Imagine that you have been working on a project for months, and today you’re having a meeting with your manager to get the final approval. In the meeting, you get told that the proposal has been well received, but you’ll not be involved in it. On the way out of the meeting, you meet your colleagues and they look awkward. You try to smile, but it’s hard and you walk away. What do you feel? Disappointment? Sadness? Shame? Anger?
There are several human emotions; positive, neutral and negative. Joy and interest belong to the positive, surprise to neutral and to the negative emotions include fear, anger, guilt / shame, disgust and sadness. These emotions lead to impulses to act in different ways, for example, the feeling of fear can cause us the impulse to escape, anger to attack, shame to isolate oneself.
- NOTICE THE FEELING IN THE BODY
The first step is to start observing what feeling you’re getting in the body in a situation. Sometimes it feels direct, and sometimes the feeling can occur much later. Try to recall a situation you’ve been in lately that gave you a strong feeling. What happened? How did it feel in the body? What thoughts emerged? What kind of impulses did you get?
- PUT FEELINGS INTO WORDS
Did you feel anger, fear, worry, irritation, joy or guilt? According to research it’s very effective to put feelings into words to regulate emotions. When you become aware of what you are feeling, you get better contact with your bodily signals, which in turn leads you to a greater extent to eg. Get recovery or set limits for yourself.
- ALLOW THE FEELING
Feelings can be scary and sometimes we become scared when we feel strongly about different situations. But let’s clarify one thing: emotions are NEVER dangerous. Therefore, try to allow it, if only for a short while. The feeling usually fades in strength if we do nothing to strengthen it or push it away.
- CREATE AN UNDERSTANDING
Why did you get this feeling in the first place? Do you want to change something in the situation or in your behavior that can help you avoid these types of events, or act smarter in the future? Do you need to ask others to do something different, say no to others or ask for help? Then it may be appropriate to make a plan to implement the intended changes.
- GIVE YOURSELF COMFORT
Comfort yourself if it was a situation that was uncomfortable or painful for you. Sometimes it can be painful to be human, but that is exactly what it means to be human. Emotions give a signal that something has happened and help us to direct our attention.
- ACTIVATE YOURSELF
It is time to activate yourself and let yourself be met by what life has to offer. Do what you intend to do, whether it’s paying bills, having a party for the kids or going out with friends. The feeling may linger for a while, and it’s just as it should be. Let it do, but don’t let it decide on how you act.
If you would like more tips on how to regulate your emotions or have something else you would like to get help with, we are here for you!