Why What You Feel is Important, Especially for Leaders
by Laurie Sudbrink on April 9th, 2015

We’ve all heard the old adage “Leave it at the door.” But for most of us it feels almost impossible to just turn it off, and putting a mask on only hides what we’re feeling, while it’s rebelliously seeping through our cracks and people are either blatantly feeling it, or just confused at the smile on your face while the negative energy is pouring out of you.

So what can we do to manage our emotions? What we’re feeling is almost always a result of a thought, whether we’re conscious of it or not.

Often we may find that the thoughts we are having are fear-based and are mostly useless worries or assumptions. Those fears drive us to be guarded, condescending, defensive, frustrated and cause many stress-inducing emotions. Be mindful of those emotions, and rather than trying to stop them; be aware, feel them, and then let them flow through, quickly. This way you’re not resisting the emotion, but you’re not holding onto it either. When you hold onto negativity, that energy is not only felt by you, but it’s contagious. Other people feel it too.

I recently watched Aaron Lewis’ acoustic concert in Verona, NY. As I watched him soulfully singing, I could feel his emotion, and it gave me chills. All of a sudden he stopped mid-song and addressed a woman in the audience by saying “You have me all ‘frigged up’ up here.” He went on to humorously, but directly address her non verbals and suggested that if she wasn’t happy, she could leave. Now while some people might think it was rude, it was definitely an example of how her emotions were affecting him. And it was so powerful that he felt compelled to address it.

Do we always get the opportunity to address other people’s emotions? No, of course not, and nor should we even attempt it at times. The lesson here is just being aware of what you’re feeling, and taking ownership to feel better, not only for yourself, but for those around you as well - especially if you are in a leadership position.

Emotions are a great trigger - they can help us be aware of our thoughts. We need to  manage our thoughts so they don’t lead to negative emotions. Be mindful of what you are putting into your head because your subconscious is having a field day with it. Just like we need to eat right and take care of our physical body; our minds need special care as well. What can you do to put healthy thoughts in? I consciously spend time reading positive, self-development articles and books. I also seek out other positive people to hang around with. Exercise is proven to release the happy endorphins. Even forcing a smile will release endorphins. Listen to some good tunes, dance, or take a walk in the sunshine. Whatever makes you feel positive, feed yourself steady doses of it and take care of your thoughts.

Cheers,
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