of the best ways to boost mental energy is to recognise
a fact that at first may seem unlikely: You have the power
to choose how you feel.
we all know, are strong forces. Sometimes they even overtake
us. They don't just shape our moods; they influence our
very thoughts and the decisions we make.
been told over and over to pay attention to our feelings,
they represent some honest core of ourselves. But feelings
can also get us seriously off track. Sometimes they land
us in considerable conflict, and create the fireworks that
erupt when people disagree.
we do not have to be at the mercy of our emotions. We can
in fact control them, direct them into constructive channels.
The ability to choose how we feel is called"emotional
are a source of information and they can work for us if
we learn how to monitor them and use their energy for positive
means. Emotions, which are a primary source of energy and
motivation, are made up of several constituent parts. These
include behaviour, thinking, physiology, and spirituality
of the components of emotion can be mined for information
about our emotional experience. In addition they serve as
avenues for exercising emotional discipline.
we all have different life experiences, we differ in the
array of things that evoke our emotions. For some the threat
of war is especially upsetting, for others the loss of a
job. Many of us are set off by interpersonal conflict, whether
with a colleague or spouse.
discipline is not a one-size-fits-all process. Rather, you
can develop and customise it to your own needs. It sets
up the capacity to deal with current and future challenges.
core strategy involves taking five simple steps each time
you have a significant emotional encounter.
Identify the issue or event that provokes a certain emotion.
What is the cause of the feelings you are currently experiencing
in the argument?
Scan your body and identify the location and intensity of
the physical reactions your emotions are causing. Where
do you feel the physical sensation of anger? Rate the physical
sensation as pleasant or unpleasant.
Identify the thoughts that accompany the feelings and the
beliefs that support them. What thoughts are evoking the
emotions you feel? Review the self-talk you are engaged
in with yourself and the mental images that course through
your mind. Perhaps you are gripped by anxiety before giving
a talk. You may be thinking "I'm going to make a fool
of myself; this is going to be embarrassing." The supporting
belief may be something like "I'm not a good speaker."
Determine what part of yourself is most revealed by this
emotion (your fearful ego? your healthy spirit?) and what
part is hidden.
any of a number of strategies to work with your feelings.
Here are two of the most essential and effective ones that
you can access through your mind.
Reframing: By changing the way you see something, it's possible
to turn setbacks into opportunities for success. When you
find yourself in a difficult emotional situation, focus
on the opportunities in it as well as the risks. An argument,
for example, provides a chance to learn something about
relationships and the different ways people see things.
Kung Fu. In the ancient Chinese art of self-defence known
as kung fu, the aim is to use any attacking force to your
advantage. You don't fight the attacker; you redirect their
energy to accomplish your goal. You send the enemy to the
ground with the energy of their attack. The same approach
can be applied to emotional conflicts. Rather than resisting
an emotional attack, you use its energy towards a solution.
In emotionally charged conflicts, people do three things:
forcefully state their positions, attack our ideas and attack
us. We're usually tempted to push back, defend ourselves
or reject their ideas. But instead you can side step and
deflect the force of the attack to use their strength to
serve your goals. Invite criticism and advice that could
reveal a solution, recast the attack as an attack on the
problem rather than on you, and ask questions rather than
article was first published in the Psychology Today.)