We hear a lot nowadays, about emotional management, but what does that mean? People tend to have different theories about what managing one’s emotions entail. We can say this for sure, that it has nothing to do with ‘controlling’ the emotions. A lot of times when we think about ‘controlling’ we think about holding back on our emotions and truth be told, or well if research be told, that is never a healthy option, for children or adults.
Before we learn to manage emotions, we must learn, and help our children to learn, to first understand what emotions are, to identify them, and know that others have them too. It helps to take a moment, stop, and address a few questions; ‘How am I feeling?’, ‘What made me feel this way?’, ‘What can I do about it?’ or ‘What do I want to do about it?’. This will help provide some clarity about whether the emotions are stemming from an external or internal factor. That will further help how one should cope with the emotion in a healthy manner.
According to Paul Ekman, we can successfully identify the six basic emotions; Happy, Anger, Sad, Fear, Disgust, and Surprise. It’s very natural to feel these emotions, however, at times they can become overwhelming, overbearing, basically just too much to manage! That’s okay too, the trick is in trying tools and techniques that can help us to manage them – in a healthy and productive manner.
Below are just a few coping tools and techniques that we like to use here at Dolphin POD:
Deep Breathing: This may sound really basic, but what can we say, it works! You can get the gist of what needs to be done with this one just from the name, but what you might not know is that it doesn’t have to be so simple! In fact, you can get very creative about the way you conduct your deep breathing. To name a few of the popular ones; Rainbow Breathing, Dragon Breathing, Stuffy Belly Breathing, and much more!
Meditation: No, this is not the same thing as deep breathing. Meditation relies heavily on focus and attention, you can also use visual and/or auditory cues to help further enhance the experience. One of the favorites here at Dolphin POD is Mandala Meditation.
Take a Break: Give yourself a brief time-out and collect yourself, maybe you can get a glass of water or take a small walk to clear your head (and your heart).
Communicate: It’s always helpful to talk about what you’re feeling, with someone you can trust, perhaps a trusted adult or a friend who can help piece this confusing emotional puzzle together!
There are a ton of other ways in which we can manage our emotions, we just have to be creative and see to it that they are healthy and productive in the manner and you’re good to go!