Certain events can trigger raw emotions within us. Some of these feelings are so strong that they disable us. This is when we lose our vision or motivation.
Then there are other emotions that have the power to lead us to remarkable heights, removing any obstacle in its path.
How do we maintain a balanced awareness of our emotions? What is the art of managing emotions?
We observe, take note and develop a familiarity with every single emotion that arises.
Whilst remaining focused on our emotions, you will come across feelings that you may not understand.
We have an inner voice that utilises our feelings to pass on messages. It can be a slow process to recognise and then develop a relationship with this guide.
Over time, we begin to separate our emotions from the ideas and lessons that our voice is attempting to alert us to.
That is why understanding and managing emotions and your inner voice is so important.
“When our emotional health is in a bad state, so is our level of self-esteem. We have to slow down and deal with what is troubling us, so that we can enjoy the simple joy of being happy and at peace with ourselves.” ~ Jess C. Scott
An Overview of Contents
Coffee with Your Emotions
The boss calls you into his office, with the tone of voice that raises your curiosity.
He tells you a customer has requested you to manage one of their projects.
This opportunity will further improve your career prospects. It would increase your networking circles and put your visibility on the map
You begin to reflect on this unexpected opportunity. There is pen and paper at your disposal, and you are ready to jot down anything the mind may find relevant.
There is a knock at the BRAIN’S door. As you unlock the latch and turn the knob, you are looking directly at Doubt.
You put the kettle on and make coffee. Doubt dances around your mind, thinking of every scenario that could possibly go wrong. Starting with all the – What if’s?
- Of course, this emotion blows everything out of proportion.
- Doubt can make you feel embarrassed or scared before the event has even occurred.
- Doubt sits in the middle of your stomach. It makes you feel as if something dreadful is just around the corner.
You appreciate what Doubt has to say. But you only need to hear it once.
If Doubt attempts to return – stand firm. Put your hand in the air and say,‘thank you but no thank you’. There are only so many times you can hear the same old thing.
Then the Day Dreamer comes for a visit.
Coffee with this part of the imagination is easy. You get to visualise all the situations where the results are in your favour.
When it comes to this new project, your mind shows you presenting your work like a professional – showing off your skill set, highlighting all your individual qualities.
You visualise coming to the end of your speech, watching everyone absorb your information. You are the star of the show when the Day Dreamer is in town.
While this is pleasant and comfortable, the coffee is over and Day Dreamer is shown to the door. There is only so long you can spend with your head in the clouds.
All the positive thoughts are noted. Now it is time to get back to work.
Before you know it, Nerves taps at the door.
Nerves is jumpy, fidgety, and unbalanced.It can make you stutter, shake, talk a little faster, and have spit balls flying from your mouth.
When Nerves has stated its claim, you enthusiastically show it the door. You can’t wait to be rid of that negativity. You don’t want to be feeling like this. Practice makes perfect.
Fear arrives unannounced.
This emotion has the potential to freeze your mind. How on earth are you going to remember your work, when Fear ambushes you?
- Fear wants you to remain where you are; it does not like progress. Fear wants you to renege on every opportunity life presents to you.
- Fear pretends to be your friend and whispers all the excuses as to why it is okay to bail out.
- Fear can make you restless, lose your appetite, concentration, and sleep.
- Fear does not just want to stay for coffee, but wants to move in, and can be rather dominating and forceful.
You take note of what Fear has to say. Then vigorously push it out the door, just as you have done with all the other negative emotions.
With your mind in a swirl, you wonder if you really do have a chance. And just in the nick of time Determination arrives.
This part of the brain has a reputation for hanging around for days and is more than welcome to do so. A mindset this strong is similar to a superhero wearing a cape.
- You discuss all your previous visitors with Determination, who dismisses all the other feelings as baloney. It questions why you would even entertain them with coffee.
- Determination is not easily shaken as preparation leads to positive results.
- Determination is the no fuss type, it won’t carry on with these the other visitors Doubt, Nerve, or Fear. It refuses friendships or making connections with these insecure characters.
- Determination presents clear and strict plans, though do-able time-tables.
- Determination sees the end and manages anything in its path.
Reason knocks at the door and is greeted with open arms.
Reason and Determination get busy discussing the possibilities. Reason works with all the facts regardless of them being positive or negative.
Determination walks solidly towards any challenge. Reason is the caretaker walking side by side, ensuring all the logistics are seen to.
A tap on the minds door and Self-assured has arrived.
Now you feel centred and balanced. This is when you continue with your project, confident of your capabilities.
Not because you are a fake or flimsy. You have worked really hard to get to where you are.
You feel some major relief now as your dynamite team is together. The odds are in your favour.
You can definitely manage this project. This trio is the disciplined workers. They serve you better.
Criticism arrives and immediately starts to toss opinions around the room.
The other three raise their heads; they know this personality all too well. Determination completely ignores Criticism and continues to work.
Reason gives Criticism a small window of opportunity to voice an opinion. Self-assured looks Criticism up and down and says,“Sorry buster, but you and me-we just don’t gel”!
The three get back to work. You show Criticism to the door.
“It is better to experience moment of discomfort in the achievement of your dreams than to be comfortable without accomplishing your dreams.” ~ Lailah Gifty Akita
Managing Your Negative Emotions
Every emotion deserves your attention – if only for a short time.
Negative emotions have a bad reputation. Common practice is to ignore them completely. People worry that if they acknowledge these feelings, they will take over.
Any emotion we feel is genuine – deserves exploration. It’s up to you how much time you want to validate each feeling.
Ignoring our negative emotions is like writing a post with limited knowledge on the subject. If you don’t research the topic further, you can only work with a small amount of information.
It is far too risky to our reputation and credibility to be working without all the facts.
Listening to these negative emotions gives us insight. We recognise they are the Drama Queens in our minds.
We empower ourselves when we observe our emotions rather than become hostage to them.
It seems these undesirable feelings present themselves at the most inconvenient of times.
When you feel as if your negatives have started to gain some power, reflect on how many times you have felt this way and overcome these feelings.
There will be periods when we must accept negative emotions, and soldier on whilst feeling uncomfortable. When we have committed ourselves, continue as planned.
As our confidence builds, we wonder why we entertained these negative thoughts. They only have the potential to stop our progress if we allow them to.
Think of yourself working in the complaints department at a store. For every issue that arises, you are the problem solver. As you begin to see more customers, you start to realise there is a pattern.
Customers continue to bring up the same issues, time and time again. So you realise that specific area need attention. After a while, it is nothing more than repetition.
You will discover when you give Nerves, Fear, Doubt and Criticism some consideration; they say the same old thing.
You then begin to give them less thought, and they really do start to lose their power.
A trained and disciplined mind works with the external factors and the internal house-keeping.
Never deny how you feel. But don’t allow those Drama Queen emotions to linger.
Utilise Determination, Reason and Self-Assured, as they get things done. With continued use of these super hero’s, you can easily go through your daily routine and managing emotions become an easy task.
The Saviour – Your Inner Voice
Last but not least, there is one particular tool that I saved for last. It’s the most important in our kit.
Some refer to this as a spiritual guide or blueprint. It can be described as our conscious voice, our true spirit, god’s will or angels. I refer to mine as The Nag.
These steering devices are not for the chosen few. Everyone has their own internal voice.
It may come in the form of pictures, voices, feelings, dreams, visions, or colours. You just have to find how yours communicates to you.
The Naming Of My Inner Voice
Recognising the messages my guide is attempting to convey is at times difficult. The inner voice can get drowned out by Fear, Doubt, Nerves, or Criticism.
The Nag will become just as repetitive as a negative emotion if I continue to miss messages. That is how my inner voice got its name.
I lack patience and tolerance when any sort of nagging begins. I will attempt to escape it at all costs.
The Nag has taken on the one trait that I avoid whenever possible. That is constant nagging.
I think The Nag is a becoming name of my guide. As I typed that last sentence, I got a pleasant feeling and a vision of a big smile. Confirming my conclusion.
Our guides aren’t about to change the way they present their voice or message because of a little doubt.
It is us humans that evolve as the relationship develops with our inner voice.
It may appear as if our guides have gotten louder. This is not the case. We have become sensitive to how our guide communicates.
I have a sound relationship with The Nag. I trust how messages are presented to me. This is what my nag does for me.
- Advertising campaigns on buildings or buses present me with immediate ideas (most people have this capability). My imagination works over time with pretty colours and pictures.
- And/or I get a strong feeling that sits in the centre of my stomach.
- The Nag is so subtle that for years it had gone without any attention. While it is softly spoken, it may as well be yelling at me now, because it always has my full attention.
GOOD READ: How To Boost Self Esteem In 8 Simple Ways
How My Inner Voice Operates
For years, I had wanted to get over my public speaking fears. I had a few bad experiences.
I was 18 when I had heard about a group of people meeting up to deliver speeches in front of one another. It was not until I was 28 that I took my first step towards looking into what Toastmasters was about.
Whenever anyone mentioned public speaking, I would become alert and listen carefully.
This would generate a feeling within me. Sometimes I would get a little disappointed in myself for not having taken action.
Other times I would become impatient or annoyed with myself, thinking I was getting nowhere in this area because I was procrastinating. This was my inner voice alerting to an area where the action was required.
Exercise is a great balancer. However, I am inconsistent with it. When I stop exercising, my internal nag will alert me to everything that is fitness related. I automatically become conscious of:-
- A back pack with the label ‘Fitness First’ will grab my attention.
- A gym advertisement will make me think about how slack I have become towards exercise.
- I am reminded that I am not taking the best care of myself when I see someone wearing an exercise outfit.
It is never long before exercise comes back into my life. When I begin again, all these subtle signs no longer stand out.
How to Recognise Your Inner Voice
- What continues to repeat itself in your mind? What nags at you?
- What are you constantly reminded of? What do you long to do but give yourself a thousand excuses why you can’t?
- The uncomfortable feeling that disappears without a trace as soon as you begin doing what you have always wanted to.
Unfortunately, people do become numb or deaf to their voice. Others drown it with alcohol, drugs, overeating, or gambling.
When I am heading in the wrong direction, my imagination will start showing me pictures of alarms bells or sirens.
It’s similar to that of an ambulance or a police car running around in my mind, lighting up, and spinning around in red and blue colours.
Another way I receive messages is through music. A song might play in my mind but the words are different to the original lyrics. This is whenThe Nag is trying to tell me something.
Before, I was a little confused as to what it was, sometimes even a little frightened. But it is what I have been blessed with. The Nag only has my best interests at heart.
Our emotions come in handy. They are attached to the strengths and limitations of who we are. I embrace them all but manage them differently.
The Nag is like the night watchman of the mind, guarding me against myself and some of the decisions I make.
HELPFUL READ: How to Hear Your Inner Voice
A full examination of all our emotions is necessary. This ensures we are working with all the facts.
We feel super charged when our positive emotions dominate. Our inner voice is easier to recognise with these feelings. When combined, the two are a powerful force.
Fear, Doubt, Nerves, Criticism, and the Day Dreamer all visit to share their views. Feel and observe all of them.
This will alert you to the repetitive nature of these emotions. It becomes obvious they are the time wasters of the mind.
Discipline is required when our negative moods present themselves.
Our inner voice presents in the same manner regardless of what emotion is prominent. Managing emotions using inner voice is an effective solution
With a positive state of mind, you are better able to comprehend your guide’s messages.
“Just like it is so important to understand the difference in thinking and feeling to increase our Emotional Intelligence, it is important to take the time to understand the difference in emotional feelings and gut feelings to further increase our intelligence and facility of intuition that we call Intuitional Intelligence.” ~ Martha Char Love
Over to You –
What emotions do you allow to stir your mind? How do you deal with your emotions?
Photo credit: Sony Pictures Animation. SMURF, and all Smurfs characters ©Peyo
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