Managing your emotions means being aware of them, accepting them, and allowing them. When you can do that, you gain power and control over your emotions.

“Emotional adulthood is recognizing that all of your feelings are caused by your thoughts.”
~ Brooke Castillo

Managing your emotions is POWERFUL!

Last week we talked about the power of managing YOUR OWN emotions.

We discussed how it is an opportunity for you as a parent to turn tough parenting moments into powerful parenting moments.

We talked about how managing your emotions will help you connect with your teen, teach by example, and be intentional in the way you parent. Today I wanted to dig in a little deeper and discuss How to Manage Your Emotions.

3 A’s to help with emotion.

  • Awareness
    • This one is huge!
    • Many parents are not truly aware of how or what they are feeling. They simply know that they don’t like what they are feeling.
    • Increase your awareness of what the feeling is and where you experience the emotion.
      • I know that anxiety for me is a tightness in my neck and upper chest.
        • When I feel anxious, I tend to focus on what can go wrong.
      • Anger is a tense sensation in my chest and my face.
        • When I’m angry I have a hard time thinking. I hyper-focus on what I’m angry about and can’t let it go.
    • Explore what thoughts lead to the emotion.
  • Acceptance
    • Again, this one is HUGE!
    • So many parents judge themselves and their emotions.
    • They think, “Anger is bad,” or “I shouldn’t be mad.”
    • They make it mean something about themselves like, “I’m a bad parent because I am so mad.”
    • Emotions just mean that you are human.
  • Allow it
    • I would even go so far as to embrace it.
    • Stop trying to change it.
    • Stop trying to push it away.
    • Stop trying to ignore it.

These three A’s go hand in hand. Getting better at one of them will help you do the others better.

This takes practice.

Don’t expect to be perfect, or think you should be doing better. Those are judgements, just allow the emotions as they are, accept them for what they are, and become more aware of them.

Think of a beachball.

Imagine yourself trying to hold a beachball under water.

How much effort would that take?

Now, imaging the beachball trying to rise to the surface. Keep mentally pushing that beachball down. What color is the ball? How big is it?

Often times we treat out emotions like pushing a beachball under water. It takes lots of effort, it makes it hard to really see the beachball, and it just keeps trying to come to the surface.

When we allow the metaphorical beachball, our emotions, to sit on the surface we can then become more aware of them and more intentional.

Use the model to manage your emotions.

  • Do some work in the thought line:
    • Explore what thoughts are creating your emotions.
    • What do you think about experiencing negative emotions?
    • Why am I thinking this?
  • Do some work in the feeling line:
    • How does it feel?
    • How would I describe it?
    • Where do I feel it in my body?
  • Do some work in the action line:
    • How do I act when I feel this way?
    • How do I want to act when I feel this way?
  • Look at your results.
    • What results are you currently getting?
    • What results would you like to get?
    • What are you willing to feel in connection with your desired result?

Call to ACTION!

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