Dealing with Emotional Highs & Lows

Dealing with Emotional Highs & Lows

Pow! The trigger is pushed and you find yourself in a seething, boiling pot of emotions and chaos in your brain. First you’re angry because the person in front of you just said something that sent you into high-intensity, negative emotions. Then you feel guilty because you’re angry and you know the person in front of you didn’t have a clue they pressed that big red button in your psyche labeled, “Do NOT Push!” Then you’re angry again because you have every right to be angry after what she/he said to you! And the chaos continues to circle around in your head. It’s enough to make you feel crazy.


Today’s topic is handling the different negative emotional states. This 5 part series was originally presented at a Leadership Summit over a decade ago. The biggest take-away most the participants enjoyed was how to identify the change needed in their lives based on the emotions they feel at any one time. I got this list as a compilation of many resources, but the primary inspiration came from the book, Resonant Leadership: Renewing Yourself and Connecting with Others Through Mindfulness, Hope and Compassion, by Richard Boyatzis & Annie McKee.


This was a handy book for me to read since I was changing my business model and knew there were areas of my own personality that needed some renewal if I was to increase my effectiveness as president of an organization. I hope you find this information as helpful as I have over the years. Whenever I was first challenged by a negative emotional state, this is what I would do…

First evaluate where you may be in theses 5 emotional states:

1. Frustrated

2. Bored

3. Unfulfilled

4. Burned-out, Overwhelmed

5. Stressed, Anxious, Depressed


Depending on your answer you will need to focus on one of the following areas of your life to obtain relief:


1. Frustrated (Deal with the Manager Self) Capitalize on your uniqueness

2. Bored (Deal with the Leadership Self) Focus on your vision then implement changes

3. Unfulfilled (Deal with Romantic Self) Focus on your love life and romance needs

4. Burnout (Focus on Personal Self) Stop doing what you don't like! Create change!

5. Stressed (Focus on Mission Self) Create & study your vision board


But what do you do if you are unsure exactly what you want, what your mission is?

Answer the following questions to the best of your ability.


1. What do I want?

2. What do I need to learn?

3. Who do I need to help me?

4. What do I need to feel?

5. What do I need to do?

6. What do I want most right now?

7. What do I NOT want?


By slowing down and giving yourself time to think, ponder and answer some of these questions, you actively move out of your negative state, you will feel better immediately.

 It is amazing what a pen, some paper and 15 minutes alone asking yourself questions can do to improve your perspective.