Have you ever done something or said something under the influence of anger and then repented bitterly? Has it ever occurred to you that you sent an e-mail out of affection and regretted it the next moment? Have you ever missed an opportunity out of fear, whether at work or in your private life? These are examples of when emotions rule us and not the other way around. Unfortunately, school does not teach us how to control ourselves and our emotions. We can only learn from parents their ways, whether good or bad. It is up to us to learn to manage our emotions adequately. And because of this, here are 5 emotion management strategies for effective emotion management.
5 Emotion Management Strategies
1. Take Responsibility for Your Emotions
No one can make us angry or sad. We do it ourselves. We are angered/saddened by our thoughts about that situation or person, that is, the way we experience it. No one but us is responsible for our emotions, although sometimes it may seem to us that we are just puppets in someone else’s hands. Of course, we influence each other, especially close people, but the ultimate responsibility for what we feel is ours alone.
And one more piece of advice – don’t say, “He made me angry,” but say, “I got angry.” This is important because you take responsibility for what you feel with the very change in expression.
2. When You Feel Intense Anger Before Doing Anything, Take a Short Break
Take a walk. Take a deep breath. Do something else. Get in the toilet and wash. Under the influence of intense anger, our actions are often inappropriate. As anger weakens, our power to reason correctly grows.
3. Instead of Just Counting to Ten
Ask yourself one of the following questions: “What is my goal in this situation?”; “How do I make a problem for myself?” “How do I feel right now?”; “What is the smartest thing I can do now?”
4. Become Aware of What Emotion You Are Feeling and Why You Are Feeling It, I.E., Which Your Thoughts Lead To Those Emotions
The next step is to ask yourself what other thoughts you can think about a given situation or person, which would lead you not to feel unpleasant emotions.
E.g., maybe the driver who ran into your lane is not an “idiot” but is driving extremely hard to get to his wife’s birth.
5. Write a Letter You Will Never Send
US President Abraham Lincoln often practiced the technique of writing a letter that he did not plan to send. The logic behind this technique is to expel the emotional charge that a person feels by expressing emotions through writing. In our case (Abraham didn’t have a computer), email can also be helpful, but it’s important not to click the send button.