24 Aug Taking Stock of Your Emotions
“How easy is it for a 2 year old to send you into a meltdown?”
Well this is exactly the same question I was asking my husband as he poured me a glass of wine with our dinner this week. Honestly taking stock of my emotions was extremely hard in the moment, but one I had to reflect and decompress hours later.
It was our usual night routine and picking up two tired, exhausted children from preschool after a long day is often met with hugs and then TV time while I frantically whip up something in the kitchen to fight of the starving hangry (hungry + angry combo) moods just about to hit me. This night, no matter what I did, the hangry mood of master 2 hit hard and fast, the non-stop whinging, whining for biscuits, chocolate or any quick snacks he could find, I kept saying give me 5 min and dinner will be ready. In this midst of it all and the battle which I would not back down from I could feel my anger and frustration taking hold, my lapse in concentration I cut my finger and then side-stepping a 2 year old consistently pushed me to my end. I snapped, yelled at him, made him cry and then we all felt like a failure.. oh my.. it was a disaster.
Reflecting back on this moment over my dinner and a glass of red wine, as much as you study and understand your own emotional intelligence and reaction to situations in real-time, it really is always evolving and a learning process. I am far from perfect at this but always take the time to decompress and ask myself how and why this happened, how can I change the situation from occurring again, what did I learn from it and give myself permission to move on.
My top tips to help you decompress from this situation (wine optional):
- Seek to understand your feelings, ask yourself what happened and why did I react like this?
- How were you feeling in that moment? Name your emotion
- Does this emotion make you feel empowered or disempowered? Why?
- How would you like to be feeling?
- What can you do to help you achieve your desired emotional state? (write it down)
- Put it into action
My self-reflection from my own meltdown and 2 year old battle above, is that I need to be more prepared for dinners the night before. When we arrive home, I will ask the children to help me prepare and serve their own dinner. This way, we all feel empowered and in control of the situation so our emotions make for a much calmer, stress-free household.
According to the Institute for Social + Emotional Intelligence:
“Emotion” refers to the mental and physiological states characterised as feelings. It’s often hard to put a name on what we’re experiencing because it’s likely that our brain is processing more than one reaction to our circumstances at any given time. Not only do feelings overlap and blend, there are hundreds of emotions humans experience, each with many gradations of intensity, that make emotional awareness a difficult skill to master.
The more adept we are at discerning the force that is shaping our moods and mental status, the greater our ability to manage our behaviour. We are able to choose a more constructive response — in the moment — based on possibilities instead of reacting to the moment based on habit. In other words, you respond with intelligence instead of impulse. The goal is to give you the tools to respond rather than simply react.
The result is greater effectiveness, productivity and confidence. And, as you come to comprehend your own emotions and behaviour, you increase your understanding for what drives the actions of those around you. With this knowledge, you can improve your relationships, and above all, your happiness. Social and emotional intelligence is a key factor to enhancing the quality of our lives.”