You may notice that you are experiencing a range of emotions these days. After a news report you may feel worried about contracting coronavirus and be angry at a family member for taking the risk of meeting a friend or colleague. You may notice that you are feeling tired with all of the decisions you need to make for your business and family. You may be worried about the future of your job and the current state of the world. Many of these emotions are uncomfortable. We each have different strategies for managing what we may consider as painful or negative emotions. Most of us retreat to our heads and do a lot of thinking and worrying. We also may tend to judge ourselves and recount our inadequacies or we can blame others and highlight their faults. We can also distract ourselves with things like more work, more television, news and other addictions. Essentially, we tend to suppress, repress or express our emotions.
Another option is to befriend our emotions and recognize that they are giving us a message. Most of us ideally choose to be attentive parents and seek to understand the needs of a child with compassion. For example, the cry of a young child could mean the child is hungry, lonely or desires to play. As parents we take responsibility for listening to our child’s pain and learning about their needs. We can do the same thing for ourselves. We can make the intention to be open to learning from our emotions.
Our concern about the dangers of coronavirus can support us in following the social distancing and mask wearing guidelines. Our sense of being tired may call for planning a break. We can listen to what our emotions are implying and then we can assess how true the underlying belief may be. For example, if we are worried because we are trying to be a perfectionist. It may be that the report we are working on is good enough.
This is where self-awareness comes in. We all have conditioned beliefs that may have once served us but may not do so now. It may have helped you to strive to be a perfectionist in your family or school where you received praise for such attention to detail. However, your report is not being graded and you will be better off not editing it for the tenth time.
Part of being emotionally intelligent and successful during this time of uncertainty is being open to becoming aware of your emotions and assessing how true or realistic the underlying beliefs are for you at this time. This process takes some practice and is quite useful during this journey.
Try an experiment of noticing and listening to your emotions and related beliefs. Then choose kind actions to support yourself.