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Emotional Flexibility: How to Hold *Everything* at Once

Emotional Roller Coaster

The modern world with all its beauty and ugliness provides a roller coaster-like emotional ride to us. These complex times keep throwing life events and news at us that demand extreme emotions, often almost at the same time.

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Emotional Flexibility: How to Hold *Everything* at Once

Emotional Flexibility: How to Hold *Everything* at Once

https://medium.com/personal-growth/emotional-flexibility-how-to-hold-everything-at-once-d59de3363324

medium.com

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Key Ideas

Emotional Roller Coaster

The modern world with all its beauty and ugliness provides a roller coaster-like emotional ride to us. These complex times keep throwing life events and news at us that demand extreme emotions, often almost at the same time.

Emotional Flexibility

Emotional flexibility is about embracing the never-ending contradictions and cultivating your mind to hold everything at the same time.

Holding happiness, joy, and enthusiasm at the same time as anger, sadness and frustration provide us with resilience and a deeper understanding of life.

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Self-created struggles

See life as it is, without all the ideals and fantasies you’ve been preoccupied with.

The vast majority of our struggles are self-created, and we can choose to overcome them in an instant.

Fearing judgment from others
We fear the judgments of others, even though their judgments about us are rarely valid or significant.

Tying your self-worth to everyone else’s opinions gives you a flawed sense of reality because people judge us based on a pool of influences in their own lives that have absolutely nothing to do with us.

Past experiences
In many ways, our past experiences have conditioned us to believe that we are less capable than we are.

We need to learn from the past, but also to be ready to update what we learned based on how our circumstances have changed.

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Set Happiness Goals

You control your happiness the same way you control your health, and If you can set goals for your health, you can do it for happiness.

Pursuing intrinsic goals, like l...

Make Your Bedroom A Haven

Sleep and happiness go hand in hand. Try to make your bedroom conducive to good sleep as much as possible.

Soundproof it and cut light as best as you can; that includes keeping away any gadget that will tempt you to surf the web.

Drink Tea

Theanine, which is present in green and black tea, reduces anxiety and will calm your nerves and make you happy.

So whenever you're feeling stressed because things aren't going your way, grab yourself a nice cup of tea to calm your nerves.

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Emotional clarity

It means that we have a good understanding of how we feel emotionally. 

Label your emotions

Use plain language. The more fluent you are with real emotional language, the more clearly you will be able to think about how you’re feeling.

Clarify your emotions

Get used to the idea of emotional complexity. When we feel upset, we're not feeling one single emotion. We are usually experiencing a blend of many emotions.

Training ourselves to look for and see this emotional complexity is key to better understanding ourselves when we’re upset and moving on in a healthy way.

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Living through emotional reactions

Even in our most mundane moments. Our emotions aren’t always overwhelming us, but they are always affecting us, coloring our perceptions and opinions about ourselves and our world.

The “fish in water” effect

Because we are immersed in our emotions’ effects every moment of our lives, we tend to talk about them only when they’re exceptionally strong.

Emotions work like spectacles

It's a huge help to know which lens you’re seeing the world through, at any given moment. When we can identify the most prominent emotion right now, we’re less likely to project that emotion’s characteristics on the situation itself, or on the world at large.

Emotional Intelligence: The Assumptions
Emotional Intelligence: The Assumptions

Emotional Intelligence(EQ), or the ability to be able to identify and respond to the other person’s feelings is a soft-skill based on two flawed assumptions:

  1. It is ...
The Neuroscientific View Of Emotional Intelligence

A scientific way to define and understand emotional intelligence is to view your brain as a construction, an on-the-fly builder of thoughts, emotions, and perceptions.

The reflex-like emotional reactions are just the tip of the iceberg, and the brain is constantly shape-shifting itself and processing the sensory inputs that are received into useful predictions and actions.

Emotional Granularity: Becoming An Emotional Expert

If the brain has a large, flexible range of diverse emotions in any given situation, it’s emotional intelligence is wide-ranging and finely tailored. This ability of a flexible, emotion-rich brain is called granularity.

Real emotional intelligence means understanding that sometimes feelings and emotions cannot be distilled and expressed using a predefined slot. Emotional granularity is the coming-of-age of the decades old understanding of EQ, now evolved and unfolding its many facets.

Get Back to Being Happy

Our brain is tricky, and there are subtle ways to get it to be less depressed or anxious. If we are constantly feeling guilty, shameful or even worry a lot, the brain wants to continue that activit...

Label Those Culprits

If there is a negative emotion, like anger, sadness, or stress, keeping it vague makes it affect everything around you.

If you name or label the emotion and use a symbolic metaphor to describe it, then its negative effect is diluted.

Decide and Take Action

If you are constantly worried and anxious while making no decision on your problem, you will remain in a state of turmoil internally.

Taking a decision, even if it is not a perfect one, will provide closure to your mind and you will feel less stressed.

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Change and the unchangeable
We like to think that things can be changed. That we are in control somehow.  That's why “never” hurts, because never means that it can’t be changed. “Never” means it’s over. It’s gone. And ...
Meaning and relationships
  • We generate meaning through relationships. And meaning is the fuel of our minds. 
  • Our relationships also define our understanding of ourselves. And when one of these relationships is destroyed, that part of our identity is destroyed along with it. 
Depression vs. sadness
  • Sadness occurs when something feels bad. 
  • Depression occurs when something feels meaningless. 

When something feels bad, at least it has meaning. In depression, everything becomes a big blank void. 

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Emotional Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence (EQ or EI) can be defined as the ability to understand, manage, and effectively express one's own feelings, as well as engage and navigate successfully with those of oth...
Reduce Negative Emotions

... so they don't overwhelm you and affect your judgment. 

In order to change the way you feel about a situation, you must first change the way you think about it. 

Increased fear of rejection: “I’m applying for my dream job. I’ll be devastated if they don’t hire me.”
Decreased fear of rejection: “I’m applying for three exciting positions. If one doesn’t pan out, there are two more I’m well qualified for.”

Stay Cool and Manage Stress

How we handle stressful situations can make the difference between being assertive versus reactive, and poised versus frazzled. When under pressure, the most important thing to keep in mind is to keep our cool. 

  • If you feel nervous and anxious, put cold water on your face and get some fresh air. 
  • If you feel fearful, depressed, or discouraged, try intense aerobic exercises. Energize yourself. 

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