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How to Stop Letting Your Emotions Zap Your Energy

How to Stop Letting Your Emotions Zap Your Energy

Do you ever feel as though you are on an emotional roller coaster, riding high and happy one minute, then feeling lower than low the next? Do you wish you could get a grip on how and when certain emotions are triggered, causing overwhelm and exhaustion in your life? Do you find that many times, your emotional ups and downs are followed by periods of zapped energy?

Believe it or not, you have a choice about how to feel. You CAN control your emotions. Here is a plan on how to start.

1. Cultivate the practice of mindfulness into your daily life.

To be mindful means to be aware of what you are experiencing in a given moment. In having this awareness, you are conscious of what you are doing, what is happening around you, and who is in front of you. Most importantly though, you are aware of what you are feeling inside.

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There is immense power in recognizing the feelings and thoughts that are going through your head in a single moment; awareness of your emotions allows you to make a choice about whether you will continue to focus on them or not.

2. Once you have identified certain emotions via awareness, very quickly consider the cost (or benefit) to holding onto the emotions.

In other words, ask yourself, “Is it worth it?” to feel a certain way.

In some situations, it is healthy for you to allow your certain emotions flow. The unwillingness (or inability) to “feel” affects your ability to heal. The suppression of emotions can lead to more internal “drama” (resentment, anger, hurt, etc.), as well as negative external consequences (physical illness) for you.

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In other situations, you may decide the emotion you are feeling is not worth the physical and mental cost. For example, ask yourself whether it is really worth getting worked up into a rage over a driver who cut you off in traffic. In reality, that other driver is probably clueless about making you angry. In reality, there is only one person who will suffer by continuing to hold on to that “harmless” driving incident: YOU.

3. With an understanding of the cost/benefit to holding onto certain emotions, make a choice about whether you want to continue to feel them or not.

This part is easy. Do you want to hold onto the emotion or not? Does the cost outweigh the benefit? Does holding onto the emotion feel “right”? Does it feel good? Do you want to feel it? Do you need to feel it?

If you want to move past the emotion, you can do it in an instant. If you need to allow the emotion to flow, give yourself permission to do this and let it happen. Once you have made a decision about the emotion, be at peace with it and be fully mindful of the present moment.

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Practical Tips for Implementation

1. Strengthen your mindfulness muscle.

Spend at least five minutes of every day in quiet and with no distractions around you. Place one of your hands on your heart and focus on your breathing, your heart beating and your chest rising and falling. If your mind starts to wander, bring yourself back to your heart and your feelings.

Focus on how your body feels, starting with your toes all the way up to the crown of your head. Notice how you feel on the inside. Without judgement and always staying connected to the breath, observe the inner “you.”

This daily practice not only helps you in becoming more aware, but it is a great way to fuel your energy on a daily basis. By spending this time in quiet, focused on your breath and yourself, you become more centered. You will become more resilient and less susceptible to energy-zapping emotions, people and situations.

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2. Identify your emotional triggers.

In becoming more mindful, you will naturally gain an awareness of the people and situations that drain you. With this knowledge, you will have an understanding when you are placed in a situation where one of these triggers is likely to get set off, and you can prepare (or recover) as necessary. By the way, a great way to prepare (or recover) is by implementing Practical Tip 1 above.

3. Set healthy boundaries.

Energy is zapped when you are overrun by people who are unaware of your needs. In fact, if you haven’t already, examine whether you are aware of what it is you need (in terms of rest, work and play) to function at an optimal level. Frame your life in a way that your needs are met (or substantially met) before anyone else’s needs are.

You can accomplish this by setting healthy boundaries with others. Respect the boundaries you have set. Abide by them, and your energy will flow.

Featured photo credit: Sad and lonely girl crying via Bigstock Photos

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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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