From the time we were very young, through our experiences as children, then teens, and adults, whenever a situation generated particularly strong feelings (good or bad) within us, these feelings became embedded in our brains and, when any similar situation arises, continue to evoke in us the same, reactive, automatic response. These negative emotions become knee jerk reactions, and replace thoughtful responses, resulting in poor communication with others, self-limiting beliefs and behaviors.
The key to overcoming these reactions is simple – practice being the observer of your thoughts and the emotions they generate. Use your mind to become aware of what you are feeling, become curious about what is popping up. Practice waiting 5 seconds before any response to yourself or others. Search for the reason why your are feeling this emotion. These emotions are actual gifts to you to clear away unhelpful reactions from past events in your life. Allow yourself to really feel the emotion as strongly as possible – when you focus on an emotion, it’s power over you immediately starts to dissipate. Your mind is taking control back. Remind yourself that what you are feeling is a reaction to something that is no longer happening. If your emotion is a result of something someone else said or did, or something you said or did, ask yourself the following questions – is this happening right now to me or am I recreating the event and reaction to it in my mind? Even if this instance happened 5 minutes ago, you, will find that you continue to react to it. If your boss snaps at you first thing in the morning and you find yourself going over and over it and getting upset all over again…………..realize that you are the one creating and perpetuating this negative response. Not to mention the fact that other people’s reactions do not have to dictate what yours will be, and are based on their past experiences.
Take time to breath deeply into your stomach (when you are stressed or angry, your breathing tends to get shallow and rapid and you aren’t bringing as much oxygen to your brain).
Recognize your emotions are a set of chemical reactions taking place in the brain from prior programming of past events. This will give you your power back and the ability to healthily manage your emotions. This is an invaluable habit to develop for more success, health and happiness in your life and work.