This week I want to talk about making emotional decisions or making decisions without acknowledging your emotions. I thought about this topic while working through a few situations at work this week. I've dealt with challenging moments before, and this wasn't anything different. What gave me pause was my response to how I was feeling and my actions. I remembered how I would have immediately gone to the most extreme scenario and allowed my emotions to consume me. These days, I'm a little different, thank heavens. While previously, my approach to dealing with stress was having a total meltdown, acting like a whiny 6yr old and sulking for days. I won't lie, part of my week has still been sulking, but if I didn't tell you I was, you wouldn't know it. So with this week's post, I want to walk through a couple of tips to deal with stress and hopefully responsibly. Let's jump into my happy bulleted lists: 3 tips to managing emotions.
Stop talking and walk away - In the heat of the moment is not the best time to try and finalize or decide on anything. Emotions and stress levels are high, and thoughts are not clear. In these moments, anything you say has the potential to add to the chaos of what's happening. Now is not the time to attempt to finalize decisions. You would not want to do or say something that you might regret later. Take a moment, get your thoughts together, and temper yourself before adding fuel to whatever is already burning.
Be clear about the issues - it's one thing not to manage emotions, but it's another issue to be emotional and not be clear about the reason. Before jumping in with a response or a decision, know what you're talking about and know what's at stake. Remember, emotions change depending on the circumstance. So, think about the long-term damage your words could inflict over a situation that lasts only a few moments. Have a clear understanding of what's happening. Be clear, or as clear as possible of all sides. There are only a few things worse than an emotional argument lacking fact or context. Make sure you have both.
Have a plan to move forward - The hardest part about dealing with your emotions is the aftermath. Regardless of your response, you'll need to understand what moving forward looks like for you. Either you successfully walked away from the conflict, said what you needed to say, and didn't cause any additional stress, or you just tossed your cares at the wall and let your emotions get the best of you. Whatever the outcome, you are responsible for what's next. How will you move forward? Will you make amends or an exit? In our emotions, we tend to overlook the moments after the stress. It is important to consider the ripple effects that our actions will have on our next steps.
Trust me when I say I understand stress and anxiety. Trying to make decisions and respond in stressful situations when our emotions are at their peak is hard. Sometimes walking away and not saying anything is more valuable than you'll realize. It's okay to say that you need some time to think about what has happened before offering a response or making a decision. Make sure you are prepared for the outcome and have a plan to move forward once the dust has settled. At the end of the day, your emotions are yours. So do what you can to take care of yourself.
As always, these are absolutely my thoughts...