It’s only human to have emotions, and further human to not be able to control them occasionally. We all have that cranky colleague, irritated boss and the forever-angry co-worker. All they are doing is putting their emotions out in the open for everyone to see.
We’ve been conditioned to pretend that our feelings cease to exist the moment we step into our workplaces. Owing to the gender biases that we are plagued with, men just have it harder. Women have an allowance of some sort when it comes to expressing emotions. But if she overdoes it, that’s the tag she is carrying for the rest of her tenure in that workplace.
It’s completely normal to feel strong emotions at/about work. A tanked project, a failed presentation, an angry outburst by the boss – these are only some things that can bring out emotions. However, to succeed in today’s challenging times, it is essential that we constructively channel our emotions. Here are six tips to help you manage your emotions at work
Identify what you’re feeling
We experience a wide range of emotions at work. Some are easy to handle, while others sometimes tend to get out of hand. Anger, frustration, dislike, insecurity, burn out, etc. could be anything. Before you address any situation, it is important to identify what you are feeling. Whether it is a one-off thing or a regular occurrence? The trick is to figure out how you are feeling and what caused it. Be mindful of how negative feelings trigger you and work towards avoiding them. You can practice self-awareness and maintain a mood journal to keep track.
Regulate, don’t repress
When people keep their emotions bottled up or repressed, chances are they will burn out quicker, which in turn affects their performance. Work can be overwhelming, and it is okay to talk about your problems. Chances are, when your colleagues and manager are made aware of your struggles, they will happily lend a hand. This obviously does not mean you go on a complaining spree; moderation is the key here.
Stop to evaluate
Even though it is entirely okay to be emotional at work, raising your voice might not be the best idea for your career. There is a time and place for everything and before you react, take a minute to sit with your feelings. This gives you time to process and clear your head before you respond to something impulsively. For a fresh perspective on things, speak to a colleague you trust. If your work environment isn’t amicable, talk it out with someone outside your workplace who might understand.
Do you tend to feel angry around certain people, or is someone’s negativity pulling you down? Emotional Contagion is a psychological phenomenon where one’s mood tends to be influenced by those around us. So, to prevent future emotional outbursts at work – identify, explore and eliminate such triggers.
Give yourself space
If taking a brisk walk helps you calm down, go for it. If meditating is your coping mechanism, feel free to take out a couple of minutes and let others know not to disturb you. Take a few deep breaths and give yourself the time and space to get centered. You need to be mentally and physically fit to do your best, so there’s no shame in stepping away for the sake of your mental and emotional well-being.
Stressful situations are an everyday affair, and learning to manage your emotions in such times can do wonders for you professionally. Anger, irritation, annoyance, and worry, are all legitimate feelings; we just need to deal with them better, without letting things go out of hand.
(Edited by Neha Baid)