How many of you out there have ever felt you were a hot mess?
Are you one of those people that totally owns your emotions? Are you in complete control of your life at all times? Are you the boss of your emotions when it comes to life changes?
I call your bluff.
If you’re human, which I do believe that you are…you resist change and have emotions about it. It’s in our nature to be frightened of the unknown and react through emotional outbursts.
When things change it shakes up our schedule and causes friction in our brains. When change hits, it takes a while for our minds to adjust and we can’t quite see how it will help us in the future.
So what do we do? Why we freak, out of course!
Change inevitably could be good or it could be bad, we just don’t know. We also don’t know how we’re going to react to it. What we can do is prepare for it by managing our emotions like a boss.
If we are going to thrive in this world, we need to own our emotions and make them truly work for us, not against us. @cbcinked #emotionalintelligence #likeabossTweet
We are going to review how to kick change in the ass by being the boss of our emotions. In other words, we are going to learn about emotional intelligence.
What is emotional intelligence anyways?
You’ve probably heard the term “emotional intelligence” at one time in your life.
You may feel it’s something that some Freudian doctor made up so that we could try to be better. Well, it’s real.
According to Psychology Today, “emotional intelligence refers to the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. Emotional intelligence is generally said to include at least three skills: emotional awareness, or the ability to identify and name one’s own emotions; the ability to harness those emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem solving; and the ability to manage emotions, which includes both regulating one’s own emotions when necessary and helping others to do the same.”
So what does this mean for all of us emotional basket cases out here? Let’s find out.
How to own your emotional intelligence (like a boss)
If you want to be all sciency, it’s called your emotional awareness.
When change happens, your gut reaction to things may be that you want to freak out, cry, scream, run away or laugh. Your instinct may be that you want to keep things the way they are and that you never asked for change. But it’s not going to change the fact that it happened.
Becoming aware of your emotions is something that will not happen overnight.
Step one. Freak out when a change occurs in your life.
First you need to understand why you get emotional about certain things and how they play a role in your life. Every person is so different that this process will be totally unique to each and every one of you reading this.
Step two. Become aware that you’re freaking out and all that it entails.
In the middle of the freak out, just be aware that you feel this way. You can still go on feeling that way. But be open to the thought that it’s happening, you’re feeling this way and you can’t control it.
Boom! You have just become emotionally aware.
Let’s take a look at a real life scenario.
Caylin has just received a phone call from her doctor with the results of her blood tests. He has diagnosed her with an auto immune disease and wants to get further testing.
Caylin’s gut reaction is fear. Her stomach tightens up and her blood starts pumping. She sits down to take the call because she is frightened by the news changing her life. She wants to cry. She wants to call her Mom. She wants to go back in time and take away all the bad things she has done to her body. She wants to crawl into bed and wake up the next day not knowing this has even happened.
Caylin responds with a polite thank you. She puts the phone down and takes a deep breath. She is aware of her fear, her sorrow and her worry. She is aware that these emotions are happening all throughout her body and that they are okay. She is calmly thinking of ways to begin the journey of health discovery and pushes away the negative thoughts. She is emotionally aware that this makes her fearful, scared and sad all at once.
Caylin is now emotionally aware.
How to manage your emotions (like a boss)
I am not an expert at this. Is anyone really?
Emotions are like tidal waves. They come in like a tsunami! The feelings of worry, fear, sadness and anger can potentially overwhelm you to the point of physical exhaustion. Not to mention they infect your life and your loved ones like a virus. You may need to learn how to let go of stress.
So how do we manage a tidal wave of emotions?
We learn to manage our emotions through awareness and preparation. Preparing for a battle is key to winning the war. We need to make sure we are armed with our shield and sword before we head into the war zone.
A few quick tips are to slow reaction time down, find an outlet, talk to a higher power or meditate on it. Dr. Carmen Harra also suggests to see the bigger picture. She states:
“Every happening of our lives, whether good or bad, serves a higher purpose.” – Dr. Carmen Harra
Preparation can come in many forms. You can’t predict change, of course, but you can prepare yourself for the feelings that come along with it.
Understanding that change makes you nervous means you prepare to be in a calm atmosphere, to set up an outlet for yourself or a person to talk to.
Sometimes you need tools in order to do this. Justin Bariso of Inc Magazine has a very creative way using the “Netflix method” to help keep your emotions under control. I love this. Because Netflix. We can relate to it!
Just because you’re aware of your emotions does not mean you can manage them. You’re not a boss. Yet.
Step two is to manage the reaction quickly. Emotions may spiral out of control because we get inside our own heads. Change is not going to wait for you to prepare for these things. The preparation comes in between the changes, when life is calm.
In other words, nip it in the butt and move on.
Don’t sit and stew. Go do something that makes you feel better (a bath!) and consume your mind with something else. You may need to read if you need to busy your mind. I have some recommended books listed here, for this purpose.
Being a boss doesn’t mean you deny your emotions
Let’s not get it twisted here.
Just because we are discussing emotional awareness, emotional intelligence and managing your feelings does not mean that you stifle them. I’m not saying that you should bury your feelings deep down and harbor some evil inside of you.
Processing good and bad emotions is key for growth.
Having negative emotions can be quite therapeutic to move on. So go ahead, have all the crazy feelings and shout to the mountain tops when you’re angry. It’s okay to freak out once in a while.
Scientific American wrote a fascinating article on negative emotions and how they can benefit your emotional growth. Dr. Adler, a professor of marketing at New York University states, “bad feelings can be vital clues that a health issue, relationship or other important matter needs attention“.
So there is your free pass to have all the bad feelings! Just don’t do it for long. And learn from them.
Be your own badass teacher
Last, but most definitely not least, is to learn from your emotions (like a boss).
One good thing that comes from a meltdown is the knowledge gained from it. Each episode of raw emotion has a tiny lesson built into it. Well, what did we learn from this lesson, class?
Let’s recap on how to be the boss of your emotions.
- Simply be aware that your emotions exist.
- Don’t react quickly. Take a beat.
- Be prepared by creating a healthy outlet, a calm atmosphere and a person to talk to.
- Stay in the know with absorbing all the knowledge you need to grow.
- See the bigger picture. Life is bigger than your snotty, messy cry.
- Don’t sit and stew.
- It’s okay to have the bad feelings, just let them go.
- Learn from each emotional breakdown so that you can be better next time.
- You got this. (Bonus from your favorite author, CBCInked)
As Bruce Less once said, “Be like water, my friend.”
And he was pretty boss. He also learned a lot from his own emotional failures. He broke his back into a thousand pieces and still got up and fought! He learned that being knocked down can be the most powerful fuel to better yourself in the future.
Learn. Learn. Learn.
Go be your own boss of your emotions. You got this.