• Health

Zen and the art of riding the wave

I’ll admit it, I often find myself trapped in a glass case of emotion.

I am a passionate person, and sometimes that passion can somehow manifest itself into emotional outbursts; the intentions are good, the execution is flawed. This is a bad habit that I’m actively trying to work on.

In both personal and professional situations, it can be easy to get emotional during stressful situations or in situations where you feel like expectations haven’t been met. While those emotions are valid, they aren’t always helpful and can hurt your relationship with clients. Here are some steps you can put into place to better manage your emotions, and find a little more zen in your day-to-day:

Know thyself

The first step is to be self aware of your patterns of behavior. I find that as irrational as I may be when giving into my emotions, I am 40 BILLION TIMES more rational when assessing the situation after the fact. Being aware of your tendencies to act before fully processing a situation is crucial to breaking the habit.

Realize that it is a habit

Humans have a tendency to fall into certain patterns of behavior that we somehow find psychologically rewarding. While giving into emotions may not feel great in the long run, in the immediate it can feel validating and cathartic. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help you better understand where your emotions stem from and help you recognize and push through the triggers when they hit.

Stop, drop, and roll

Great advice for anyone who finds themselves on fire -- but also for anyone who finds themselves in a situation where they feel their emotions flare up. Stop and assess the situation and your potential reaction as well as the possible outcomes of that reaction. Decide if this is worth your time to get upset about, and if you can, drop it. And roll with the punches.

Ride the wave

One way to develop self-control over this habit is to think of the desire to give into your emotions as a wave that will build up, and pass by. The trick is to see the wave coming, ride it out, and let it pass. Forbes contributor Travis Bradberry puts it this way:

"Desire has a strong tendency to ebb and flow like the tide. When the impulse you need to control is strong, waiting out this wave of desire is usually enough to keep yourself in control. The rule of thumb here is to wait at least 10 minutes before succumbing to temptation. You'll often find that the great wave of desire is now little more than a ripple that you have the power to step right over."

--Travis Bradberry

Know the signs of excessive stress

A little stress in your day-to-day is okay and normal, however, it’s good to familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of excessive stress to so as to avoid any stress-induced chronic health problems in the future. Some even find that just thinking about the damaging effects that too much stress has on their body is enough to help calm them down.

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