Regulating Emotions at Work

A new study from Stanford University reveals that our motivations play a bigger role in the regulation of our emotions than previously thought — what’s more, we also have greater control over how others influence our emotions, too. The research, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, showed that the way we want to feel can impact the way we actually do; study participants who wanted to stay calm remained relatively relaxed in the face of angry people, whereas those who wanted to feel angry were highly influenced by angry individuals.

So what does this mean if you want to experience greater emotional stability at work? Check out these strategies to better regulate your emotions in the workplace, and ultimately reduce your stress levels.

“The degree to which people said they were motivated to feel or not feel certain emotions predicted how much they would be influenced when they were exposed to emotions from other group members,” Amit Goldenberg, the lead author on the study and a Stanford doctoral candidate in psychology, says.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Regularly assess your environment :A simple way to proactively regulate your emotions — and stress — at work is to think about the kind of environment you want or need to be in, and situate yourself accordingly.

  2. Ask yourself questions:In order to better regulate your emotions, you need to gain greater awareness of the relationship between your thoughts, emotions, and behavior.

  3. Set an intention for the day:Setting an emotional intention for your day can also help you navigate stressful situations at work.

  4. Hone in on healthy habits:Diet, exercise, and sleep habits can also play a role in your ability to regulate emotions.

  5. Keep a journal: Writing has been proven an effective way to release emotions and allowing to keep a record of mental and behavior patterns and anger triggers.

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