At the workplace, emotions can run high and out of control especially in stressful situations, project crunchtimes, or experiencing tension with colleagues.
Much have been written and researched on our emotions and energy, and how the two actually share a synergistic relationship.
According to Gaulin, Steven J. C. and Donald H. McBurney in Evolutionary Psychology, Prentice Hall, 2003. Chapter 6, p121 – 142, they stated that “Emotion is often the driving force behind motivation, positive or negative.”
And riding on that notion, Scientist Barbara Fredrickson has gone on to illustrate that positive emotions impact us in two significant ways. First, they expand our understanding and perspective of the world, which opens up options, gives us more ideas, and inspire us more.
Secondly, as the positive emotions compound overtime, we develop lasting and flourishing emotional mastery and resilience.
Also, in Tony Robbins book, Awaken The Giant Within, he sums up in one sentence the importance of taking charge of your emotions.
Master your emotions, master your life.
Now the question is, how do you then take charge of your emotional energy at work?
Most people feel an emotion but are not aware of the impact it has on them. They allow the emotion to overtake their entire being and then they lose control of their emotions, and their energy begins to spiral downwards.
Be aware. When you feel upset, identify the trigger. Be aware of these triggers. Be aware of how you feel. Understand why you feel the way you did.
Before you can take charge of emotional energy, you have to first understand.
It’s that simple before we move on to the next step.
Most people choose to ignore, repress, or on the other extreme, completely let go and be overwhelmed by their emotions.
It is crucial to feel what you are feeling. This sounds like a given and almost redundant, but most people don’t allow themselves to feel what they are going through. They allow the feelings to wash over them; rant continuously, break down and sob uncontrollably, complain incessantly, so on and so forth. Others might see such people as an emotional wreck when all they need is to understand and slowly regain control of their emotions.
On the other hand, there are people who deny themselves the right to feel. They choose to brush off that feeling and drown themselves in more work, or distract themselves by replacing that feeling without another self-induced one.
This is terribly unhealthy as the compounded feelings that have been buried deep inside you can manifest into various syndromes or one day explode manifold.
So it’s key to feel the feeling but not suffocate it or let it take control of you.
You biggest question would most probably be, how?
Conscious Processing & Alteration
When you feeling that emotion, you need to understand this concept.
Wherever you place your focus, energy gathers at that focal point. So whatever you are focusing on, whether consciously or subconsciously, energy grows.
For instance, when you’re unaware and don’t consciously pay attention to your feelings and choose to rant with dissent, negative energy grows, making you increasingly upset or dissatisfied.
This is when you consciously process your feelings and alter the outcome. If you feel upset because your work is piling up and your team members seem to be neglecting you, know that you have a choice.
You can choose to just wallow in self-pity and vent your frustrations on your co-workers by giving them the cold shoulder or guilt-trip them, OR you can choose to acknowledge the fact that they might not know that you need help. You can feel helpless but consciously alter your feeling by taking charge.
Empower yourself. Call it a day to drain the negative energy out of you, organize your thoughts, and ask for help!
Don’t give in to fear, or negative emotions. Feel them, identify them, understand why they make you feel the way you did, and now shift your focus and you will find the right actions.
Now this brings us to the next point.
Responding (Not Reacting)
Yes, respond but not react.
Responding comes with awareness of the situation and a conscious decision involved.
When your colleague snaps at your suddenly, you will be taken aback.
Now, you can choose to react by flaring up, breaking down, or stomping off. But this is a great opportunity for you to take charge of the emotional energy. You can choose to show care and concern instead of allowing the sudden spurt of negative energy to rob your stable and calm state of mind.
Exercise Emotion Mastery
Always remember that you are in charge of your emotions because you have the power to decide what to do with those feelings after you have felt them.
Now, put into practice how to exercise emotion mastery by going through the listed steps.