“If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you…” — Rudyard Kipling
Monday, 7:45 a.m.
Do you ever find yourself taking something personally, when you know shouldn’t? Do you have a difficult time receiving constructive criticism? Do you often seek revenge after a perceived slight, thinking to yourself, “I’ll show them?” Not to worry, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there at one time or another. It’s really part of our DNA — the survival instinct. Fight or flight came long before our ability to choose how to act. Emotionally resilient people aren’t different from you or me, they have just discovered how to move beyond the fight or flight response and choose how they want to act at any given moment.
Emotional resiliency is not just the ability to get up and keep going after being knocked down, put down, embarrassed or ridiculed, to name a few. It is also the ability to keep a cool head in the midst of conflict and direct the interaction to where you wan it to go. It is possibly the most difficult part of developing emotional balance and power.
In this blog, I will give you some tips on how to develop your emotional resilience. In doing so, you will experience more influence, more personal power and less conflict at work and at home. You will no longer be sucked into petty turf wars at work or be goaded into arguments at home by your teen.
Life isn’t fair. It’s just life.
I don’t think their is a person among us, no matter how tough, who enjoys being made fun of, laughed at, ridiculed, embarrassed, told their work isn’t good enough, etc. It just doesn’t feel good to hear or experience that venom. If we let our emotions run the show, then we risk saying or doing something we’ll regret later–maybe for the rest of our lives. We must continually exert energy to keep things moving in a direction we want them to go. We must act POSITIVELY for OUR BEST INTEREST.
It is natural to want to defend yourself. Instinct is powerful stuff. Fight or flight, it’s been around for millions of years. Our reasoning skills not so long. It takes immense effort to ignore our instincts and choose not to loose it in front of our boss or on our kids.
Emotional resiliency helps you keep it together when your insides are seething. It also helps you play fair and be “friendly” when everyone else is doing just the opposite. I am not talking about pushing your emotions away. I am talking about choosing a higher path. I am talking about making decisions that are in your best interest. I talking about keeping your cool when everyone around you is losing theirs and blaming it on you. When you can do that, you’re invincible — no one can touch you.
Here are some tips for keeping calm and carrying on when all you want to do is blow up.
Smile – smiling for 3- 5 seconds after someone has just finished ripping into you will help deflate and diffuse tension. You give yourself time to respond without losing your cool.
Breath – breathing delivers more oxygen to the front of the brain and helps you think straight. The more you consciously breath when emotionally charged, the more you quell the flight or fight response. Those extra seconds help you choose a better option, and, unless it is a true life or death situation, there is always a better option than fight or flight.
Count from ten to one — This requires focus and concentration. It takes your mind off the immediate threat and gives you time to formulate a response.
Plan your exits — If you know that there are certain people in your life or certain situations that really get you emotionally unwound, then pre-plan how you want to respond. Pre-plan how to get out of the situation, fast. Practice what you’ll say and how you’ll say it. Do this seven times out loud in front of a mirror. Doing this will work miracles.
Home turf advantage — don’t get pulled into a land war on someone else’s turf. They will have the upper hand and it will be harder to keep your cool. Also use home court advantage to get the edge when you need it.
Focus on the other person — shifting focus from ourselves to the other person or the situation, naturally helps us chill out. Focusing on our own feelings when in the heat of the moment, generally intensifies them and only serves to add fuel to the fire.
Acknowledge emotions — acknowledge yours and other people’s emotions. It helps deflate them and makes them less scary.
Don’t stew — have a way to release your emotions. Give yourself two minutes to vent — in private or to a close friend.
Address conflict immediately — address misunderstandings as soon as possible. It shows that you care and are conscientious.
The benefit of developing these skills, is that you when your child yells, “I Hate You!” for the umpteenth time, you’ll be able to keep your cool and address the situation objectively. You’ll have control of yourself and the situation. In addition, you’ll be modeling behavior for your teen that will help them make better choices in the face of conflict and peer pressure. It’s an investment in THEIR future.
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