Better Emotional Control at Work with Mindfulness

While many companies like to think that emotions should be left at home, this is just not possible although you can learn how to manage and regulate your emotions using mindfulness. In the workplace as with anywhere else in life, emotions play a role in how well you perform, your stress levels, your productivity, your relationships and decision making. So if you want to be more productive, perform better, manage your stress levels and improve your work relationships then learning how to regulate your emotions is key. You should not underestimate how important your emotions are or those of your employees.

Without control and conscious effort when an emotion arises we react instinctively which can have all sorts of effects on those we work with, what we think of ourselves in the workplace and can slow down your career progression. Instead of reacting, mindfulness teaches us to pause when we have the urge to react and instead make a considered response if one is needed. A considered response when others would react will help how you are perceived by your colleagues and managers and could help improve your career progress too.

There are many studies that show that mindfulness helps with emotional regulation and lessens emotional reactivity. Mindfulness encourages you to accept what emotions you are feeling with compassion and curiosity. Studies are also showing that the more you practice mindfulness, the less you have to actively manage your emotions as it this becomes a subconscious skill.

There are several proactive techniques you can implement easily to help manage your emotions at work. Firstly make sure you use the awareness that mindfulness brings to notice when emotions start to bubble up as early as possible, so you are prepared for the likely reactions to watch out for and start preparing yourself to pause and respond when and if needed. You can also think about situations or tasks that cause specific problem emotions in you and either avoid them or plan for them well enough in advance and take as much control as is possible.

For situations that cannot be avoided or adjusted to make them less emotionally charged for you, use your mindfulness skills to focus your attention on what it is you should be doing instead of the emotions themselves. Mindfully accept that the emotions are there and that they will pass shortly unless you start to focus your attention on them. While it may be tempting to suppress any emotions you are experiencing and it may work for you in the short term, suppressed emotions will come out later and usually with greater impact.

John Burley

John Burley lives in Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom and is the author of Mindfulness for the Mindless due for publication on 2nd April 2018. He is also the director of a software development company producing software solutions to mainly the gaming industry. He blogs about mindfulness at www.amindfulway.blog which has a growing following both on the blog itself, the accompanying Android app and on social media too.

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