sibylle chaudhuri | coaching & training
Systemic and NLP Coach
Newsletter - October 2010
About handling emotions
"God grant me the serenity
to accept things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference."
Reinhold Niebuhr (German-U.S. theologian, 1892-1971);
Often by mistake assigned to Christof Friedrich Oetinger (German theologian, 1702-1782)
Reinhold Niebuhr gave us some food for thought here. The Serenity Prayer is a helpful tip in addition to my September-Newsletter.
In my last newsletter, I wrote about acknowledging and accepting our emotions to enable us to decide whether we want to do something about them or just let go.
How can we do something about feeling an emotion like fear or anger for example?
Emotions are signals from your subconscious mind; very often they try to tell us something. Emotions are the reaction to a specific event and are usually short in their duration. However, when we don't listen to our emotions or cannot even read them anymore because we are so used to suppressing them; they will cause moods like happiness and contentment but also frustration, anxiety, sadness, etc. Moods are longer lasting feelings, and negative moods can lead to all kinds of mental and physical diseases.
Alright, back to reading the signs of our emotions. Generally it is always good to know what those emotions want to tell you; and if you want to do something about them it is also important to know what the source/cause of the emotions is.
Let's start with the positive emotions, they are easy. Assuming you check on your emotions and feel e.g. "love" and/ or "joy", what does your subconscious mind want to tell you? "DO MORE OF IT."
And what do you do about it? You sure don't want to let go of these brilliant feelings, so figure out where it comes from. What is the source of your positive emotions?
Assuming it is something you do that is good for you and does not do you any harm, do more of it e.g. meditation, jogging, playing Tai Chi, practising ChiGong or Yoga or a job you really love and it is fulfilling. In case it is something giving you joy but it is not really good for you like eating chocolate cake or chatting with your friend on the phone when you should be working, don't do it too often but when you do it please do enjoy it and don't beat yourself up over it. Allow yourself to actually feel good.
Now, the negative emotions, those might be a bit more difficult. Ones we acknowledged some negative emotions like e.g. fear or panic it is possible that our subconscious mind just tries to protect us and wants to tell us: "Watch out!" "Be careful!" "Treat yourself in a nicer way." "Take a rest now and again," etc.
Again, find out, what the source of your panic or fear is and then decide what to do about it. If e.g. your favourite hobby is walking on the edge of the roof of a sky scraper and you get all panicky about it you better decide to avoid it once and for all. Or maybe you have started getting panic attacks only by the idea of leaving your house. This happened to a client of mine and together we figured out that this emotion was only arising because he had started acting silly on the street, by crossing them without looking out for the traffic. By crossing the streets consciously again and watching out for the traffic he could get rid of the panic emotions quickly.
You might feel anger and figure out that the emotion always comes up when you meet a friend of yours. It could be that something they say or do drives you mad for some reason. So what can you do? Well, you could avoid meeting them for one or you try to change the situation by talking with them and explaining what it is that makes you angry. If you cannot change it by talking to them and you still want to meet them, accept it the way it is. Do they have an opinion about something that is important to you and it is exactly the opposite to yours? Well, accept their opinion for what it is, just THEIR OPINION, not more not less. Is it an odd habit of theirs you cannot stand? Focus on all their positive sides you like so much.
Let's stay with the "angry" emotion and let's assume your job drives you nuts. You can quit and find a new one; or you can accept the job as it is for the moment and decide it is O.K. for you for now. Take your time to figure out what it really is that you want to do and go and get the right job.
Letting go of an emotion is all about acknowledging the emotion and accepting it. When we are able to also accept the circumstances that brought up the emotion, we can even be happy with them. For example we are angry because our boss never listens to us and ignores our ideas and suggestions. Again we can talk to them and try to change the situation. And we can ask ourselves:
"Can I let go of my anger and allow myself to be happy although my boss never listens to me?"
"Is it alright for me to be happy now, in this very moment with my boss not listening to me?"
The best way of course is to be able to love something, not only to accept it. You hate your job and want to do something else. Ask yourself: "Could I allow myself to love the job I have at the moment and still wanting to do something else?"
We are all different, so experiment with your emotions and possibilities to let go, change or accept things.
For those of you I still could not convince how important it is to be able to acknowledge our emotions, being able to tell what we feel and handle them, I have a short description what Emotional Intelligence is all about; and we all know how important it is nowadays ...
The following definition is taken from the website
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence refers to people's ability to monitor their own and other people's emotional states and to use this information to act wisely in relationships. Emotional intelligence has five parts:
• Self-awareness: recognizing internal feelings.
• Managing emotions: finding ways to handle emotions that are appropriate to the situation.
• Motivation: using self-control to channel emotions toward a goal.
• Empathy: understanding the emotional perspective of other people.
• Handling relationships: using personal information and information about others to handle social relationships and to develop interpersonal skills.
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Until next month enjoy every moment of your life and be well.
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sibylle chaudhuri | coaching & training