We cannot escape negative life events, we all will face them at some point.
The question is not whether they happen but how we deal with them, how we bounce back and continue living in a way that is meaningful.
Many smart people over the years have established the blueprints we need to navigate such events. Of course, this is easier said than done, because we humans are emotional creatures. Often we are at the mercy of our emotions: unable to identify them, confused, overcome, unknowing.
And yet, as humans, we are called to not only understand the emotions of others but we must also work at knowing our own emotions.
Eleanor Roosevelt talks about it as the “difficult art of maturity.”
“A mature person is one who does not think in only absolutes,” and is able to “be objective, even when stirred emotionally,” the extraordinary First Lady and great thinker of her time says. She covers the subject and others in You Learn By Living, a book that pours out her remarkable life’s experiences—the profound and the mundane alike—that helps us still today.
Roosevelt’s observations were spot on then, and, many fields of study and practice have expounded on the theme in the 60 years since she wrote the book.
The concept of self-regulation of emotions is an important one in the emotional intelligence community. Positive psychology proponents are also weighing in on the subject, in their pursuit of understanding the science of happiness.
Dr. Hugo Alberts, renowned psychologist, researcher and entrepreneur in the positive psychology field, explains that it is important to learn “acceptance,” or simply having the willingness to observe your emotions and allow them to be present without fighting them. |
This is, of course, a key skill that those who practice mindfulness have learned.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) proponents have taken a crack at this, too, by helping us analyze how our thoughts affect our feelings, and ultimately, our behavior.
Of course, ultimately our thinking and our conclusions are all subject to distortions, biases, and shortcomings – that’s human, too. But some measure of self-awareness is still a worthy endeavor. Denying your feelings doesn’t make them go away.
Most agree, in any event, that the first step is recognizing or identifying the emotions you are feeling. The second step is understanding why. And, both steps are necessary for what may be considered “good mental hygiene.”
So many stressors. So many life events. So many skills needed—and sometimes, you need help sorting through them, and learning in real time. A life coach can help…set an appointment today.