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.
which are a primary source of energy and motivation, are made
up of several constituent parts. These include behaviour,
thinking, physiology, and spirituality and meaning.
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.
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
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-defense 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 to word 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 sidestep
and deflect the force of the attack to use their strength
to serve your goals. You 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
(R) thedailystar.net 2005