Managing emotions

Knowing how to manage your emotions will save you lots of time and energy.

For example, this is how it helps if you have a tendency to worry.

Worry is what we do when the future outcome of something that matters to us is uncertain. Uncertainty feels very uncomfortable. Worrying gives us the illusion that we can somehow solve or mitigate the uncertainty by thinking out all the potential scenarios in our head. Which is obviously false, because thinking the same thoughts over and over again will not change the future. 

So how do we stop this tendency?

First of all, clearly define what is the outcome you want. 

Is there anything at all you can do to increase the likelihood of that outcome? Or to mitigate the effect of whatever you are afraid of?

If so, write down what actions and behaviors from your part can maximize the chances of a positive outcome. This can include getting help from someone. Make a plan to complete them and block the time in your calendar right away. 

Once you have done this, it’s time to practice allowing the feeling of uncertainty and stop trying to make it go away. You don’t need to solve the feeling. 

And what I mean by allowing is processing it in your body, not letting it take over your thoughts. Once you have done this and learned to recognize how it feels,  focus back on today, on what is in front of you, and let the feeling of uncertainty keep you company. 

If you have ever practiced any kind of meditation, this is exactly what I am suggesting. 

Focus fully on what you are doing right now, on what is in front of you. Your mind will for sure go back to worrying, and you might find yourself overthinking again. This is ok. Just notice, and then bring your attention back to the here and now. Again and again.

Overtime, this practice of recognizing and then embracing the feeling of uncertainty will save you hours of unproductive and draining thought rumination.