Control of emotions: benefits in business. Emotions have a possessive character that sometimes causes them to take over us and control our attitudes and behaviors. We feel we cannot control what we feel; lack of control can translate into moods or actions that also seem out of our hands.
We can thus suffer, for example, from episodes of uncontrollable anger, fear that is difficult to handle, or sadness that does not seem to go away. In these cases, emotions become problematic and interfere with our daily activities.
However, in business, it can be harmful to other people to know the emotions you are experiencing at a certain moment since they can take advantage of the situation to manipulate you. For this reason, this article teaches the benefits of managing emotions in business.
Relationship with our emotions
Thinking about emotions in terms of control is misleading. We cannot decide what to feel. Instead, what we can decide is what to do with what we feel — what is crucial is the relationship we establish with our emotions and the channel we give them.
Humans use two very common methods to avoid relating to emotions: we repress them or act on them.
Take anger, for example. Imagine that a person is at a party, and someone makes a comment that causes them dislike. The person could 1) ignore it and continue as if nothing happened, or 2) act out their anger and resort to aggression.
Both reactions bring problems. The first handling does not credit the anger, which does not disappear due to being ignored and can return in another context that may not be appropriate. The second does not allow the person to establish a relationship with their emotion, which is acted out thoughtlessly and therefore remains unprocessed.
Is our emotional management adequate?
When you have an emotional reaction, is the emotion congruent with the event that triggered it? For example, someone tells a sad story, and your reaction is anger.
Does the intensity of the emotion match the intensity of the stimulus that provoked it? For example, someone makes a slightly annoying comment, but your reaction is excessive, and you want to hit them immediately.
Once the event that triggered the emotion is over, does the emotion go away, or does it stay there for a long time? For example, someone makes an annoying comment, and your anger lasts for days.
Why can’t I control my emotions?
Emotions are reactions that activate when you experience feelings such as joy, anger, fear, or sadness. Each person has a way of expressing them. How do you react to a problem or a stressful situation?
You should know that everyone can develop emotional intelligence. Which is nothing more than the way you channel your emotions, that is, developing the ability to measure what consequences you would have if you let your emotions control you.
For emotions to dominate you, only one trigger is enough, it does not necessarily happen in a chaotic perspective. Simple scenarios in your life, such as traffic, stress, dealing with children, or small financial conflicts, can intervene in emotional loss. When you control your feelings, you will be able to make assertive decisions, no solution comes from anger.
What can happen if I allow my emotions to run amok?
Lack of emotional self-control could be defined as the lack of conscious ability to regulate impulses voluntarily and adaptively, to achieve greater personal and relational balance.
The emotions of people with a lack of self-control suffer many ups and downs and can go from joy to anger quickly. They lack the ability to control these emotions provoked by both internal and external stimuli and to handle them voluntarily.
The emotions that happen at every moment govern the person who cannot self-control and regulates their behavior. In addition, when they are immersed in an emotion, they cannot think clearly and react based on these even though it is not adaptive to the context in which they find themselves.
Strategies that work to control emotions
True emotional intelligence requires you to identify and understand your moods. It involves recognizing when and why you are angry, nervous or sad, and acting on the causes and not just the symptoms.
However, on those occasions when you find you are inevitably heading towards a negative emotional state, the following techniques can effectively stop or slow that chain reaction.
1. Understand the influence of emotions in our life
As we have just seen, emotions determine our behavior. We will act in one way or another depending on how we feel and this can help us or complicate things a lot. When the emotion is “positive”, our behavior tends to be “normal”, it can even help us act correctly in difficult situations.
However, when the emotion is “negative” or unpleasant (fear, anger, shame …), it can play tricks on us and cause us to behave in a maladaptive or incoherent way.
For example: imagine that you have to present a work in front of all your colleagues. You have been preparing it for weeks and you are happy with the result. The day of the presentation arrives and you have the third shift. When the second exhibition ends, you think that you will not remember everything and you feel afraid.
That fear makes you make mistakes during the exhibition and you start to feel nervous. Because of the thoughts and emotions, you feel, you are trembling, your mouth is dry, and your posture is stiff. The exposure has been difficult; it has not been smooth and you feel disappointed and embarrassed.
As we see in this example, emotions, especially those considered negative, change our habitual behavior and harm us in different areas of our life. For this reason, it is important to know how to manage emotions and thus avoid that they negatively interfere with our behavior, making us act in a non-adaptive way or generating negative secondary emotions.
2. Accept that we have emotions, control of emotions
Before delving into the techniques for managing emotions, it is convenient to know that emotions are temporary states that we experience. They are normal and natural states that are considered adaptive and beneficial since they offer us information thathelps us understand situations and adapt to them.
Remember that suppressing emotions or trying to ignore them does not work in the long run because they reappear with more force. However, emotions are sometimes very intense and can collapse us. Therefore, it is important to regulate them.
3. Identify the emotion in the body, control of emotions
The first step in learning to control emotions is knowing how to identify and understand our emotions. To learn how to handle them, it is necessary to attend to them, feel them, and check what they contribute to us and how we feel. Next, we will see how to manage emotions step by step:
a) Choose one emotion that you want to control or manage.
b) Resort to thoughts that provoke that emotion in you until the emotion invades you.
c) Listen to your body: focus on everything that happens in you, what changes you notice in your body, in your mind, what behavior or behavior it leads to, what do you want to do when you feel like this.
d) Remember situations in which you have acted in a way that you dislike because of that emotion. Accept it and you will have taken the first step to change it. Think about how you react by letting yourself get carried away by negative emotions, and then think about how you want to act.
You already know the emotion, how it acts in you, and you are taking away its power. From now on, when you feel that emotion, you will remember what you have learned and you will consciously or unconsciously choose not to get carried away by it.
4. Learn relaxation techniques, control of emotions
When an unwanted emotion appears, our body activates. Learning muscle relaxation and practicing it for a while until learning to relax in a matter of minutes will allow us to reduce that physiological activation generated by the emotion. Once the “alarm state” deactivates, we can think clearly and avoid unwanted behaviors caused by our activation state.
For example, you go with your child to buy theater tickets and the line at the box office seems endless. You see how several people sneak in and that makes you angry. You notice how your pulse is racing and your first reaction is to go yell at the people who have sneaked in, but you know it is not appropriate behavior and less with your child in front of you, so you focus on relaxing and you get it in a few minutes. Once you are calm, you can approach the group and resolve the situation calmly.
5. Apply thought stop, control of emotions
With emotions, as with recurring thoughts, we can use the thinking stop technique. In this psychological technique, we do not ignore what is happening, but consciously, when a “negative” thought or emotion appears, we stop it. We can use the word: stop, or any other of your choice. When the emotion appears, we will say the word and choose to relativize that emotion and not let it invade us.
Example: you have to go to the airport to catch a plane and you can’t find your boarding passes. You look in the places where you could have put them, but they don’t appear anywhere. Frustration invades you and you keep thinking that you are going to be late and you are going to miss your flight.
All those thoughts do not let you think clearly and you use the thinking stop technique. The thoughts that cause your nerves are there, you notice them and you have slowed them down, so they lose power and your mind clears. Now you can think calmly and finally remember that you carried your boarding passes in your suitcase so you don’t forget them.
6. Train yourself in self-instructions, control of emotions
Self-instructions are one of the psychological strategies that can help us in moments when a negative emotion assails us, but for this, we must prepare and practice them. Self-instructions must be affirmative, credible, short, and in a language like the one we normally use for this emotional management strategy to be effective.
- Incorrect: you cannot with me; this will not affect me; I will not get carried away …
- Correct: I will handle you; I am calm; I feel strong; I have control …
Example: let’s go back to the public speaking example. We feel nervous and afraid. Then, we remember the affirmations that we prepare and we say to ourselves: I feel safe; I have control of my body and my mind; I can do it; everything is fine; I am prepared… These positive messages provide us with security and help the physiological deactivation caused by fear and anxiety.
Now that you know the benefits of controlling emotions in business, you can achieve success more easily.