COUNSELLING BLOG

Posts tagged emotions

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Tips for Managing Intense, Negative Feelings

1. Try to figure out what is causing you to feel so awful, ashamed, or down.
2. Talk to someone you think will understand.
3. Identify and accept the feelings that you have (They’re not right or wrong … it’s simply how you feel right now.)
4. Express your feelings in a safe, non-threatening way.
5. Related to this, think of ways to manage them effectively so that you don’t feel quite so bad, and so completely overwhelmed.
6. Try to get some space, or a change of scenery.
7. Avoid being with people who demand too much from you (especially those who drain you emotionally.)

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How to Take Control of Negative Emotions

1. Don’t take every thought and feeling seriously. Both of those tend to be patterned and habitual. Thus, they are not necessarily accurate and reliable.

2. Don’t blow small things out of proportion. Take control of your thinking and keep things in perspective. Don’t allow yourself to dwell on negatives, or critical thoughts.

3. Accept that we’re all hit by negative emotions. It’s a fact of life – and is unavoidable.

4. Work on strategies that work for you, and that help distract you from the way you feel.

5. Deliberately think about more positive things – like what is going well, or the things you’re thankful for – then shrug your shoulders and move on with your day.

6. Notice your triggers – the things that bother you, attack your self esteem and your self confidence – so you recognise the patterns and can plan how best to cope.

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Exploring Emotionally Abusive Relationships

Characteristics of an emotionally abusive relationship include:

· Using money as a means of control

· Threatening to walk out or abandon you

· Creating fear and anxiety through looks, words, threats and actions

· Destroying things (and often things you value) – either in a cold and heartless way, or in an angry fit of rage

· Using blaming, shaming, minimizing and denial to control you

· Verbally attacking and demeaning you (includes name calling, shouting at you, criticising and putting you down – especially in public)

· Attacking and putting you down in private, and acting loving and charming in public

· Minimising the abuse; acting as if you’re over-reacting and it’s “no big deal”

· Deliberately withholding approval, affirmation and affection as a means of punishment or control

The effects of living with emotional abuse include:

· A fear of being natural and spontaneous

· A loss of enthusiasm

· Insecurity related to how they coming across to others

· An inner belief that they are deeply flawed

· A loss of self-confidence and self esteem

· Growing self-doubt (so they’re afraid to make even the smallest decision, or to take on even the simplest of tasks)

· Never trusting their own judgment (as they believe that they’re likely to get it wrong, or to misunderstand or misread everything)

· Having a constant critic in their head

· Feeling they should be happier and more upbeat than they are (in order to meet the approval of others)

· Feeling they’re too sensitive, and ought to “toughen up”

· Fearing they’re going crazy, or losing their mind

· Having a tendency to live in the future (“Everything will be OK when/after ….”)

· A desire to break free, escape or run away

· A distrust and fear of entering into any close relationships again.

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Tips for Killing a Bad Mood

1. You need to first decide that you want to change your feelings, and that you will make the effort – even if you can’t be bothered.
2. Smile at everyone you meet – even if you feel it’s fake. In time our actions often change the way we feel inside.
3. Look for something you can laugh at – decide to have some fun.
4. Choose to play it forward – do a random act of kindness. It will raise your self esteem and help to lighten up your mood.
5. Treat yourself with love and kindness; cut yourself some extra slack. For now, accept the way you’re feeling, and be patient with yourself.
6. Play some upbeat, happy music that you know will lift your mood – and maybe sing along, and get some friends to join in, too.

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Tips for Managing your Emotions

1. Practice mindfulness
2. Play, laugh and enjoy the simple things.
3. Develop an attitude of gratitude.
4. Invest in, and nurture, your relationships.
5. Give up your attachment to outcomes.
6. Decide to be adventurous and try new things.
7. Choose to live life at a slower pace, and don’t be driven by a sense of urgency.
8. Give up the need to be in control.
9. Accept that you are human and life won’t be perfect.
10. Don’t compare yourself to others.

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What Factors Affect how Emotional we are?

· Personality – By nature, some people are more enthusiastic, excitable and changeable. They may feel as if they’re on an emotional roller coaster ride with unexpected swings in the way they feel.

· Family norms - Some families are chaotic and unpredictable. It seems like everything that happens to them is a crisis, there are outbursts of emotion, and feelings are intense. Other families are more stable - and they reward staying calm, controlling your emotions and thinking rationally.

· Cultural norms – These can vary widely and they define the norms for a country, culture or social group. For example, the Italians are known for being emotional. They are warm, affectionate, and show how the feel. In contrast, the British are uncomfortable with showing their emotions – and are known for having “a stiff upper lip”.

· Early life experiences – If our main caregiver was sensitive to us and responded to our needs in an appropriate way then we’re likely to be on a more even keel. However, if our caregiver ignored us, or we picked up the message that a lot of fuss was needed to get a small response then we might have a tendency to over-react. Alternatively, we may have concluded that nothing makes a difference so put up barriers and hardly feel at all.

· Negative life experience – If you’ve experienced a trauma that shattered your world you may expect the worst, and always be on edge. Alternatively, you may have buried your emotions as way of surviving and now it’s hard for you to feel anything.

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5 Steps for Keeping your Cool

It is surprisingly easy to lose your cool, and to react to minor stresses and to irritating people. However, most of us would rather feel relaxed and in control, and the following guidelines can help us reach this goal.

1. Keep things in perspective: Often we catastrophise or over-react when the issue or offense is insignificant. Here, it is best to force yourself to take a balanced approach and remind yourself, “it’s minor, and not worth the energy!”

2. Visualise yourself coping: Take a few deep breaths and let your feelings settle down. Draw a mental picture of a calm, unflustered “you”, who takes their time to respond and is able to cope. Then, in a calm, low voice – with a few well chosen words – respond as you would like, so you maintain your self-respect.

3. Be aware of your triggers: When someone pushes our buttons we generally react. However, if we know what those are then we can regain control, and can practice how to cope when our feelings are stirred. Also, if we’re tired or hungry, feeling cold, or over-stretched then we’re much more likely to over-react.

4. Create a calm environment: Stay one step ahead by preparing yourself for inevitable setbacks and infuriating people. For example, play some music in the car, or take a walk during lunch, or keep some photos in your office of the people that you love.

5. Distract yourself: When you feel the pressure building, or you start to ruminate, think of something that’s amusing, or a fun event you’ve planned.

These are just a few suggestions to help you stay detached so that stresses and people don’t make you lose your cool.

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7 Tips for Killing a Bad Mood

1. Make the decision to be happy anyway.
2. Fight the urge to give into your negative feelings.
3. Smile – and fake it till your make it.
4. Find something funny to laugh about.
5. Do something thoughtful for somebody else.
6. Move your body – and get some exercise.
7. Listen to some music that usually lifts your mood.

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10 Types of Emotional Manipulator

1. The Constant Victim - This kind of individual will always finds a way to end up as a victim in their relationships.

2. One-Upmanship Expert – This person uses put downs, snide remarks and criticisms, to show that they’re superior, and know much more than you.

3. Powerful Dependents – They hide behind the mask of being weak and powerless – then use their helplessness to dominate relationships. That is, they send the subtle message “you must not let me down.”

4. Triangulators – This person tries to get other people on their side. They’re quick to put you down, and to say some nasty things. They separate good friends or drive a wedge in families.

5. The Blasters – They blast you with their anger or they blow up suddenly. That stops you asking questions - in case there’s a showdown.

6. The Projector – This person thinks they’re perfect and others have the flaws. They take no ownership – because they’re never, ever wrong.

7. The Deliberate Mis-Interpreter – They seem like a nice person – but they twist and use your words. They spread misinformation and misinterpret you. Thus, they deliberately present you in a false, negative way.

8. The Flirt – This person uses flirting to get their way in life. They want to be admired and to have an audience. However, your feelings and your needs are of no concern to them.

9. The Iron Fist – They use intimidation and throw their weight around, to use you for their ends, and to get their way in life.

10. The Multiple Offender – This person uses several of the techniques we’ve described – and they’ll often switch between them if it suits their purposes.

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How to Gain Control of your Emotions

Controlling your emotions doesn’t mean ignoring them. It means you recognize them and act on them when you deem it appropriate, not randomly and uncontrollably.

1. Know your emotions. There are a million different ways you can feel, but scientists have classified human emotions into a few basics that everyone can recognize: joy, acceptance, fear, surprise, sadness, disgust, anger, and anticipation. Jealousy, for example, is a manifestation of fear - fear that you’re not “as good” as something else, fear of being abandoned because you’re not “perfect” or “the best”.

2. Recognize that emotions don’t just appear mysteriously out of nowhere. Many times, we’re at the mercy of our emotions on a subconscious level. By recognizing your emotions on a conscious level, you’re better able to control them. It’s also good to recognize an emotion from the moment it materializes, as opposed to letting it build up and intensify. The last thing you want to do is ignore or repress your feelings, because if you’re reading this, you probably know that when you do that, they tend to get worse and erupt later. Ask yourself throughout the day: “How am I feeling right now?” If you can, keep a journal.

3. Notice what was going through your mind when the emotion appeared. Stop and analyze what you were thinking about, until you find what thought was causing that emotion. Your boss may not have made eye contact with you at lunch, for example; and without even being aware of it, the thought may have been in the back of your mind, “He’s getting ready to fire me!”

4. Write down the evidence which supports the thought that produced the emotion or against that thought. When you begin to think about it, you might realize that since nobody gets along well with this particular boss, he can’t afford to actually fire anyone, because the department is too short-staffed. For example, you may have let slip something that you should not have said which angered him, but which it is too late to retract.

5. Ask yourself, “What is another way to look at the situation that is more rational and more balanced than the way I was looking at it before?” Taking this new evidence into account, you may conclude that your job is safe, regardless of your boss’s petty annoyances, and you’re relieved of the emotion that was troubling you. If this doesn’t work, however, continue to the next step.

6. Consider your options. Now that you know what emotion you’re dealing with, think of at least two different ways you can respond. Your emotions control you when you assume there’s only one way to react, but you always have a choice. For example, if someone insults you, and you experience anger, your immediate response might be to insult them back. But no matter what the emotion, there are always at least two alternatives, and you can probably think of more: (i) Don’t react; do nothing. (ii) Do the opposite of what you would normally do.

7. Make a choice. When deciding what to do, it’s important to make sure it’s a conscious choice, not a reaction to another, competing emotion. For example, if someone insults you and you do nothing, is it your decision, or is it a response to your fear of confrontation? Here are some good reasons to act upon:

- Principles: Who do you want to be? What are your moral principles? What do you want the outcome of this situation to be? Ultimately, which is the decision you’d be most proud of? This is where religious guidance comes into play for many people.
- Logic: Which course of action is the most likely to result in the outcome you desire? For example, if you’re being confronted with a street fight, and you want to take the pacifist route, you can walk away—but, there’s a good chance that burly drunk will be insulted if you turn your back. Maybe it’s better to apologize and keep him talking until he calms down.

Source: http://www.wikihow.com/Gain-Control-of-Your-Emotions

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