When we refer to managing emotions we are talking about how well individuals identify and manage their own emotions and react to the emotions of others.
Emotional management is understanding how those emotions shape your thoughts and actions so you can have greater control over your behavior and develop the skills to manage yourself more effectively. Becoming more emotionally conscious allows us to grow and gain a deeper understanding of who we are, enabling us to communicate better with others and build stronger relationships.
What is Managing Emotions?
If emotions contain information, then ignoring this information means that we can end up making a poor decision. At times, we need to stay open to our feelings, learn from these feelings, and use this information to make decisions and to take appropriate action. Sometimes, though, it may be best to disengage from an emotion and return to it later in order to manage it effectively.
Managing emotions means you use your feelings in a judicious way, rather than acting on them without thinking.
Anger, for instance, like many emotions, is misunderstood. Anger is not necessarily a bad thing to feel; in fact, it is anger that helps us to overcome adversity, bias, and injustice. Anger arises when we feel frustrated, cheated, or taken advantage of. Yet anger, if left to itself, can blind us and cause us to act in negative or antisocial ways.
Your emotions reveal specific things about yourself that will predict how you behave in certain situations.
Here are a few tips for understanding yourself better:
- Understand what your motivations are. Everything that you take on requires your motivation. What are the emotional motivators that keep you going?
- Acknowledge your emotional triggers. Knowing the specifics of what triggers an emotional outbreak for you can help you appropriately respond to a situation.
- Predict how you will feel. Having an idea of what you are going to feel in an intense emotional conversation will allow you to prepare your mind and body to react in emotionally intelligent ways.
When you understand why you feel the emotions that you do and the ones that cause you particular difficulty, you are well on your way to managing your emotions. Self-management means taking responsibility for your behavior and well-being, so you can control emotional outbursts.
What to do when your emotions get the best of you:
- Pause. Take a break from whatever is causing you emotional stress and focus on yourself for just a moment. Maybe try meditating or breathing exercises when you feel overwhelmed.
- Acknowledge your feelings. Putting words to what you are feeling is a vital part of self-management. There is no way to combat unwanted emotions if you do not know what emotions they are. Remember- emotions are temporary and you will not feel this way forever.
- Investigate your feelings. Once you have settled and calmed yourself, take time to understand what happened and what triggered your emotional outbreak. If it helps, you might want to jot down your emotions or fill out this worksheet.
- Don’t try to control your emotions. Emotions can be understood, but not controlled. However, there are mindful ways to manage your feelings. Don’t beat yourself up because you feel a certain way. Keep this in mind next time you see your spouse or business partner reaching the verge of an emotional spillage.
Knowing how to identify your emotions is the start. Once you know what you are feeling, you can figure out why you are feeling that way and respond accordingly. Managing Emotions measures your ability to feel an emotion and combine thinking with the emotion in order to make the best possible decisions and take the most effective actions.