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To manage your emotions you must combine two important elements of emotional intelligence. First you need to have an awareness of your emotions and what triggers them. Once this has been done, you can begin to take alternative actions where it is needed. For each of the emotions in the table below complete each column. Here are some pointers to help you do this. ◆ In column two briefly note how you experience that emotion - ask yourself what physical sensations do you experience? Where in your body do you feel them? How is your breathing/thinking affected? ◆ In the third column describe the events that trigger the emotion. ◆ In the last column for negative emotions, describe an alternative response you could have to the triggers - ones that would be more fun and more beneficial. <div style="overflow-y: auto; overflow-x: auto;"> <img src="Upload/Managing_your_emotions.PNG" alt="Image name: Managing your emotions" style="width: 100%; cursor: pointer; overflow-y: auto;overflow-x: scroll;"> </div> As you start to recognize the triggers you can use the <strong>detachment and pattern-breaking</strong> techniques described in the exercises below and then try an alternative response. <strong>Detachment</strong> A feeling of detachment and distancing of yourself from unpleasant feelings is an excellent way of combating external stress or dealing with negative emotions. This technique enables you to manage strong emotions. (a) The first way of detaching is as follows: (i) Think of a time when you were stressed or had a strong negative experience. (ii) Imagine stepping out of your body leaving behind all those responses. (iii) As you do this be aware of how you become calmer, cooler and more rational compared with how you were when you started. Having done points (i)-(iii) for a minute or two, return to point (i). Notice how you can keep a sense of detachment while returning to this point. (b) A second method for dealing with problems is to repeat the following phrases regularly: 'I have behaviours but I am more than those behaviours.' 'I have emotions but I am more than those emotions.' 'I have thoughts but I am more than those thoughts.' 'I am greater than those behaviours, feelings and thoughts.' By doing detachment exercises you will find that you are more able to detach yourself from destructive emotions or feelings. (c) A further variation of the detachment technique is to work through examples (a) and (b) while maintaining a deep sense of calm and relaxation. As with all these techniques, detachment gets easier and better with practice. A few minutes a day for several weeks makes the difference. You will then be better able to perform in a balanced way. <strong>Pattern breaking</strong> A great way to manage your emotions is to use the pattern break. This is a way of distracting yourself from negative thoughts and feelings. It takes the energy away from them. The pattern break is a distraction technique. So, once you become aware of a negative feeling you should: ◆ clap your hands 3-5 times very loudly, or ◆ slap yourself, or ◆ shout or say firmly 'NO', or ◆ have a rubber band on your hand and flick it against your skin, or ◆ or use any other method that is appropriate to where you are. Once you have finished the distraction activity, say to yourself, 'That is no longer like me'. You then need to think about something new. Or do something different into which you can channel your energy. When this technique is repeated you soon weaken old problem patterns of thinking and feeling. You undermine problematic habits.