This week we are exploring the final branch of the Salovey, Meyer and Caruso model of Emotional Intelligence, Managing Emotions. This branch is concerned less with suppressing or controlling emotions and more with the ability to bring about optimal emotional outcomes in yourself and others.
In Positive Psychology there is considerable discussion about whether or not states such
as happiness through to depression have a set point. This set point could be described as a baseline.
Temporary changes to this baseline can occur but ultimately the individual reverts to the set point. For example, on one end of the scale someone whose set point for happiness is
high can experience a major set back. This is likely to cause negative emotions at the time, however very quickly there is a return to the baseline.
Equally, a person with a high set point for depression can experience a very positive uplifting event that will create a positive boost in affect. Sadly the theory follows that this person will also return to their set point.
In his articles, “The Role of Moods in NLP” & “The Landscape of Experience”, Joe Cheal provides an in depth insight into the difference between emotions, moods and temperament. To read his full article either see “Acutiy” Vol 1 & 2 from the ANLP website (link further down page) or on our website articles page.
Having accepted that there is a possible set point to our emotional experience we need to now consider a new question. Can the set point be changed permanently? From a
personal and anecdotal perspective my answer is definitely “yes”.
For the first thirty years of my life I had a set point that was mildly depressed. As a result of my own personal development journey my set point is now happiness and contentment. This gave me the clue that everyone has the choice, even when it looks like they don’t!
It was my own experience that prompted me to undertake a research project looking at how NLP improves self-esteem and well-being. This all connects into how we manage our
I am very pleased to report that my results produced positive significant evidence to suggest that NLP does improve self-esteem and well being. These two factors in turn impact on our set point.
My research will be published in the NLP Research Journal, Vol 2, due to be published shortly. To order a copy of this or Acuity go the ANLP website, link below. (There is a free pdf of Acuity Vol 1 available)
Alternatively do contact me direct if you would like to read my full dissertation.
For many people managing their own emotions can be very difficult both in the moment and over time. For instance, some people describe themselves as someone who “does not
suffer fools gladly!” There is often a feeling of helplessness attached to this. It is as if they have no control over their own behaviour and their emotional response.
Is this true?
Managing our emotions takes time and commitment. The following ideas may help you to manage your emotions.
- Self awareness – if you understand your own drivers and how your belief system effects the way you relate to others, you can develop greater understanding of your own emotions. You will then be more able to manage or express your emotions in a healthy way.
- By identifying and changing unhelpful and repetitive patterns of responding it is possible to remove unnecessary reactions. This can include, for example, irrational and intense feelings of anger triggered by events that are trivial.
- Gaining perspective can help reduce the intensity of emotion where appropriate. For example; ask yourself, “will this matter to me in a years time?” If the emotion is triggered by something minor this reality check can be enough to let the steam out of the emotion.
- Take notice of and remember your own moments of insight! During my training to be a Myers Briggs Practitioner I remember hearing one nugget of information that transformed how I feel about feedback! For those of you who know the model, my profile is ENFP and I had a tendency to take feedback personally (even though intellectually I knew it wasn’t, sound familiar?). I heard an ESTJ (forgive my shorthand, she was really a person not a set of letters!) describe feedback as merely data that I could choose to accept or reject. Even though I already knew that from an assertiveness point of view this new insight allowed me to experience a major emotional shift. Now feedback is exactly that for me, data. It was quite a relief!
- Earlier in this series I mentioned the NLP approach to managing emotions or “states” in the moment. This approach is based on the idea that our physiology, thoughts and breathing patterns create the chemistry that produces the emotion. By changing one or all of these three factors we are likely to change our state. For more about this join us on our NLP Practitioner training.
- Ensure that you are managing stress levels in your life and increasing your life balance and well being. High stress levels tend to intensify emotional reactions, often out of proportion.
- Ensure that you debrief after any encounter that leaves you feeling emotional. The debriefer needs to be supportive and non-judgemental. When people “sympathise” instead emotions are often increased rather than decreased.
- Be prepared to ask for help and support if necessary. There are many people who get to a point of great self understanding but no change. There is great value in recognising that help from professionally trained people can considerably improve you happiness set point!
- Learn to express your feelings in the moment. Here it is important to recognise there is a difference between expressing emotions and behaving inappropriately. We may need to challenge limiting display rules, however if we wish to stay part of society we also need to express our emotions in a way that can be understood and responded to positively by others.
All of these approaches can be applied using NLP techniques. If this is something you would like to use in your life let me tell you how we can help you.
If you want to go straight for the big experience sign up for our NLP Practitioner training, the next course starts on 10th September, click on the link below.
For those of you who like to take it one step at time you might want to join us for the following shorter workshops.
“Brilliant You” 28th January 2012
This workshop shop is based on my NLP research dissertation, all profits are to be donated to the Marie Curie Charity. The focus is on increasing self-esteem and well being.
“Bring it ON! 25th to 26th February 2012
This takes you onto the next step building self confidence and helping you to unlock your own intrinsic potential!
Both of these are workshops are experiential and liable to make change happen!
If you would like more information on either of these workshops or anything else discussed in this article contact me direct.
Next week we will complete this series by discussing how to manage emotions in others.