Making your emotions work for you.
(An art that I have not yet mastered)
I can have a lot of feelings. A L O T. I get super excited easily. Manic in fact. I feel intense waves of love for people. I get a heap of business ideas and immediately want to implement them, with feelings of determination and grit. I get waves of excitement. Bursts of joy…
On the other hand, (on the same day/ sometimes hour) I can be impatient and irritable. I feel myself wanting to snap if I have been waiting too long. I feel disappointment, sadness, and tiredness, frustration, anger…
You name it, I can feel it. Sometimes ALL in one day. Sometimes all within the hour.
Truly. I can tell you. I can have a day where I start the morning ON TOP OF THE WORLD. I have exercised, listened to two podcasts, got to work and feel like a million bucks. Then by midday, having had a couple of intense situations like a disagreement with Greenie or an intense discussion with a patient or work colleague, which has prompted a tsunami of negative emotions. If I am not careful, I can let the negative emotions sweep in and let my actions be dictated by my feelings. Act reactively, not proactively. When this happens, if I act reactively and impulsively, it NEVER ends well.
Just this week I had a massive exam, which by the way was from my house where a proctor signed into my account and watched me via my laptop for three hours. Unfortunately, Greenie had set up my computer prior to commencing, however, had not disabled the messages on my laptop and hence I would constantly see the notifications as messages came through. A small thing but incredibly distracting as it happened to be right in my line of vision every time I proceeded to the next question.
I found the exam vague and hard and coupled with the annoyance of the messages coming through by the time I finished, I was hungry and brain dead. And I was ropable. When I came out of the exam the first thing I did was berate (a mild term for the way I acted) my poor husband for not turning off the messages. I was annoyed and loud, and inflammatory and ready for a fight.
Mark in turn was also inflammatory and so:
We had ‘intense fellowship’.
We had both taken the afternoon off to celebrate. Trouble is after that Intense fellowship we wanted to do the opposite of celebrating. Instead, we spent it recovering from an unnecessary fight, which could have been avoided if I had been able to control my feelings and not let my emotions dictate my actions.
So here is what I am learning:
Feelings are fantastic.
They make us who we are.
They allow us to feel the highs and lows in life. They give us enjoyment and joy. They fill us with hope and joy. They give us excitement and anticipation. Negative emotions are also important. If we didn’t feel the negative emotions of disappointment, grief, sadness and frustration, we would never be able to truly enjoy the highs of life.
To enjoy and allow ourselves to feel emotions is vital. It is a huge component of being healthy, of owning our health.
However, to act impulsively in a negative way because of emotions, can be destructive and put you in an emotional rollercoaster. It can cause us to react in ways that cannot be undone.
I am trying in these moments, where negative emotions are high, where the feelings of annoyance, disappointment and anger are at a peak, to stop. Take a big breath. And ask:
- In two hours from now, how do I want to act?
- How would a person of integrity act in this moment?
- How would a great leader act in this moment?
When I do that, I stop myself from reacting.
I give myself time to think. To act proactively. Not Reactively.
I am learning. Sometimes like the situation above, I fail. Other times I succeed. And the more wins I have, the more I act proactively, rather than reactively, the more positive reinforcement I get, the more neurosynapses and brain pathways I build, and the closer I get to making this a habitual way that I act. No matter how I feel.
So beloved. My tip of the week is this:
Act Proactively Not Reactively.
Take a big breath and think and act in accordance with who you are and not what you are feeling.
A secret to Owning your Health is acting Proactively, not Reactively.
I am learning and growing in this. Perhaps you are too.
Lets do it together.
You are deeply loved and richly cherished,
Dr Christine Greenwood
Own Your health
Think well, Eat well, Live well.
Poor Greenie. Seriously I tell no lie. I came out of my exams guns blazing. I was fired up and he was about to get fired. How dare he not know how to set my computer for a distance exam because of a one in a lifetime outbreak that we have never had before and never likely to have again? Seriously. Totally His Fault! I mean. Really. I was not being irrational, and I did not need to calm down!
Seriously sometimes you guys, I can’t imagine what it is like to be married to me.
On the up note, I did calm down eventually and buy him new jeans. But not until after completely dismembering him with my words. Dear me. Poor Greenie.
P.S Have you read Comparison, a girl’s worst enemy.