Sooner or later you’re going to be upset again. It’s as inevitable as the Winter coming and just about as comforting. In fact, we spend 40 to 50% of our time in this state. Let’s talk about “upset you”. What is that person like? Is she optimistic? Is he friendly? What goes on in that mind? Is it chaos? If you notice the thought patterns you will see that they are very similar each time. Not a lot new here. Old concerns and considerations are opportunistic, like a virus, waiting for the right environment to spawn. 

Here are some handy tips to manage the times when you are in it: 

  1. Don’t be upset that you’re upset

  2. Don’t believe your upset

  3. Don’t invest in your upset

  4. Don’t be addicted to your upset

  5. Learn what there is to learn

  6. Be curious

  7. Be the observer

  8. Fill your mind with positive resourceful images

  9. Use your tools

1. Don’t be Upset that you’re upset...

Calm down, even in the midst of your upset. You’ve been here before and you will be here again. When the house is on fire the worst thing in the world to do is panic. You’ve solved a thousand issues and problems in your life, and you’ll solve this too.  This too shall pass.

2. Don’t Believe your upset….
Feelings are in many ways an illusion. They are a filter through which we see reality and they are not the truth. You can change your perceptions and it will change your experience. Think about your upset as though it were happening to someone else and you will see an immediate shift in your attitude and perceptions.

3. Don’t Invest in your Upset...

You can make it bigger or you can make it smaller. Ever notice that the mind wants to throw fuel onto the fire? Make it worse? Well, if you can use your mind to make it worse, you can use it to make it better, smaller. Tell yourself that you’ve got this; that you will solve this. Change your inner dialogue. Coach yourself with a few “attaboys”. You are the person without this problem and this is a temporary situation.

4. Don’t be Addicted to your upset….

There is a neurochemical formula for every emotion, and some are more addictive than others. Need, anger, fear, anxiety; on a chemical level these are just substances that we start to crave and we can conspire to create circumstances that continue to create these emotions. Sometimes this knowledge alone is enough to change it or drop it.

5. Learn What there is to Learn….

The real purpose of any upset is to teach us something, and the quicker we reframe the situation according to what there is to learn, the sooner the sting goes away.  Learn to see the situations you’re in as learning opportunities, and you will know what to do in any upset.

6. Be Curious….

Instead of collapsing into the upset and the feelings it brings, be curious about what your mind is doing, and why. Every upset is in some way a strategy, a means to an end. Wonder to yourself, “What am I up to? What am I trying for?” It will immediately give you insight and information.

7. Be the Observer….

Instead of identifying with the upset or taking on the victim status, take a half step backward and look at the situation the way a stranger might. Notice the feelings and emotions without identifying with them. Look at all the players in your play, as though you are the author, not the participant. See it as though it happened ten years ago or to your third cousin. The more objective you can be, the more insight you will gain.

8. Fill your Mind with Positive and Resourceful Images…

Take the situation and start imagining the best possible outcomes. Let your imagination soar; after all, it is the factory of reality. As you picture and imagine the positive outcomes, notice the shift in your feelings and your good will toward the situation.

9. Use your tools….

There are a multitude of tools out there to manage upsets and you must have run across a few of them: I use The Paradox Process because it allows me to identify the situation, the hottest feeling and puts my hands on the issue in a way that I clear the emotional charge. I get through my upsets pretty efficiently in this way, but it is by no means the only tool out there. Meditation, CBT, Rational/Emotive Therapy and Breathing (yeah, breathing…). All of these will give you ways to manage and approach your upset, instead of it managing you.

So, get over the fact that you’re upset, cause you’re going to be here again and again, and roll up your sleeves and get to work....Nobody likes a whiner!

Thomas Jones