Tips on Managing Your Emotions at Work

Man Failing to Manage Emotions at WorkHave you ever been upset with a co-worker or boss? Have your emotions caused you to do or say something you regret? Everyone experiences emotions like frustration, anger, and worry in the workplace at times. Whether problems at home carry over to the office, tools aren’t working properly, deadlines are near, or a co-worker presses your buttons, it’s important to control your emotions and keep your reactions professional at work. Here are a few ideas on how to cope when feelings start to get out of hand.

Recognize your hot buttons.
If you’re frequently upset at work, you probably already know what emotions you need to control. Something that draws out a strong emotional response is called a hot button. Take time to understand what your hot buttons are, so you can be prepared ahead of time with how to handle situations that arise. Though you may not be able to change your internal feelings, you can control your reactions.

Create a strategy.
After you’ve identified your hot buttons, think about ways you can deal with your feelings. Create a plan of action to decide how you’re going to react when certain situations present themselves, especially if the same thing keeps bothering you. For example, you may need to take a walk, count to ten, or start on projects earlier if you stress about meeting deadlines. This strategy may include talking to your supervisor to help you create a plan or smooth out interpersonal frustrations.

Write down your feelings.
Some people find journaling their thoughts in a notebook offers a way to deal with intense emotions. Try jotting down how you’re feeling and why you feel that way. By writing out your thoughts, you can release some of your pent up emotions, and also deal with the issue personally without escalating it to others. Be sure to store your journal in a secure area or at home.

Listen to music.
If you feel like you’re constantly being bugged, slip on some headphones and listen to music or audio recordings. Ask others around you to not disturb you when you have them on, but be sure to have the volume turned low in case others need to speak with you. Simply listening to music can be a soothing way to calm your overwhelming emotions. But, be sure to avoid creating frustrations for others who may see your actions as a way of isolating yourself. Limit the time you put on your headphones, and always be available to a co-worker or manager when they need to talk.

Take a look at yourself.
When you still find yourself losing control of your emotions, you should always take personal responsibility to change yourself first, even after trying other ways to cope. If you think about why you’re upset and you can’t seem to change it, try considering a new perspective on it. You can change yourself for the better, and in the end you can change your emotional reaction.

Dealing with emotions in the workplace can be tricky, but many people face these challenges. Making the effort to control your own emotions before they get out of hand will not only enhance your ability to work, it will demonstrate your professionalism. Controlling your emotions might be difficult at first, but with a few tricks, you can recognize your triggers and move past them quicker.

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