Mastering the Helm of our Emotions

On the fateful night of April 14, 1912, the lives of 2,222 passengers of the LMS Titanic would never be the same again. The Titanic, the largest “unsinkable” luxury ship ever known in the history of mankind, met its tragic end when it hit an iceberg in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean bringing down with her 1,503 lives. Many experts and historians believe, that if the crew manning the helm was able to steer the ship to a certain degree, the historic tragedy could have been avoided.

The helm is where the rudder that controls a ship’s direction is steered. Just like a ship, our emotions can be tossed about by the storms of life. We need to have the capacity to control our emotions to keep our life on the right course. The helm of our emotions should be mastered or managed to avoid a plethora of unwanted behaviours that will control us and throw our lives, and even the lives of others, completely off course.

Emotion is defined as the natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood or relationships with others. It is often related to one’s feelings.

A poll conducted by the Harvard Business Review among several thousand managers and employees, of different U.S. companies, shows how a display of mismanaged emotions in front of others can affect their performance:

48% decreased their work effort,
47% decreased their time at work,
38% decreased their work quality,
66% said their performance declined,
80% lost work time worrying about the incident,
63% lost time avoiding the offender, and
78% said their commitment to the organisation declined.

Another study conducted by the Psychology Department of the University of Wollongong in Australia, found out that employees remember most vividly the negative encounters they’ve had with their bosses. These kind of interactions demoralise them and bring them to a point of not wanting to have anything more to do with them.

Studies on the effect of negative emotions on health reveal that they trigger a number of health problems such headache, dizziness and even heart disease, high-blood pressure, gastrointestinal problems and cancer.

Negative emotions spread fast and they’re highly toxic!

On the other hand, learning to manage our emotions and keeping them in check will enable us to develop the following competencies:

Behavioural Self­-Control: Keeping disruptive emotions in check; impulse control
Integrity: Maintaining high standards of honesty and ethics at all times
Innovation & Creativity: Actively pursuing new approaches and ideas
Initiative & Bias for Action: Readiness to act on opportunities
Achievement Drive: Striving to meet a standard of excellence
Realistic Optimism: Expecting success; seeing setbacks as manageable; persisting in 
achieving goals despite obstacles and setbacks.
Resilience: Perseverance and diligence in the face of setbacks
Stress Management: Working calmly under stress and pressure
Personal Agility:Readily, willingly, rapidly and effectively anticipating and adapting to change
Intentionality: Thinking and acting “on purpose” and deliberately

People who know how to manage their emotions display outstanding work performance, healthy relationships with those around them and are more happy and less likely to get depressed or get sick due to stress.

Applying these 5 Rs in your life and making them a habit will help you take control of the helm of your emotions:

1. Recognise your emotions – Name prevailing emotions and connect them specifically to a source, a situation, a concern or an issue.

2. Regularly check in on your feelings – During the course of the day, schedule brief but frequent check-ins on what your body might be feeling, and check in on your emotional state, as well.

3. Reflect – Reflect on how you responded to a recent happening / situation in your life. How did you handle the situation / the people involved?

4. Respond – After reflecting, think of the things you could do better when confronted with a similar situation. How can you make amends to the person /people affected by your outburst of emotion (if there are any)?

5. Reach out for help – There are some things in life that you cannot do alone. If you are having a hard time managing your emotions, enlisting the help of a professional would greatly help.

Storms, calamities and even icebergs may come up against the ship of our lives, they may shake us and even put us down. How we respond to them could be the turning point of our lives — for the better or for the worse. Mastering the control of the helm of our emotions would keep us on the right track. If our emotions are subject to our control, we are truly masters over them.

People Builders has a team of highly-skilled social + emotional intelligence trainers and coaches that can help you take control of your emotions.

Contact Us today for a complimentary chat that will give you the clarity you need to get started on this important journey of change.

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