Emotional Minefields - How to navigate them
The minefield of emotions
How do you manage your emotions? Do you manage them at all? Or do you try to ignore them and hope that they will go back to where ever they came from?
What are emotions? They are in really basic language, little messages sent from your brain to give you feedback on how you are going, how you are viewing and reacting to given situations. Some people see them as gifts, most of us see them as exploding nuggets that can send us off on a tangent for a while.
How about if I were to explain some of the many emotions to you, so that you can understand them and then know how to help them melt away, back to nothing. Or even better, how to cultivate your garden of positive emotions, how to make them grow and become the overriding force of emotions, rather than having negative emotions all the time? Does that sound good or what?
First of all, let’s look at a basic rule around emotions. You cannot ignore them, they need to be acknowledged and addressed. If you try to ignore an emotion, it will keep coming back, stronger and stronger until you acknowledge it and do something about it. So with that in mind, lets rock and roll and find out more about emotions.
I am going to address 3 commonly felt emotions –negative and positive (there are many more and I am happy to unpack these with anyone who wishes to with me).
First of all let’s look at the emotion of “Hurt” - This is a feeling that dominates human relationships, both personal and professional. Feelings of hurt are usually generated by a sense of loss. When people are hurt, they generally lash out at others.
So what is the message that our brains are trying to tell us when we are experiencing the emotion of being hurt?
The emotion of hurt tells us is that we have an expectation that has not been met. Many times this feeling arises when we’ve expected someone to keep their word and they haven’t, this can even happen if you have not told them of your expectation. In this case you feel a loss of intimacy, or maybe a loss of trust with this person. It is the sense of loss that creates the feeling of hurt.
What is the action we need to take to acknowledge the emotion and what can we do about it:
Realise that in reality you may not have lost anything. Maybe what you need to lose is the false perception. I know this sounds crazy, but did you really lose something? Or did you perceive to lose something, was that thing “yours” to lose? Reevaluate the situation, Ask yourself is there really loss here? Or am I judging the situation too soon or too harshly?
Another solution is to communicate elegantly and appropriately communicate your feeling of loss to the person involved. By discussing your feeling of loss, explaining why you feel the way you do, you may be able to help the other person realise that you feel that you have been let down, felt used or your trust has been abused. The other person may not even have realised that these boundaries even existed let alone have been breached.
The ripple effects of this emotion can be far reaching, they may stop you from entering into other relationships, and they may generate trust issues within yourself, which in turn can manifest themselves in all manner of negative ways as your life continues. So, have the courage to address this emotion as soon as you feel it.
Frustration can come from many avenues in our life. Any time we feel like we are surrounded by roadblocks, walls or obstacles…where we are constantly striving to achieve, putting out effort, but not getting any reward, you are so close but never seem to be able to complete it successfully.
What is your brain trying to tell you when you feel like this?
The message of frustration is an exciting one, it is your brain saying it believes you can do better than you currently are. It preconceives that the solution to your problem is within reach, within range, but what you are currently doing is not working and you need to change your approach.
So what do you need to do to acknowledge this emotion and then to go and a resolve it?
Realise that frustration is your friend, and brainstorm new ways to get a result
Get some input on how to deal with the situation. Find a role model, someone who has done it before, ask them for input on how to more effectively produce your desired outcome.
Get fascinated by what you can learn that could help you handle this challenge, not only today, but in the future, in a way that consumes very little time or energy and actually becomes a joy.
The ripple effect is that as you get used to recognising when you are feeling this emotion, you can address it quickly. In turn this means that you will be wasting less time and resources and achieving your goals and outcomes much quicker, with less resources and waste. You will become a superstar, the emotion of frustration will give way to fascination and you will learn as you achieve. The ripple effect for this is endless and exciting, just imagine where you can now go armed with this understanding of how to overcome frustration and turn it into fascination.
Emotions include everything from being mildly irritated to being angry, resentful, furious or even enraged.
The Message that this emotion is telling us is that:
An important rule or standard that you hold for your life has been violated by someone else, or maybe even by you.
When you get the message of anger, you need to understand that you can literally change this emotion in a moment.
What can you do to make this change happen, to acknowledge the emotion and to melt it away in an instant?
Realise that you may have misinterpreted this situation completely. That your anger about this person breaking “your” rules that you know exist and the fact may be that they don’t know what’s most important to you (even though you believe they should).
Realise that even if someone did violate one of your standards, your rules are not necessarily the “right” rules, even though you feel as strongly as you do about them.
Ask yourself an empowering question – in the long term, is it true that this person really cares about me? Interrupt the anger by asking yourself, what can I learn from this? How can I communicate the importance of my standards, in a way that causes them to want to help me uphold these standards/rules?
The ripple effect of this, is that you are taking control of the situation, you are realising why you are feeling angry. To do this, means you have high self-awareness, which in turn means you can control yourself. Imagine, being able to control yourself in all situations, you can raise your awareness to a level where you can foresee the situation becoming out of control and do something about it. Even turn it around and have others help you maintain the importance of rules and standards. Self-awareness and Self-control are two game changing life skills to have and if you have mastered them you can take your life to a whole new level.
Now we have addressed 3 common negative emotions – there are actually 10 common negative emotions in total. Let’s have a look at 3 positive emotions. I want you to think of these positive emotions as seeds, you need to plant these seeds each and every day, nourish them, water them and watch them grow. Eventually they will grow so much they will envelop your world and surround you with all that is good about life. You can do this, and use these emotions as your day to day mindset, not allowing the negative emotions to break through and when they do, you know you can handle them.
Love and Warmth
The consistent expression of love seems to be able to melt any negative emotions it comes in contact with. To embrace anything and show it love and warmth, will not allow any negativity to creep in and destroy you. I know it sounds airy fairy, but try it, you will be amazed at how powerful it is. I was astounded by its power. Try this - If someone comes to you in a state of hurt or anger and you consistently respond to them with love and warmth, eventually there state will change and the intensity will melt away.
The ripple effect is that everything, everyone that comes into contact will feel your love and warmth toward them, and in turn, they will reflect this back to you. What you give, you shall receive.
All emotions are invaluable, but there is one that you must have if you are going to create lasting value in this world.
Determination means the difference between being stuck and being struck with the lightning power of commitment.
For example, if you want to lose weight, give up smoking, make more business calls at work, pushing yourself, just won’t do it. You need to be putting yourself in a state of determination. All your actions will spring from that source and you’ll just do whatever you need to automatically to achieve that outcome.
Without it you are doomed to frustration and disappointment. You need to cultivate your determination in a way that you set your goals properly.
The ripple effect of determination is that you will be unstoppable, you will power through any obstacle, never give up and will achieve everything you set out to. Even more so, you will learn, grow and develop massively as you encounter each obstacle, because you will develop ways of getting past them to achieve that goal you are determined to achieve.
Is the one seed to plant that will guarantee success, it is your ability to change your approach. If you think about all those negative emotions, they are calls to action for you to be more flexible!! Choosing to be flexible is choosing to be happy.
Flexibility is the key to everything, to be able to zig when the rest of the world is zagging. This flexibility will allow you to cultivate your emotions and then you will surely develop….
The ripple effect ties in with the ripple effect from determination, flexibility to adapt to any situation at a moment’s notice will enable you to dodge those obstacles, to see them coming and not run into them, but to side step them and keep going without losing momentum.
In conclusion, you own your emotions, they don’t own you. So only you can stop you from achieving anything in life, only you can acknowledge those emotions and move forward. So own them, believe in yourself, nurture the positive and grow them like a much loved garden, strive for your very best in life. You are Enough.