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Emotional Agility: The Key to Mastering Your Emotions at Work

Picture source: Business Day

In your personal life, your reaction to stressful situations like this might be to start screaming or to hide in a corner and feel sorry for yourself for a while. But in the workplace, these patterns of behavior can seriously damage your professional reputation as well as your productivity. Stressful situations are all too common in workplaces faced with budget cuts, layoffs, and department changes. It can become increasingly difficult to manage your emotions under these circumstances, but it's even more important to you. After all, if management is forced to lay off more employees, they may choose to keep those who can manage their emotions and work well under pressure. No matter the situation, you are always free to choose how you react to it. Here's some strategies to manage negative emotions at work

1. Compartmentalisation (when negative emotions from home affect your work)

Try to leave business and personal matters at home. When you go to work, use this time to tell your mind to let go. For example, if you are taking the subway/bus/car, at each train station/bus/traffic stop, silently ask the offender to get off or “push off” the stressor . Some people find it helpful to temporarily “store/lock” the problem in the box. You can also categorize work-related stressors so that emotions at work don't affect your personal life.

2. Deep breathing & relaxation techniques

It will help with emotions like anxiety, worry, frustration and anger. Take a deep breath, inhale and exhale slowly until you calm down. Count slowly to 10. You can go for a walk to cool off and listen to relaxing music. Talking to someone can help calm you down.

3. The 10-second rule

This is especially helpful if you feel angry, frustrated, or even angry. If you feel your anger rising, try counting to 10 to calm yourself down. If possible, leave the situation to create some distance, but reassure the other person that you will come back to fix the problem.

4. Blast your anger through exercise

Instead of losing your temper, schedule a workout on the treadmill or take a kickboxing class to get the anger out of your body. Exercise is also a good way to get a healthy dose of mood-enhancing endorphins. In addition, exercise will help release any physical tension in your body.

5. Never reply or make a decision when angry

In today's age of instant communication, it's easy to send an email or message that you may later regret. Never let anger or sadness cloud your judgment. Withhold all communication while you are still angry. You can type it first, but save it as a draft and sleep on it for a day. Read it again the next day or let someone you trust review it before sending it out.

6. Know your triggers

It helps to be able to identify what upsets you or makes you angry. This way, you can be prepared to stay calm and plan your response should the situation arise. You can even predict the other party's reaction.

7. Be respectful

Treat your co-workers the way you would like to be treated yourself. If the person is rude, there is no need to reciprocate. We can stay friendly, just be firm and assertive without being aggressive. Usually, rude people will calm down if they don't get a response from you and realize they're the only one screaming in the room.

8. Apologise for any emotional outburst

Sometimes our emotions get better than ours. If you have an emotional outburst, immediately apologize to the person and perhaps the people around you have heard it. You don't have to explain yourself or get defensive. Simply "I'm sorry. I reacted badly" makes a big difference.

9. Never bring your negative emotions home

It is a good habit to let go of all anger, frustration, and dissatisfaction at the end of each working day. Feeding on negative emotions causes them to fester like mold, driving you to bankruptcy. Therefore, it is best to empty the emotional “trash” on a daily basis to avoid being overwhelmed. You can use the divider method mentioned above, or you can plan fun after-work activities with friends and family.

Source: MindTools, HealthXchange

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