To the extent that you can control or regulate the negative emotions that arise throughout your workday, you can function more effectively and maintain better health by decreasing your level of stress. Sounds easy enough, but reality is a very different thing.
It’s clear that some people are better at this emotional regulation skill than others. So how do you assure that you’re one of those who are skilled at it? The answer lies in an important aspect of agility skills:
- Make the best of any challenging situation by reframing it. Reframe the situation or focus on the solution to the problem rather than on the hardship.
- Focus Intently on the Present Moment. Mindfulness, or the ability to stay calm in the light of extreme challenge, is one aspect of agility skills. To use it you must focus intently on the present moment, particularly on the emotions you feel, but from a calm, detached perspective.
- Be Aware of Your Emotions. We can control our emotions, but only if we learn to be highly aware of them and choose to adapt to changing circumstances quickly and decisively.
Research shows that those who have the abilities mentioned above to maintain their cool in the face of great challenge and have the resilience to stay positive when others are stressed out are able to restore their self-esteem much more quickly, demonstrate more creative problem solving, and make good use of social support networks to help them deal with the challenges at hand.
Being in the moment is one component of this form of resiliency. By being mindful in the moment, we experience more openness to the various shades of emotion that pass through our awareness. Yes, certain challenges do cause anxiety, but there are also shades of excitement and wonder that pass through moments of awareness, even in the dire circumstances that might prevail. Capturing and focusing on such passing, positive emotions offers the flexibility and resilience to change negative feelings into positive ones.
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