Emotions can be a major obstacle in a person’s professional and personal life. Time and again people have asked me to help them manage their emotions more effectively, so that they can achieve their goals, improve relationships, and create inner calm.
Most of us struggle to understand our emotions, yet we know they are important to our success in life:
- Emotion as a source of information – our emotions convey how we feel and see the world in any given moment.
- Emotion facilitates action – emotions create certain types of behaviour and inhibit others.
- Emotion affects our decision-making – an unexpected emotion can have huge influence where decision-making is involved. Important decisions need a rational mind, not an emotional one.
- Emotion as an essential tool for adapting, evolving and learning – emotions can help us be more open to learning, listening and growing.
When you are in control of your emotions you will notice that you are also more focused and aligned in your daily activities.
Human beings experience hundreds of different emotions, on varying scales, each day depending on the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Robert Plutchick categorised emotions and created a visual ‘wheel of emotions’ which I find interesting, and you might too.
Here are six helpful tips for regulating your emotions:
Emotions are physical and mental reactions to events in our lives. They can be both positive or negative and have a major influence on our behaviour and decisions, so understanding what emotions are and how they work is step number one, a coach can help you do this.
If you are reading this with interest, then you are probably already aware of your varying emotional states, but an alarming amount of people are not. As a coach I help raise awareness in my clients by helping them identify and understand what triggers various emotions. This enables them to better understand their own reactions, both how and why they react in certain ways.
Acknowledging that all emotions can be useful
Coaching emotions doesn’t mean suppressing or refuting them. It is important to acknowledge all emotions and accept them without judgment. The next step is to develop strategies to manage your emotions more effectively, especially in high pressure situations.
Learning calming techniques
Learning techniques to manage your emotions when they become too intense is helpful and rewarding. I share NLP mind/body tools that encourage positive change in your thinking, as well as using relaxation, visualisation, meditation and deep breathing techniques. This is a unique prescription based on the individual’s needs and past experience with these tools.
Encouraging communication to coach emotions
Emotions are often triggered by poor communication. Problems and misunderstandings arise when we feel we haven’t been heard or supported. Knowing when to be assertive (not aggressive or passive) and how to turn a confrontation into a collaboration, is one of the most useful skills you will ever learn. I often role-play a potential stressful scenario with a client to help her practice communicating more openly, honestly, firmly and calmly with others. These exercises also help the client become a more effective listener. This in turn helps reduce stress and resolve conflicts. Reach out to me if you’d like to try it!
Developing an action plan
It is important to create an action plan together that enables the client to reach their goals despite the emotions which may be felt. This means she commits to specific behavioural changes identified in the sessions, which we implement together.
When you manage your emotions better, you will discover that you are also able to achieve your goals more quickly and live a more fulfilling life.
PS: If you’d like to find out more, reply to this email with the words “please tell me more…”
Struggling with your own emotion? These blogs might help.