Not being in control of your emotions can have massive repercussions on your life.
Take, for example, the inability to manage your stress levels at work.
Say, somebody in your team does something wrong. Not catastrophic. But bad enough that you get reprimanded by your boss.
That will have a ripple effect in someone who is emotionally unstable. Leading them to feel MORE stress from their NORMAL workload later on that same day.
I used to work in a bank, and a few times I forgot to cash a cheque for a customer. Or miscounted some cash so my till didn’t balance at lunchtime.
I then got told off for being so inept, lo and behold later that same day I made WORSE mistakes because I was so flustered.
Fine. We all have days like that.
But then what happens afterwards?
In this scenario, the stressed out, emotionally unstable employee goes home and thinks, “what a shit day that was, I deserve some wine and a takeaway.”
Thereby decreasing their own health in at least two ways:
1) self-medicating the stress with high calorie foods and alcohol, leading to weight gain
2) not evaluating and learning from the stress of the day means the situation is likely to reoccur
…not to mention lower self-esteem, low appreciation of employed work etc.
Anyway, I’m sure we can all relate to having days like these.
But here’s the thing to remember:
YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE DAYS LIKE THIS
Work is hard. Other people will always make mistakes. Your boss will lose their temper occasionally.
Don’t expect life to get easier. It won’t. And you can’t control it.
But the key is to control what you can control: YOUR MINDSET
Keeping yourself emotionally balanced means you’ll manage stress better.
Managing stress better actually improves the subjective quality of your day. You’ll feel like you’re having a better day.
Lower stress levels then mean a higher chance of you choosing healthy foods, being open to learning from your mistakes, and generally getting on with your life in a positive way.
So hopefully it’s clear why you should manage stress & emotions
But how do you do this?
Below I’m going to share a simple method of creating a calm mind, and a way to practice bringing yourself back to that centred, calm feeling throughout the day (i.e. when things become stressful!)
CONTROL YOUR EMOTIONS
This is how to create a calm mind, a centred place you can control.
Before work. Ideally first thing in the morning, sit somewhere comfortable, quiet and alone. In the shower, on the sofa, on the floor, wherever.
Set a timer on your phone for 5 minutes, start it.
Close your eyes and begin ‘BOX BREATHING’ - simply breathe in and count to 4 in your head. Then hold your breath for a 4 count. Breathe out for 4. Hold for 4.
Repeat this INHALE-HOLD-EXHALE-HOLD cycle for the full 5 minutes
As your thoughts wander, simply notice you’re having a thought, label it as such. Do the same with noises and feelings. Simply label these phenomenon as ‘oh, a thought’ or ‘that’s a noise’. Rather than allowing your thoughts to run down the rabbit hole of, “that noise is the binman, did I put the bins out?” Keep it focused.
After the 5 minutes, get up and get on with your day.
Try this for 3-4 days straight before expecting any benefits. You have to train the mind the same way you’d train the body, so you can’t expect instant improvements. Be patient.
Meditate for longer if you want to. But 5 mins is a small, easy time commitment that everyone can achieve.
WHEN YOU BECOME STRESSED
Later in the day, it’s likely that something or someone will stress you out. Here’s what to do:
First, notice that you are having a stressful thought. Initially achieving this step gives you a massive upper hand over your emotions. So congratulate yourself when you notice the stressful thoughts begin.
Now label that stressed thought as simply “a thought” and distance yourself from it. Don’t go down the rabbit hole.
Now, whether sitting or standing, driving or in your office - simply go back to the box breathing drill for 1 minute. INHALE - HOLD - EXHALE - HOLD.
Again, simply label thoughts, noises and feelings rather than engaging with them.
After this 1 minute, get on with your day.
If you can’t do this right away because other people are interacting with you, aim to recentre yourself ASAP. This will not occur without your effort.
And remember, you may still be stressed out after doing this, you may still have a ‘real world’ problem that needs solving!
But you’ll be in a much more positive state of mind and more likely to win the day.
This is basic meditation and I urge you to give it a shot right away.
When the world is already stressful, and you may already be struggling to achieve your goals, it doesn’t make sense to self-sabotage and mess up your own plans.
Start meditating, create a space of calm, then return to it periodically throughout the day.
This helps to eliminate mindless eating, reduces stress levels and will contribute to a healthier life, and a stronger version of you.
Raw Strength Gym, Warrington
PS - if you want help getting some structure, discipline and a BIG challenge into your life then I suggest joining our team for a 6 week program. If you commit, work hard and enjoy the process, we can talk about you becoming a long-term member after that.
Email me back and I'll send you some more info. Anthony@rawstrength.co.uk