Posts tagged emotions
Posts tagged emotions
1. Stifle your first impulse to react by saying or doing something negative. Instead, stop and either do the opposite of that, or simply choose to respond by doing nothing at all.
2. If you can remove yourself from the situation, then that is probably the best thing to do for now. That is, detach temporarily and choose to walk away. You can talk about what happened, or the issue, later on.
3. Speak calmly to yourself so you don’t over-react. (Figure out in advance what will likely work for you.) Depending on the person, it could be something like “Just chill” or “Leave it for now” or “This isn’t the right time to talk to talk about this.”
4. If you feel as if the person has really pressed your buttons, make yourself count to ten before you think about responding. At the same time, focus your attention on slowing down your breathing, and doing what you can to make your body relax.
5. To help with this, distract yourself by visualizing something that’s relaxing. For example, it could be a peaceful scene like the mountains or a lake. Alternatively, it could be something funny that has happened recently.
6. Speak directly to yourself, and make yourself act rationally. You’re responsible for you and how you act, and what you say. Don’t be controlled by your powerful emotions. You don’t want to end up with regrets later on.
An emotionally abusive person may “dismiss your feelings and needs, expect you to perform humiliating or unpleasant tasks, manipulate you into feeling guilty for trivial things, belittle your outside support system or blame you for unfortunate circumstances in his or her life. Jealousy, possessiveness and mistrust characterize an emotionally abusive person”. In summary, emotional abuse includes the following:
1. Acting as if a person has no value and worth; acting in ways that communicate that the person’s thoughts feelings and beliefs are stupid, don’t matter or should be ignored.
2. Calling the person names; putting them down; mocking, ridiculing, insulting or humiliating them, especially in public.
3. Controlling through fear and intimidation; coercing and terrorizing them; forcing them to witness violence or callousness; threatening to physically harm them, others they love, their animals or possessions; stalking them; threatening abandonment.
4. Isolating them from others, especially their friends and family; physically confining them; telling them how they should think, act, dress, what decisions they can make, who they can see and what they can do (limiting their freedom); controlling their financial affairs.
5. Using that person for your own advantage or gain; exploiting their rights; enticing or forcing another to behave in illegal ways (for example, selling drugs).
6. Stonewalling and ignoring another’s attempt to relate to and interact with them; deliberately emotionally detaching from a person in order to hurt them or “teach them a lesson”; refusing to communicate affection and warmth, or to meet their emotional and psychological needs.
1. This is an inability to connect with others in a deep and meaningful way.
2. Thus, although the person may be physically present, they are not emotionally present in the relationship.
3. In fact, sometimes the person will dissociate, or experience emotional numbing.
4. Emotional detachment makes it hard for the individual to empathize with others, to share their own feelings (which they may be unaware of), or to appear emotionally engaged in a conversation or relationship.
5. Often the person will intellectually analyze situations, but they will not be able to identify, understand or share any feelings.
6. In most cases, emotional detachment is related to a psychological trauma in the person’s past – something that occurred in a relationship with someone important to them. As a result of this trauma, the person (usually unconsciously) has chose to protect themselves from future pain by refusing to allow anything similar to happen again. Hence, they can’t relate on an emotional level.
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.
1. Get in touch with, and learn to recognise, emotions. There are lots of different feelings – but the most basic ones are joy, fear, surprise, sadness, disgust and anger. We experience these to different degrees, depending on our personality, family, culture and environment.
2. Recognize that emotions don’t just come out of nowhere. Try to pay attention to what you are feeling, and the subconscious emotions that are building up. For example, throughout the day ask yourself: “How am I feeling right now?” Notice, too, how certain people and situations give rise to predictable, habitual emotions.
3. Try to figure out what was going through your mind when you experienced a particular emotion. That is, stop and analyze your thinking at the time. Ask yourself: “What was the thought that provoked the emotion?”
4. Look for the evidence which both supports and contradicts the thought that produced the emotion. That is, analyse how balanced your thinking is. Ask yourself “Does it tell the whole story, and reflect reality?” Then, ask yourself: “Is there another way of looking at this - a way which is more rational and accurate?”
5. Recognise we always have a choice in the way we react to people and situations. Often we assume there’s only one way to react, but the truth is you always have a choice. For example, you can choose to not react all – and simply say and do nothing. Alternatively, you could try doing the opposite of what you would normally do.
6. Work on developing, and then maintaining, a positive self-image and healthy self-esteem. If we see ourselves in a positive way, and really believe that we have gifts and strengths, then we are less at the mercy of external circumstances, or the negative opinions and views of other people.
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:
a) 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.
b) 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.
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.
1. Make a list of everything you’re thankful for – and try to find some memories that make you smile. There’s nothing like some humour for changing how you feel.
2. Decide to do some fun things with your friends. Although it might be tempting to stay home alone, and to have a bubble bath, or to curl up with a book, you’ll probably feel better if you go out with your friends. It stops you dwelling on your thoughts, and moves your focus somewhere else.
3. Get some exercise. Endorphins are released when we get some exercise. This improves our mood with no real effort on our part (and you may well feel less tired, and more healthy as well).
4. Set yourself some goals and break them down into small steps. As you work through these steps you’ll start to see some gradual change – and you’ll feel you’re going somewhere instead of marking time (or even worse than that, feeling like you’re going nowhere).
5. Play it forward. Do something selfless and kind for someone else. It’ll take them by surprise and it will likely make their day. Then, you’ll feel so much better about yourself as well.
6. Tell yourself that it will pass as moods are changeable. Our feelings are so fickle and unreliable. Tomorrow the same things might not bother you at all.
7. Recognise that your mind is a battleground. We’re all assaulted by unwanted and negative thoughts. They attack our self- confidence and self-esteem. Counteract that by thinking of your positives and strengths, your progress and successes, and how you’ve changed and grown.
8. It’s different if you’re coping with a serious loss. If your sadness is linked to a serious loss, like the death of a loved one, or a crisis event, then stay with the pain as it will help you to heal. In time it will pass and you’ll feel normal again.
1. Learn to recognize when you are feeling stressed – This will help you to reduce your stress before it is expressed as destructive anger.
2. Work on developing your empathy – Trying to see things from another’s perspective often helps to dissipate intense emotions.
3. Decide to respond instead of react – Although the way we react often feels automatic, we can actually choose how we’ll think, feel and respond. This is empowering, and the road to freedom.
4. Change your self talk - Listen to the conversation in your head and learn to modify extreme, unbalanced thoughts. Look for exceptions to “you always” thinking, and reframe “you must” or “you should” demands.
5. Learn to be assertive – Honest and open communication about your wishes, needs and preferences can stop resentment building – so it doesn’t turn to anger.
6. Adjust your expectations – Often anger is triggered by a difference between our expectations and what we actually get. Thus, sometimes it is better to adjust our expectations so they’re more in line with reality.
7. Forgiving doesn’t also mean forgetting – Although it is healthy to sometimes let things go, that doesn’t mean we weren’t hurt, upset or offended. The difference is we’re choosing to move on with our lives, and we’re not being controlled by external events.
8. Remove yourself from the situation – Retreating temporarily or “taking time-out” provides some space to think about the “best thing to do”. Thus you maintain control of yourself and circumstances.
1. Talk to someone: Sharing how we feel helps to reduce the inner tension (but make sure it is someone who cares about your feelings).
2. Work on improving your self-esteem: Self-esteem is the way you see and feel about yourself … and there are lots of lots of things that undermine our self esteem. For example, experiencing a break up, putting on unwanted weight, doing badly on a test or being excluded by our friends. It’s important that we keep on working on our self-esteem by treating ourselves well and noticing when we succeed (instead of noticing the negatives).
3. Manage your stress levels: If we’re always feelings stressed then it’s hard to cope with life. We tend to over react and have a negative mind set … which drains us of our energy and saps our will to fight. So take a look at your lifestyle and see what you can drop. You may be doing too much, and don’t have time to relax.
4. Make the time and effort to enjoy yourself: Doing things that we enjoy helps to improve the way we feel. So build in little things like having coffee with a friend, or going to a game, or taking time to watch some sports.
5. Choose a healthy life style: Pay attention to your diet and how much you exercise; try to limit alcohol, and don’t deprive yourself of sleep.
6. Develop good relationships: Do your friends make you happy? Do you enjoy their company? Are they kind of people with your best interests at heart? Do they treat you with respect and help to boost your self-esteem? If not, then work on finding new relationships!
Emotional numbness is where we experience mild to severe feelings of detachment – so it’s hard for us to access normal feelings any more. This includes both negative and positive emotions as you can’t decide to shut just one feeling off. Common causes of emotional numbness include different stresses or traumas … from receiving bad news … to being in an accident … to recovering from the death of someone close … to a relationship breakup … to feeling deeply humiliated or ashamed.
So how do you overcome emotional numbness and live with emotional integrity again?
1. The first thing to do is to choose to respect and allow all emotions – no matter what they are. Also, try and grasp the fact that suppressing your emotions will likely lead to heartache and problems later on (as they’ll possibly resurface at inappropriate times.)
2. Try and understand that feelings and actions are two very different, and unrelated, things. That is, you can still feel angry without becoming violent – so don’t assume your feelings will affect your actions, too.
3. Try to figure out the message behind intense emotions. Are you angry because you’ve been hurt, used or abused? Are you sad because deep down you feel that you’ll never find true love - as you can’t believe that anyone will love you for yourself?
4. Take that risk – and find the courage to ask someone for help. If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll know that there are those who genuinely love you like – like a true and caring friend. The important thing is not to try and isolate yourself, and to make the extra effort to prioritise self-care. You need other people to help you work through this.
5. Seek professional help if the symptoms persist. There are excellent counsellors and therapists out there who have the training and skills to help you to get free – so you can live a more fulfilling and normal, healthy life.
6. Be patient within yourself. It’s likely to take time – as you will need to learn to trust, and take some barriers down, so you can be yourself again (and that is often hard to do when you’ve experience hurt and pain).