Everyone has to face unpleasant emotions such as anxiety, anger and irritability in life and work. Some people can freely surf in the waves of emotions, while others are often involved in it. Once the emotions are out of control, they hurt. Interpersonal relationships can’t handle problems rationally, and can only blame themselves afterwards – “Hey, I can’t control myself at the time.” In fact, emotional management is an ability that can be cultivated. If you are not happy, it can be effectively dealt with.
Awareness is the beginning of emotional management
Recall that when did you usually find yourself angry? When I started yelling? When others say “You just looked angry”? These are performances at the behavioral level.
Overall, the emotional experience consists of three parts: one is the physical sensation (what I feel now), the second is the cognitive component (what I am thinking about), and the third is the behavioral component (what I am doing). We often realize what we are doing, such as falling things and eating potato chips, but rarely feel our body feelings and thoughts when emotions appear. Emotional awareness is the ability to identify and describe one’s or others’ emotions.
Everyone’s ability to perceive emotions is not the same. Whether they can better sense emotions directly affects our ability to manage and respond to emotions. When faced with stressful events, some people will say, “I feel particularly bad, it’s hard to accept, it’s not right,” while others can express emotions accurately: “I first felt particularly anxious, then I blamed myself. I am sorry that I can’t handle good things.” The latter kind of people have higher emotional awareness, they are not easily controlled by emotions, and they can handle negative emotions better.
Accurately naming our feelings is one way to improve your emotional awareness. This not only allows you to concentrate, but also helps you to witness what is happening inside more calmly. In a study conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles, a magnetic resonance scan of the brain showed that this level of conscious level activates the prefrontal cortex of the brain, and the prefrontal cortex is associated with our executive function. At the same time, labeling and naming also reduces the activity of the brain’s limbic system that handles emotions. Therefore, when you encounter strong negative feelings, naming them with specific vocabulary, such as anxiety, anger, sadness, and fatigue, will alleviate the impact of this feeling.
Pause and act again
Identifying emotions is only the first step in emotional management. Sometimes it’s not just emotions, but emotional reactions that make people regret. After the calm down, most people will regret their own practices, but the moment when the emotions come up, they are always out of control.
When you are angry, you can throw things when you are angry, when you are irritated, your temper is a little bit, and when you are depressed, you will eat too much… These behavioral reactions are all automated coping patterns that we have formed for a long time. Under this kind of automated navigation, we will respond quickly to external stimuli, but it may not help us solve the problem. In fact, between stimulation and reaction, we have the freedom to choose. And once we consciously bring awareness into a disturbingly stimulating situation, it is possible to change the automated coping style.
For example, when we realize that “screaming when we are angry” is our usual behavioral pattern, we can find our tendency to “big yell” in a similar situation. At this point, pause for a few seconds to experience the current breathing and observe the current situation. You may find that the actual situation may not be what you think – someone else is targeting you. Apart from yelling, calming down and communicating well is a better way to solve problems. Seeing what you are doing in a completely sober way can naturally choose a more appropriate action. This is the process of transitioning from an automated navigation action mode to a presence mode.
Three minute breathing space technology
Studies have shown that mindfulness exercises can effectively improve the awareness of emotions and the automated response to stimuli. “Three-minute Breathing Space Technology” is the most commonly used method of mindfulness in daily life. It can help us move from action mode to existential mode and deal with any challenging situations and emotions. Here you can try this exercise with the following instructions:
1. Please find a comfortable, natural posture, sitting or standing, feeling the back straight but not stiff, feeling that you are now relaxed and straight. Feel the feeling of your body now.
2. Enter the awareness: When you are ready, please close your eyes slowly. Now you can start to be aware. Be aware of your experience at this moment? Any ideas have passed over my mind? Please simply perceive what these ideas are, and remind yourself that they are just ideas, just a psychological event… you can also feel how you are feeling now} pay attention to any emotional feelings, then just tell yourself, “Hey, I The mood is like this now, I noticed “…the feeling of the body, but just noticed them, and then told myself, “Well, this is how my body feels now.”
3. Concentration: Slowly put your attention on the perception of breathing, feel your own call, suck, and a small pause between breaths, feel the feeling of airflow through the nose every time you breathe, or The chest or abdomen is falling together every time you breathe. Let the breath go naturally without having to control it. Take a minute or so to try to be aware. Use breathing as an inner anchor to help us live in the moment.
4. Extension: Slowly expand the awareness range from breathing. While perceiving the breath, the body as a whole is perceived to feel your body’s feelings, your posture, and your facial expressions, as if your entire body is breathing. Keep this state easily and gently, and maintain a broader awareness of this moment.
Three-minute breathing space technology is not limited to practicing when unpleasant emotions come. In the beginning, you can do it at a fixed time every day and practice it three times a day. Once you have mastered this method, you can do it at any time and place. It can be one or two breaths, or it can be 5 minutes to 10 minutes.
Once you notice unpleasant emotions, your body feels tight, tight, or feel overwhelmed by too many things, you can try.
Bad emotions are not terrible. What is terrible is their limited awareness, which leads them to be completely controlled by their thoughts and behaviors. Through the practice of mindfulness, cultivating this awareness and space, everyone can become a skilled and versatile surfer.