The First Step to Being Less Reactive to Negative Emotions

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I was sitting at a red light with my music turned up, on my way to lunch, when a loud voice overpowered my stereo. Looking around, two cars over from me, is a twenty something, window half up, on a phone yelling at someone.

It wasn’t long before the B’ word began flying and threats were made. Not surprising behavior based on the level of anger that young girl must have been feeling. I’m sure she was so focused on who she was talking to that she wasn’t aware of the attention she was attracting from the cars around her.

Many of us have been in situations where anger has spilt over, and maybe even caused some regrettable behavior. We all have the ability to get angry, and anger is not really a problem if it occurs occasionally, once every blue moon. It’s when anger becomes regular or begins to hurt people physically or mentally that anger has become a problem.

Back to the young lady who will be worked-up emotionally up for a long period of time, long after the incident is over. Her body and brain will be reacting to the adrenaline that was released into her body when she became angry. The adrenaline needs time to settle down, which is why negative emotions take time to get over.

Think about the last time you got angry. Ask yourself, how long it took you to calm down? And could you have done something different to avoid getting angry?

Emotional intelligence begins with awareness of how your emotions affect how you feel and then how you behave when you feel this way. Emotions and behavior go hand in hand. You can always change your behavior no matter how you feel. Realize you always have more than one choice of how you will behave when you get upset, anxious, impatient, angry and so on.

Be Emotionally Intelligent. Learn to be less reactive. Visit my Controlled Breathing page to take the first step to be less reactive.