Recognizing and understanding emotions

Often, we experience emotions that may derail our plans, cause anxiety, or simply shut us down.  Here are 4 steps that will help you successfully get through a stressful situation or conversation.

  1. Stop – Stop what you are doing. Stop your thoughts and actions.
  2. Breathe – Take two or more deep abdominal breaths and bring yourself to the present moment. At this time, clear your mind and focus on your breath – and nothing else.
  3. Observe – Once your body is relaxed, non-judgmentally observe your emotions, sensations in your body, your words, and actions. What feelings do you notice? What body sensations do you notice? What assumptions are you making? What are you communicating and sharing? Is it representative of who you truly are?
  4. Plan – Based on everything you noticed; determine how you will proceed. Will you continue the conversation? Will you table this conversation for a later time? Will you change your tone or body language? Will you be more positive? Will you communicate in a different way?

Taking a few seconds to pause can help you gather better thoughts and feelings, and it can change the direction of a conversation.

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