Did you ever notice that some people are very balanced and others live through all possible emotions all day long? I don’t say emotions are bad, they are very useful messages from your body and they help us to deal with life situations in a natural way. What I want to say is that it is not a good idea to be completely dependent on them. There are many emotions which are very useful:
- Anger helps you to deal with a situation which turned out differently then you expected.
- Sadness helps you to deal with loss
- Joy gives you the energy to feel alive and do things
- Fear helps us to be alert for potentially dangerous situations
Emotions are the glasses of the mind.
Emotions help you to see the world in all kinds of different ways. They can work for you. But they also have the power to work against you. What if you experience negative emotions for a longer time? Suppose, you have a conflict with your boss, your life partner or a friend and you feel anger or fear the whole time? These emotions could overwhelm you and make you stressed. Your natural emotional system could go in overdrive, fail or could even crash.
Balanced people know how to deal with their emotions and avoid this kind of emotional stress.
You see the world through your emotions. Every emotion you feel is like another glass you put on your face to see the world. With every glass another perspective of the world unfolds for you.
Balanced people know how to put the right glass at the right moment to keep themselves in balance. In fact, they have a whole collection of glasses to choose from. They have a broad range of possible emotional glasses and they know the value of different kind of emotions, e.g., their angers can range from mildly irritation to extreme anger. They are never the same, subtle and never stay long in the same emotion, with one exception: the glass of joy and happiness!
Emotional people only have a limited number of glasses to look at the world and they keep using them over and over. E.g., they don’t know a variety of angers, but only one or two. They stay in the same emotion for a long time. So the day starts bad, the day will probably end bad, too.They don’t have different perspectives where they could change to.
How to change to different perspectives?
Suppose you have a strong negative emotion towards somebody and you want to get rid of it. Through the years I have learnt a lot of different ways to get more perspectives in any given situation. You can change your perspective in many ways. Every way requires the use of imagination. The more imagination you have, the easier it is to do. Here are some of them:
1) Step in the shoes of the other person
Imagine you would be the other person. What is he thinking? What is he feeling? What is his situation? What should you do if you were in his position?
E.g., a colleague told me that he received a negative end-of-year evaluation score of his line manager after he had decided to leave the team. This made him very angry for many months. He could not look in his manager’s eyes anymore or say hello to him, because he was so angry. It was only at the moment he started this method and imagined himself to be in his manager’s position. It allowed him to finally calm down and drop the negative charge of his anger.
He manager was a middle level manager, working in a multinational company with to many managers because of a company merger. His director has told him to give somebody a negative evaluation, so he had to choose somebody. The easiest choice was to my colleague because he wouldn’t have to face him again and he was afraid to give the bad score to the remaining team members. Was it honest? Not at all. But it was not personal. The manager acted from fear. Did my colleague like it? No at all. But he was not angry anymore.
2) Step in the shoes of a third person
Imagine how it would look like from the view-point of a third person, not involved in the situation. Some years ago a guy told me that he was afraid to talk to a particular beautiful woman sitting at the bar. He was not able to talk to her because he was afraid to be rejected. I could act as an independent person in this situation. I told him that this woman could be very disappointed because she was not able to talk to him and sit drinking alone. How could he not talk to her? If he would not, they would have something in common: they would both go home alone, disappointed because they had not talked to a possible new date. The guy could change his perspective, took all his courage together, talked to the woman and they had a very nice evening together.
3) Look at it over a longer time
Daily events can cause heavy emotions which are flattened out over time. When I look at the daily number of page views of my blog, it can change every day. Some days are wonderful, some days are just good and others are low. If I look the weekly number of page views, it is more stable, but still fluctuates a lot. However, if I look at my monthly number of page views, it doubles every month. With the monthly number of page views in mind, I feel the best.
4) Look at the advantages
Negative emotions are the result of looking at disadvantages. Look at the advantages and the negative emotion can turn in to a positive one. A common thing is a last-minute cancel of an appointment. I truly disliked it and it could make me angry and disappointed, certainly when I was looking forward to it. This is a true disadvantage. However, the advantage is that I will have some free time to do other things I love to do and I know that over time there will be a new appointment (see previous point). By looking at the newborn advantages, I can balance myself, free myself from the negative emotions and just do something else!
5) Look at your disadvantages if it would not happen
You can always learn from as negative perceived experience. When my life partner and me were on holidays in Cyprus, she twisted her ankle. This caused problems and loss of time in many ways. But if it would not have happened we would have probably not got the same great personal attention of the host and Dr John Demartini during the seminar we attended there.
I”m wondering now: How do you balance your negative emotions? Do you think these ways of changing your perspective are useful to you? Do you know other ones as well?
- How your distorted perception limits your potential
- Book review – the breakthrough experience – a revolutionary approach to personal transformation – Dr John Demartini
- How to be happy
- How to move living from the mind to living from your heart