posted on Tuesday, October 09, 2018
What's Your Best Emotion?
This was a question I used in psychology class when we covered the chapter named "Stress, Health and Adjustment." The goal was to help students identify how they typically respond emotionally to the stress and daily hassles of life. The initial idea came from the following quote:
"When you squeeze an orange you get orange juice … that’s what’s inside.
When someone squeezes you (puts pressure on you) what comes out is- what’s inside."
– Dr. Wayne Dyer
When I first read this quote, it created a mirror for me to look into. I did not like what I saw. In my case, unfortunately, my best emotion was anger. It’s not a good one, but it was one I was “good” at.
Dr. Dyer ends his quote saying, “If you don’t like what’s inside, you can change it by changing your thoughts.” With maturity, we can develop strategies that allow us to choose positive emotional responses to stress. It often helps to focus on the positive character trait called composure. Yes, maintain your composure. Stay calm. If it’s not in your nature to stay calm, it will take some practice and effort to maintain your composure in stressful situations.
Ask yourself, “Do I feel stress in my life?” If the answer is yes, you must also answer the question, “What am I doing to make it better?” Do you shut down, take a nap and avoid facing it, or do you talk to someone who can help you get through it? There are many examples of positive and negative responses. Determine which responses are dominant in your life.
We need to make positive adjustments to the stress in our lives, there are many strategies that can be used to make this happen. Be aware that positive strategies used to respond to stress are very individual-based. What works for others may not work for you. Take some time to research and experiment to find one or more strategies that work in your life.
"IT’S NOT THE LOAD THAT BREAKS YOU DOWN,
IT’S THE WAY YOU CARRY IT."
– Lou Holtz
We need to maintain our composure in times of stress. Make the effort to develop and utilize strategies that will enable you to positively respond to the stress in your life.
Al Kerns & the Ed Thomas Family Foundation
This post is written by Al Kerns, a long-time friend of Ed Thomas and a team member with the Ed Thomas Family Foundation. Al coached with Ed for 30+ years at Aplington-Parkersburg.