Over the weekend, I read David Rock's very interesting book, Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long.
One strategy particularly struck me: if you're feeling a negative emotion, you can work to reduce it by labeling it in one or two words. Note, however, that thinking or talking at length about the emotional state tends to intensify it -- while simply observing and labeling it helps to quell it.
I do this myself, instinctively. I find myself thinking, "I'm overwhelmed" or "I'm frazzled" or "I'm feeling defensive" -- and it's odd how calming it is. Just putting a label on a feeling helps me to master it.
For those who enjoy reading about what's happening in their right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and elsewhere, Rock explains how brain function accounts for this phenomenon.
How about you? Have you ever tried a strategy like this -- and did it work?
One Last Thing
Interested in happiness, habits, and human nature?
Sign up to get my free weekly newsletter. I share ideas for being happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative.
Dive into The Blog
More Posts For You
Find out if you’re an Upholder, Obliger, Questioner, or a Rebel.
The Four Tendencies explain why we act and why we don’t act. Our Tendency shapes every aspect of our behavior, so understanding your Tendency lets us make better decisions, meet deadlines, suffer less stress and burnout, and engage more effectively.