is the most important step, because if we do not know what we are feeling then how are we going to manage it.
Accepting and validating every emotion: Many of us want to shield ourselves from the unpleasant emotions like guilt, anxiety, sadness, despair, disgust, fear, loneliness, because truly speaking, it does not feel good and we wish that we were not experiencing those emotions. But ignoring or suppressing the emotions is only going to delay the problem only for it to come back bigger or manifest in the body as aches, pain or a disease, aches. I want you to remind yourself, it is alright to 'feel the feeling'. Give yourself permission to feel all the emotions and accept everything that you are feeling.
If a child hurts himself and starts crying, the first response most adults have is "don't cry, nothing has happened". While the parents mean no harm, the message the child gets is that it is not alright to cry and I should not be feeling this way. It is very important to validate the feelings of the child by reframing the response as "It is alright to cry, I understand you are hurting".
Take the message from the mess: Each emotion is sending us a message, telling us to take an action - if we are being mistreated by someone, it could make us feel angry, inadequate, disrespected, humiliated, hurtful, powerless or maybe guilty. We could be feeling any of these emotions. What are these emotions trying to tell us? They are sending us a signal that 'I don't like what is happening, something needs to change'.
Change approach or mindset: Once you are aware of what you are feeling and why it is happening then you can deal with the emotion either with a change in mindset or approach.
For instance, you are feeling angry because someone in office is mistreating you, the message you are getting from your emotion is "I do not like to be treated like this".
How can you approach this situation - can you make the person aware that you do not like to be treated that way and request him to be more mindful towards you? If that does not work then you may need to have a change in mindset - the attitude of the person it is a reflection of their own insecurities and it has nothing to do with you. The other person has some issues which they need to deal with.
Maintain emotional stability: The challenge is when there are multiple emotional challenges at the same time, our emotions consume our mind and energy, and it may become challenging to apply change in approach or attitude and we get consumed by our disempowering emotions and move into the victim mode. We get so comfortable being miserable and start believing that there is no choice.
So, it is very important to maintain our emotional state and not get consumed them. If you are feeling anxious, then you need to do some activities to feel more peaceful. If you are feeling lonely, then you need to connect with people. If you are feeling dejected, then you need to do some activity to feel more hopeful.
Few activities that can be practiced to maintain a healthy emotional state:
• Talking to a supportive friend or a coach/counselor
• Surround yourself with positive and empowering people/books/videos
• Practice daily journaling
• Practice some daily quiet time
• Exercise - Yoga/dance/walk
• Get adequate sleep of minimum 7 hours