In the past two weeks, I’ve worked with a number of clients dealing with a crisis, going through a conflict at work or home or who are dealing with some incredibly challenging situations in life. “Robert” is one of those clients. He's a manager and he “lost it" last week—lost his cool, that is. He yelled at his team and threatened to fire most of them if they didn’t shape up. Now he’s saying, “They pushed me over the edge.”
Conflict is a part of life. Getting angry is a part of being human. I’ve been there before and I’m sure you have as well. I’ve said things I’ve regretted. I’ve thought about saying some things (to make things better) and somehow couldn’t bring myself to say it when it was really needed.
There are times we’re so frustrated or angry we can’t think straight. Why is that? To answer that question, let me ask you another one.
What do the following scenarios have in common?
- Losing your cool with someone at work or home
- Feeling “down” or frustrated or anxious or angry
- Taking action or procrastinating
- Dealing with being fired or passed over for a promotion
- How well you connect with and manage or lead others
- “Losing weight”
- Feeling “stressed out”
What all of these scenarios have in common is the role our emotions play. For instance, if you can’t seem to eat healthy and exercise, the culprit is likely to be what’s called “emotional eating.” When we’re having a disagreement or intense conflict with someone—and it’s not going well—you can be sure that at least one person isn’t managing their emotions well.
But where do we learn to master our emotions?
Where do we learn how to feel happy, or how to deal with setbacks and unwanted life circumstances without them doing us in? We’re not taught about this in school or college. We’re certainly not taught this at work. You have to decide to learn how to master your emotions and you have to start somewhere.
No one can do the work for you—but it starts with realizing you can learn to master your emotions and to commit to doing so.
Mastering your emotions involves mastering your self-talk, growing your sense of self-worth and learning how to accept and support yourself as you are. There’s more involved, but these are key areas to learn about and to put into practice.
Here are two resources to get started:
- Read my book Seven Secrets to Enlightened Happiness: Your Guide to the Life You Were Meant to Live. You can get it on amazon.com or I will send you a free PDF copy of it if you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Watch this TED Talk, a short 18 minute video on taking care of ourselves psychologically and emotionally: