Programme: Handling Emotions
In the previous card, you took on the challenge of learning how to recognise your emotions. Asking yourself questions such as “What is actually going on when I experience fear, anger, jealousy or envy?” can help you to get to know yourself better.
This can sometimes be a confrontational process. It is absolutely normal to experience these emotions. But how we express our emotions is something we can make choices about, and some of these choices will be more useful than others. Our emotions are automatic - we often have no choice about what we feel. But we do have a choice when it comes to how we react to emotions. For example, you may feel angry about something but you may choose not to express your anger at that moment. You can also focus on identifying the triggers that bring on certain emotions or the patterns that you may recognise in your reactions. By becoming aware of this and identifying a more desirable reaction, you can anticipate that emotion and react differently to it when it comes up again. What are your triggers? How would you like to change so that you can prevent escalation in future? Practise with the exercises below.
Answer these questions and share your answers with your online psychologist, your partner and/or a friend:
Awareness (part two). Use the saucepan analogy to answer the following questions:
- What was my emotion?
- What did I feel in my body?
- How strongly did I experience this emotion? (How fiercely was my pan boiling on a scale of one to five?)
- How did I react to my emotion? Did I accept it or reject it?
- What was my trigger?
- What can I do? How can I anticipate things to prevent them or to make sure that they do not escalate?
- How can other people help me? Do I need help? The OpenUp psychologists are here to help you!
Anticipation. If you focus on what you are feeling, what do you notice? Do you recognise triggers for certain emotions? Your triggers could be specific situations, things other people say, other people’s reaction to something or even a specific smell. What makes your saucepan boil over? Is there a recognisable pattern? Bearing this in mind, what are the steps you can take to prevent escalation in the future?New to OpenUp? Welcome