Measuring Your Emotional Temperature

Life is full of struggles and hassles, and you can easily become worn out, stressed and depressed if you allow yourself to feel deeply about each obstacle that you face during the day. By taking your emotional temperature, you can monitor your reactions so that you are better equipped to face a variety of issues at work and at home. Here is how you can take your emotional temperature as you encounter difficult situations.

Find a Scale

Before you can take your emotional temperature, you must develop a thermometer of sorts. An easy way to do this is by rating your emotions on a scale of zero to 100. If you are relaxed and calm, your temperature is at zero, but if something is tragic or dangerous, your temperature is at 100. By familiarizing yourself with a scale based on your emotional range, you can determine whether you are reacting appropriately to the events in your life.

Stop and Take a Moment

If you let your initial emotion overpower you, your ability to reason will be weakened. While emotions are essential and healthy, you need to make sure that they are tempered and rational. For example, if your boss suggests a way that you can improve sales, you may initially feel insulted or defensive. Instead of letting these emotions rule your response, you should stop and take a moment to decide whether his suggestion could be helpful. Take a deep breath and consider his words and his demeanor. Even if you feel that his comments are rude and inappropriate, you should rate your emotional reaction before you respond so that you reply accordingly.

Compare Your Feelings to a Logical Reaction

Once you have taken a moment to consider the situation, it is time to prepare your response. Before you allow your initial emotions to rule your words and actions, you should determine which temperature you believe would be logical for the occasion. For example, if your boss is truly trying to be helpful, you may consider that a logical emotional response would rate as a 20 or 30 on your scale. However, if he has attempted to demean your performance or questioned your worthiness as an employee, you may feel as though a 60 or 70 would be more logical. After you have determined a rational number for your emotional temperature, you can determine where your initial emotions rate on the scale. In many cases, you may find that you are overreacting and that the scale helps you to temper your response.

As you learn to take your emotional temperature throughout the day, you will become faster and more adept at it. You may also find that you are training yourself to think carefully before you speak or act. By taking your emotional temperature and adjusting your response accordingly, you can manage your emotions and become better equipped for the difficulties that you face.

photo credit: Kristian Golding via photopin cc

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