Man­age your emo­tions: Stay out of trou­ble

The Manica Post - - Health - Dr Mazvita Machinga Ph.D is a qual­i­fied psy­chother­a­pist based in Mutare. For psy­chother­apy and coun­sel­ing you can call 0778 83 8410 / 0771 754 519 email [email protected]­ Dr Mazvita Machinga

FROM time to time, I have heard peo­ple say­ing that “there is noth­ing to be sad about”.

Why are you anx­ious, this will mean you are not strong? Is this so that when peo­ple ex­press emo­tions they need to be dis­cour­aged?

In fact, emo­tions are an im­por­tant part of who we are as hu­man be­ings and it is okay to ex­press and reg­u­late them in pos­i­tive ways. Un­for­tu­nately, for many of us we en­ter the work­force know­ing how to read and write, but too of­ten, we lack the skills to man­age and reg­u­late our emo­tions.

Chil­dren are taught how to read and write in schools, but no time is spend help­ing them un­der­stand their emo­tions and how to han­dle them, even at home. Yet, as we move through our daily rou­tines, whether work­ing, spend­ing time with fam­ily and friends, eat­ing, re­lax­ing, wor­ship­ping even sleep­ing, we are sub­ject to con­stant stream of emo­tions that need to be con­trolled or reg­u­lated. Emo­tions are a gift from God. We need to learn how to con­trol them. Pro­cess­ing and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing your feel­ings are part of hav­ing a full life. There is need to be care­ful since if we al­low our emo­tions to dic­tate how we live our lives, they can lead us to se­ri­ous prob­lems such as anx­i­ety, de­pres­sion etc.

Ev­ery-one needs the ca­pac­ity to un­der­stand and man­age emo­tions.

Emo­tional in­tel­li­gence is the key to both per­sonal and pro­fes­sional suc­cess. We all need emo­tional in­tel­li­gence to be able to con­trol, and ex­press our emo­tions, and to han­dle in­ter­per­sonal re­la­tion­ships care­fully and com­pas­sion­ately.

What can you say about your emo­tional in­tel­li­gence? What can you say about the way you han­dle your emo­tions?

Many peo­ple have got­ten into trou­ble by not be­ing able to con­trol their emo­tions. With ed­u­ca­tion and sen­si­ti­sa­tion, peo­ple may be able to han­dle strong emo­tions.

The fol­low­ing four are es­sen­tial to emo­tional healthy, self-aware­ness, self-reg­u­la­tion or man­age­ment, so­cial aware­ness and re­la­tion­ship man­age­ment. In this ar­ti­cle, I will fo­cus on self­aware­ness and its im­por­tance in men­tal health.

Self-aware­ness is the abil­ity to la­bel, recog­nise, and un­der­stand your own emo­tions. It is your abil­ity to say aware of your emo­tions and man­age your be­hav­iour and ten­den­cies.

Sim­ply speak­ing self-aware­ness is know­ing your­self as you re­ally are, your strengths, lim­i­ta­tions, in­ter­ests, and pref­er­ences.

If left unchecked or chal­lenged, emo­tions can be harm­ful to your­self and to all oth­ers around you.

Peo­ple who are high in their self-aware­ness are re­mark­ably clear in their un­der­stand­ing of what they do well, what mo­ti­vates them, what sit­u­a­tions or peo­ple push their but­tons.

Self- aware­ness is so im­por­tant for pro­duc­tiv­ity and per­for­mance. Stud­ies have shown that 83 per­cent of peo­ple high in self-aware­ness are top per­form­ers, while two per­cent of bot­tom per­form­ers are high in self-aware­ness.

Which cat­e­gory do you see your­self in? If you are within the 83 per­cent then there is need to get help. The fol­low­ing are some of the ways you can im­prove your self-aware­ness.

Make time for hon­est self-re­flec­tion

Know your strengths and lim­i­ta­tions. Know­ing your strengths and cop­ing with your weak­nesses, will help you im­prove self-aware­ness. Name your emo­tions and be true to your­self. Get to know your­self un­der stress. . .

Feel your emo­tions in your body and watch the ef­fects in your body e.g. heart pal­pi­ta­tions, hy­per­ten­sive, short­ness of breath etc. dur­ing chal­leng­ing mo­ments. No­tice the build-up of emo­tions and take nec­es­sary mea­sures e.g. walk­ing away or post­pon­ing is­sues to later times. Recog­nise re­cur­ring pat­terns and get help, stop and ask your­self why do you do what you do? Ask for feed­back lis­ten, keep an open-mind.

Know your emo­tional trig­gers. Set bound­aries and prac­tice self-dis­ci­pline.

Ac­tively pre­vent fa­tigue by tak­ing rest.

Re­mem­ber self-aware­ness gives you the op­por­tu­nity to learn from your mis­takes as well as from your suc­cesses. It is not the ab­sence of mis­takes but the abil­ity to self-cor­rect.

It en­ables you to keep grow­ing. So as we ap­proach fes­tive sea­son, al­ways re­flect your ac­tions, emo­tions and at­ti­tudes. Do not put your­self into trou­ble by not reg­u­lat­ing and man­ag­ing your emo­tions. Pro­fes­sional help is al­ways avail­able for all those who strug­gle with their emo­tions.

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