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What You Should Really Do When You’re Feeling Upset

What You Should Really Do When You’re Feeling Upset

I bet you know at least one person who somehow always has everything under control – you never see them sad, anxious, or furious. So, how do they do it? Having everything handled at all times practically implies having a superpower to us mortals, doesn’t it?

Well, considering the fact that calm people are only human, we can come to the conclusion that this is something we need to work on and develop step by step.

You probably aren’t even aware of how damaging anger is for you. Recently, I came to realize that I spend way too much time trying to deal with anger issues and that my methods are simply wrong. It’s not about never getting upset – it’s about learning how to cope with things and not letting your anger take over.

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Don’t Keep It In

Most people are too polite to react to a certain situation that causes them to feel upset, or on the other hand, they overreact. It’s very important not to keep your frustrations bottled in, no matter which area of your life they are related to. By staying silent and doing nothing about it, you’ll only allow stress to build up and eat you up from the inside. Besides, your problems aren’t going to solve themselves, are they?

Write, Paint, and Play

02 Write, Paint & Play

    If you’re artistic, this should be the first thing to turn to. Having a talent isn’t something that should be ignored, especially if it can help you deal with your issues. On the other hand, signing up for an art class of any sort will allow you to focus that negative energy into something creative. This is a great way to change the way you deal with your emotions. The third, and equally creative, option is to start a DIY project — if you want to change something about yourself, this decision should reflect in your surroundings as well.

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    Music, Books, and Movies

    When you’re stressed out, visiting your comfort zone isn’t a bad idea. There’s nothing more effective when it comes to dealing with your blue emotions than watching your favorite movie, spending an afternoon with your favorite book, or playing your favorite album and letting the memories it triggers wash over you. Spending a couple of days like this is absolutely acceptable, but try not to get dragged into it for too long.

    Take a Break

    04 Take a Break

      Maybe all you need is a small break. Every now and then you need to give yourself the privilege to do nothing for an entire day. This should be the time to allow others to take care of you, not the other way around. Having a spa day is something that always works for me — it’s extremely beneficial for both your mind and body. Besides, everyone deserves some pampering from time to time.

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      Talk It Out

      Once you’re a bit calmer, and that initial emotional flood has subsided, it’s much easier to figure out the right course of action, but you need to verbalize your thoughts. Having a friend over, talking to a family member, or making an appointment with your therapist will be more than helpful when it comes to figuring things out. A healthy decision requires at least a couple of different points of view, and you shouldn’t hesitate from asking for help.

      Make Yourself Useful

      06 Useful

        When something hits you right on the nerve, you need to allow your mind to work it out. Trying to calm yourself by force won’t get you anywhere. So, you need to give enough space for your brain to cool off and you need to keep your hands busy. Therefore, after a few deep slow breaths, you need to roll up your sleeves and start cleaning or organizing — anything that will make you feel useful and productive. This isn’t a random suggestion — actions like this help your brain work out various issues much faster.

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        Don’t Repeat Your Mistakes

        As I already mentioned, you can’t expect that repeating one thing can possibly result differently. There’s nothing wrong in making a mistake, but repeating that same mistake over and over again can only make you feel more and more upset. There’s a clear path here — when you make a mistake, you should determine what went wrong, remember it, and try really hard not to repeat it. You should look at this procedure as if it were an investment into your mental health and your future happiness.

        Finally, deciding that you want to become a calm person, who manages all tasks and issues by searching for a reasonable solution, is a healthy resolution, but you can’t expect all of this to happen overnight. Give your mind enough time to take it all in, apply one method at a time and you’ll be more than just fine — you’ll be happy.

        Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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        Last Updated on May 21, 2019

        How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

        How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

        For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

        If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

        Example 1

        You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

        You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

        In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

        Example 2

        You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

        People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

        You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

        Example 3

        You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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        The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

        Example 4

        You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

        Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

        If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

        Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

        • Understand your own communication style
        • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
        • Communicate with precision and care
        • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

        1. Understand Your Communication Style

        To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

        In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

        Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

        2. Learn Others Communication Styles

        Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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        If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

        “How do you prefer to receive information?”

        This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

        To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

        3. Exercise Precision and Care

        A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

        On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

        Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

        I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

        I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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        In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

        The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

        Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

        4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

        Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

        In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

        “Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

        Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

        Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

        It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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        It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

        It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

        Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

        Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

        The Bottom Line

        When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

        I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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        Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

        Reference

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