Emotion Management at the Workplace—A Guide
Working is tough, no matter who you are or what you do. Every job comes with a range of stresses and worries, pressures and expectations, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
We’ve all been there, we’ve all had those days when you’re tired and you have to drag yourself to work, or you’re denied a leave. Perhaps you didn’t get the raise or promotion you thought you’d earned or your boss was unreasonable, a customer was rude or a project didn’t go well. The list goes on and on. It could be one thing, or it could be a dozen.
Bad days, bad weeks, bad months are all a part of life, and work is no exception. Work is also not a place that allows you the space to express those emotions. It can have very real, very grave consequences.
How Can I Manage Emotions at the Workplace?
When you’re at work, the rules are a little different from your social or personal spaces. You can’t just storm off mid-conflict like you might at home. You can’t act out, and there’s no release in crying either.
It’s hard to find a balance and an appropriate, healthy channel for your emotions during work. You can’t be blamed for feeling overwhelmed and confused—stress does that. However, you can try the following ways to manage your emotions more effectively:
Processing and Identifying
Common emotions that people experience in the workplace are:
These are all normal to feel at some point or another. If you’re struggling with any of the above, take time out to understand why you might be feeling that way. Is it a situation, or is it persistent? Give the emotion a name, and distance yourself from it. You are feeling angry; you aren’t an angry person.
Often, those emotions can stem from worries at home, in your relationship or maybe nothing at all. Put them away and far from your work environment where you don’t need the added stress.
Breathing and Relaxation
If you feel like you’re losing control or are overpowered by emotion, a simple trick is to breathe. Breathe in and out, remove yourself from the situation or the trigger and think positively. Mindfulness will bring you back to the present.
Respond, Don’t React; Communicate and Clarify
Don’t react impulsively. One word, one decision can ruin your day or impact your career negatively. A fight with your boss doesn’t necessarily warrant a resignation and neither does a conflict. Process and communicate what you’re feeling so you can clarify the issue. Often, miscommunication is to blame.
Work should not be a toxic environment where you feel overwhelmed and exhausted at all times. If you feel like it’s become that, you could benefit from listening to a stress management speaker like Steve Rizzo. A member of the Speaker Hall of Fame is a professional keynote and motivational speaker and can be contacted here.