Your emotional advantage

Uncategorized Jul 25, 2022

As we head towards the holiday season, those long and hopefully balmy summer days,  this is an ideal time to reflect and get some strategies in place to reduce stress and increase your levels of calm and peace.

Emotions: reflex or choice?

Have you ever said yourself or heard someone else say things like this:

  • You make me so mad!
  • He really pushes my buttons!
  • She makes me feel stupid

The common factor here is that someone else is doing something and you are noticing and articulating your emotional response. It’s almost certainly akin to a reflex reaction: something happens and you respond in that way. It has become an almost instinctive response.

You might say, or hear others say, things like, “I can’t help it” or that “it’s just the way I am” or even “you can’t help how you feel”.

BUT, what if you were to pause and notice.

It’s just Data

When something happens outside of us we have an emotional response – in the case of the examples above, a generally negative response.

However, if we pause for a split-second and recognise consciously that we’ve experienced an emotion and what that emotion is, we give ourselves choice. Now we can treat that emotion as useful information because it’s telling us whether what’s going on around us is to our liking. 

In my examples above, the emotion you feel is telling you that something isn’t right: you’re feeing mad, stupid or like you’re having your buttons pushed. So, if you stop, even for a split second, and recognise it, you’ve created a space. Yes, a space. Pause. Breathe. Now you can identify new options and choose a different response and a different feeling if you wish.


It takes a bit of practice, but it can dramatically reduce your stress levels and increase your feeling of wellbeing. 

Next time you experience a feeling you don’t like:

  • Pause. A lot of people I work with, if it’s appropriate in the situation they are in, will say “Pause!” (or some prefer “Stop!”) out loud.
  • Now you’ve created the space, notice what you are feeling. Name the emotion.
  • Ask yourself “what would I rather have and feel?”. See if you can come up with at least three different options.
  • Now act on the best option.

If you want to explore this or anything else to help you get more from your career and wider life, book yourself a FREE 20 minute Strategy & Discovery Session.

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