Business Bytes: How to control your emotions at work

WHETHER you’re upset, afraid, stressed, annoyed, jealous or just plain miserable, losing control of your emotions in an office environment can block communication and hinder problem solving within the workplace.

And though these can be very difficult to control, especially when things aren’t going right in your personal life and you still have deadlines to meet at work, there are a few ways you can manage your emotions.

1. Acceptance

The first thing to do is accept what emotion you are feeling exactly. Next, be aware that what you are feeling is a natural human response, however also recognise that it is not appropriate for the working environment.

Accept that you are in full control of your emotions and that it is possible to diffuse the feelings before they materialise into something potentially detrimental.

2. Be self-aware

Your body usually knows what emotion you are feeling before your mind does, so pay particular attention to physical sensations. Take a moment to think about how your body feels, is your heart pounding? Are you sweating? Are you clenching your fists?

Take this opportunity to diffuse negative feelings by consciously taking slow breaths and relaxing the tense areas of your body.

3. Don’t react too quickly

Once you’ve got your emotions under control for the moment, think about whether reacting is going to help or worsen the situation? Recognise that by adding negative emotions to an already tense situation, you will only fuel the negativity.

4. Rationalise your thoughts

If you still feel yourself getting upset or angry, have a really good think about what exactly is making you feel that way and determine if it’s a problem that can’t be solved by calmly talking through it with the person or people involved.

5. Smile

Failing all else, just smile through it. Even though you don’t feel like it, by simply raising the corners of your mouth into a smile you will release neuropeptides, telling your brain to feel happier. As smiling is contagious, it will also make your colleagues happier too, leading to a more productive working environment altogether.