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Managing Your Emotions at Work

Q: Sometimes I struggle with managing my emotions at work. If I’m feeling upset, frustrated or angry and I need to share my opinion, it’s all I can do not to start to cry or blurt something out in anger depending on the situation. I don’t want to be seen as rude, weak or unprofessional, what can I do when this happens?

A: You might be surprised to know how common this. First I would like to say, we are all human and every so often our emotions get the better of us, that’s normal.

Changing your physiology is the simplest way to change your emotional state in an instant. Some people think that emotions are ‘all in your head’. In fact, emotions have physical manifestations in your body. By moving your body, you can immediately shift yourself into a more resourceful emotional state.

If you find yourself in a situation where you notice your emotions are getting the better of you, here are some tips on what you can do in the moment.

First, notice you are feeling emotional; take a breath in through your nose and exhale completely.

Next, move your eyes up toward the ceiling, put your shoulders back & relax them. Have you ever noticed that if you are starting to cry and you look up that you stop crying? That is because looking up helps you move you out of your “emotional brain”.

Finally, “take a step back” from the situation by literally taking a step back or if that isn’t possible, do this in your minds eye.

Once you are no longer feeling quite so emotional, take some time to reflect on the situation and figure out what about it set you off so you can be prepared for similar situations in the future.

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