4 Strategies for recovering from out of control emotions
It happens to the best of us. We all lose our cool sometimes. Even me! The question is, what are you going to do about it? How can we best deal with the fact that even with the best intentions, we will not be at our best all of the time?
The goal of a Humanist is to be the best most ethical person we can be. That is easier said than done. Here are 4 strategies for recovering from these episodes as rationally, compassionately and effectively as you can.
- Make it a habit: The more you practice being a good person, the more of a habit it becomes. This not only makes being a good person easier, it also means that our instincts will steer us towards better behavior when we are under stress. This is important because it is when we are under stress that we are most likely to behave inappropriately. Make being good a habit and you are less likely to do something stupid when stressed.
- Find Compassion for yourself. Even with the best of intentions, we all have our moments. Forgive yourself when this happens and focus on what you can do to a) make amends and b) avoid a recurrence in the future.
- Find the root cause of your problem. Do you have a blood sugar problem? Are you trying to control another person inappropriately and getting mad that you are failing? Knowing why you are losing your cool is essential if you are going to get your bad behavior under control in the future. Figure out why and then figure out a plan to avoid these problems in the future.
- Take responsibility for the future. You might have lost your cool, but that doesn't mean you have to continue to lose your cool. Take responsibility for your actions. That means not only trying to make amends, but doing what you need to do to not repeat your performance. If you don’t take responsibility for your emotions, you will continue to have problems.
Losing your cool is embarrassing. How do you control your angers and/or your fears? What strategies do you use? What works, what makes things worse?