February is all about love, right? Valentine’s Day draws all of us to sweet and sentimental emotions like moths to the flame. What better month to talk about healthy emotions?!
Healthy emotions in the workplace is one of those topics that people like to have an opinion on but don’t really want to have a discussion about. It would be great if we could just flip a switch in our heads and be able to go into different modes. Need to focus at work? Work mode on, personal life mode off. Need to be fully present at home? Time to power down the work mode until you step back into the office in the morning.
Well, we aren’t robots and emotions are one of the wildest parts of being a human. We sometimes have control of them, but then there are times where a random trigger might cause your entire body to crumble. So if emotions are so unpredictable, how are we supposed to keep them healthy, especially when it comes to work?
Brenda Bertrand kicked off the discussion this month on the February episode of Work, Love, Pray. She talked about times in her life when emotions brought her to decisions about how to respond as an employee. Brenda’s advice for dealing with emotions at work: don’t hold them in! Women in the workplace think that emotions make them appear weak, when in reality, they can be our strength. Taking the time to make yourself emotionally attuned will give you the ability to lead from a place of emotional strength.
Susan Packard, co-founder of HGTV and co-host of the upcoming 4word Gala, spoke from experience about how workplace environment plays a big role in determining the emotional health or fitness of a company’s employees. This EQ fitness is a vital component of the mission to find and keep that healthy balance of emotion in the workplace. Emotional health and balance is set first by leadership. If you’re a leader in your workplace and find that there isn’t much of a healthy emotional environment, be the change!
Kristen Stockton, 4word: Washington DC leader, then wrote on the blog about how to balance emotions outside the workplace coming into the office with you. There will come a day when all of us will be dealt an exceptionally difficult blow. We will experience a death, a traumatic event, or a life-altering change, and we will still need to be present in our workplace. Rather than try to ignore the problem and continue on like normal, Kristen lays out a very clear 4-step process for disclosing your situation to someone in authority at your work. Disclosing an emotionally taxing situation to someone at your work appears scary in theory, but doing so will likely lead to relief for you in a time when you need it most, and will also give your colleagues a chance to support you and work better alongside you.
“A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” – Proverbs 25:28
God created us with the ability to feel emotion. It’s what makes us human. Why would He do that? Emotions enrich our lives in ways we really couldn’t live without. How would your life be different if you didn’t feel joy, pride, love, devotion, excitement, disappointment, or heartache? Not being able to feel anything might be a temporary wish we whisper in the midst of great pain, but emotions are what can mold us. By processing emotions we felt in a situation, we grow as a result. We also become better advocates and support for those in our lives who may find themselves in similar situations with matching emotions.
Don’t fear emotions. Don’t bury them deep and hope they will fizzle out and die. Don’t let your emotions control you. Don’t let them become what defines you rather than what enhances you. Lay a strong foundation of emotional health for yourself, and the house you build on that foundation will be one that will withstand whatever life throws at it.