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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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June Silny

ADHD Coach, Writer, ADDitude Magazine featured contributor

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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