How often has someone’s negative mood derailed you at work? Within seconds your upbeat feelings are affected by a colleague’s emotion – I’ve outlined tips to help you manage this.
How often has someone’s negative mood derailed you at work? Within seconds, your upbeat feelings are brought down by a colleague’s emotions.
As much as you hate to admit it, you might have had this effect on coworkers yourself. With that in mind, I’ve outlined tips to help you control your emotions in the workplace.
We’ve all experienced that one individual in the office who rants about the traffic on the way to work, the slow elevator, or the lack of parking. Whether they realize it or not, they're pushing their negative feelings onto everyone else. They're negatively affecting the entire workspace.
This demonstrates just how contagious people’s emotions can be. This phenomenon even has a name; it's known as “emotional contagion".
Understanding the impact emotional contagion can have on others is so important. Our emotions are a major driver of our behaviour. They're also hard-wired, so we react before we have a chance to respond.
Don’t permit emotional contagion to negatively impact your mood
The key is becoming aware of how your emotions drive your behaviour! This self-awareness is a useful tool for improving nearly every aspect of your life. It's something I really like to focus on because I see time and time again just how powerful it can be.
And keep in mind, emotional contagion isn't always a bad thing!
When the emotion being shared is positive, it's actually a really good thing. But when it is negative, it can become a problem.
We only want to catch good moods, but bad moods sure like to intrude. That's why it’s important to arm yourself with techniques to ensure you do not allow emotional contagion to impact you.
I also talk more about emotional contagion in this post if you'd like to explore this topic further.
How to control your emotions at work
As you become more self-aware, you’ll begin to understand your emotions and feelings and how they affect your mood. The key is to learn to recognize your feelings as they occur and the emotions within them. When you acknowledge that a bad mood can impact your outlook and emotions, you can learn to manage them.
Without a doubt, managing your emotions will make you more successful. In fact, checking your emotions and asking why you feel the way you do or what made you react to a situation is essential to healthy self-management.
Consider this quote from Joshua Freedman: “Moods are not the same as emotions or feelings, moods are more generalized. They’re not tied to a specific incident, but a collection of inputs. Moods can last minutes, hours, probably even days.”
Don’t be fooled by a bad mood…
A bad mood can create an exaggerated feeling of dissatisfaction with your job, colleagues, and accomplishments. If this happens, identify you’re a negative state and don’t let that lead to errors in judgement. Often times, bad moods tend to make you focus on the negative aspects of your life instead of considering all of the good things. It’s important in this situation to have a positive attitude, as that’s paramount to overall happiness.
Tips to control your emotions & change your negative mood into a positive one
- Redirect your brain to focus on the positive. And remember, there’s always a positive if you take the time to find it.
- Use positive self-talk. Tell yourself that deep down things are okay. Take a look at these 3 strategies to help your negative self-talk disappear.
- Pay very close attention to people who trigger your emotions. They can create more drama and prolong your negative mood if you allow them too. This is a form of emotional hijacking. Your ability to understand and control your emotions will empower you to make decisions that elevate your confidence.
- Don’t make important decisions while in a negative mood.
- Bad moods will pass if you allow them to.
- Allow yourself to accept the feeling and move on.