GOOD MORNING MONDAY -
AFFIRMATIVE THOUGHTS FOR A GREAT WEEK
Good Morning! I hope you had a GREAT weekend relishing every moment of your life. It is Monday – Smile 😊; you are receiving a gift, known as the “present” moment – REJOICE!
Last week we started down the path of emotional intelligence, first contemplating self-awareness, the cornerstone of emotional intelligence. How did it go for you? Were you able to reconnect with yourself a bit more? Were you able to spend some time gaining a deeper knowledge of your thinking, actions and emotions? Do you know more today than yesterday about who you are and how you tick? Great! Remember this is a journey that you will experience through your entire lifetime – enjoy the trip 😊
Today, I would like to continue the journey to deepen emotional intelligence. To do this, you must move past self-awareness to self-regulation. When you are self-aware, you begin to know self and understand the impact of your behavior on others. However, you can be self-aware and do nothing to self-regulate. Growing your skills of self-regulation deepens your awareness of the impact you are having on others and allows you to adjust your behavior to improve the situation. Honing this skill enables you to make intentional choices about your response. Let’s delve a bit deeper into the next component of emotional intelligence, self-regulation.
Have you ever experienced a situation or event that made you feel like your emotions were out of control? Have you ever had an experience that made you feel like your emotions were controlling you? In either of these cases, did you wish you had better control of your emotions or your response to the situation? The good news is you can! Through building your self-regulation skills, you can regulate and manage your emotions. Doing this enables you to make choices about how you respond or react to any situation. Self-regulation can help you make a conscious choice about how you think, feel, and the actions you take for the best response. The late Stephen Covey said that each of us has “response-ability”, the ability to choose your response to any situation. Calling upon self-regulation in your daily life will help you deepen your awareness of all your emotions, expand your window of tolerance and help you move toward a conscious choice about your response.
Your emotions do not have to be the “captains of your life”. You can alter your emotions and choose your response. To do this, you need to employ strategies and techniques that work for you so that you can make deliberate choices about how to respond. Determining the techniques that work for you enable you to call upon them in the heat of any emotional reaction.
Here are some strategies to consider. As always, pick the strategy or technique that works for you, or maybe this will give you ideas to create your own unique approach:
Be aware of how you are feeling. Pause. Slow Down. Breathe. This technique will help you move from the emotional system of your brain to the logical system of your brain. Doing this enables you to make a more conscious choice of your response to the situation.
Reframe the situation. This can help you take a stressful situation and reinterpret the meaning of the negative stimuli. It enables you to take a more proactive role and adopt a positive approach/response.
Journal/Keep a List. List things that cause you an emotional reaction. For example, “I get angry when….”; then write down a strategy to mitigate each of the items that you write down. For example, “When I realize I am angry, I will a) stop, b) pause, c) breathe deeply, d) take a walk, e) return to the situation ready to respond”.
Additionally, in my research to write this article, I found another technique that comes from NYU, called STOPP. Here is what the acronym stands for:
Slow Down. Do Not Act Immediately
Take a Deep Breath.
Observe what I am thinking NOW
Pull Back. Zoom Out. See the Big Picture
Practice the skills and techniques that you determine are best for you
As you become more tuned in to practicing self-regulation, you will begin to really understand the impact you have on others. As you grow this skill, you will build better relationships and enhance the relationships you have. You will positively impact the behavior of those around you and model behaviors that allow positive outcomes for them and others around them. Also, you will begin to be more open, curious and vulnerable.
Remember, you are human. You will not do this perfectly. It takes practice to retrain your brain so that it does not default to the same old patterns, behaviors, responses and reactions. The point is to keep trying. You will build this habit. If you make a mistake, reflect on what happened, think about how you might have responded differently. This will prepare you for the next situation. As I always say, this is a lifetime’s work.
Have a GREAT week. Enjoy your discovery process and your journey.