“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small
tasks as if they were great and noble.”

— Helen Keller



Calming Down

Should You Give In to Your Emotions?

There’s lots of focus these days on “getting in touch with your emotions.” But what does that mean? Maybe it’s better to master them. After all, decisions made, comments spoken and actions taken when you’re emotional often are the ones you regret most.

Angry drivers can become reckless and cause accidents, for example. Couples who become physically involved or marry after only a few dates because they let their emotions have free rein may regret their decision later. Blurting out something in the heat of an argument may damage a relationship beyond repair and not even be what you really mean.

Benefits from Reining In

Negative results from stressful situations can be prevented by learning to master your emotions. By mastering your emotions, you’ll reap lots of benefits for the long-term such as the following.

  • You’ll still become angry, but you’ll delay “feeling” it until it won’t be dangerous or uncalled for.
  • You’ll still enjoy strong attractions to members of the opposite sex. But you won’t jump headlong into an unwise relationship just because it’s attractive for the moment.
  • You’ll learn to control what you say or do in a moment of anger, so you won’t end up with regrets that could last a long time.
  • You’ll still grieve over your losses, but you’ll learn to how to have a productive life in spite of them.

None of this means it’s healthy to ignore your emotions. Of course it’s important to find appropriate ways to express them. Give yourself time to grieve after a death or other loss, for example. Explore what’s causing you to become so angry and try to resolve the problem. If you often feel sad or depressed, see your doctor to rule out clinical depression or see a mental health professional.

But don’t let your emotions always lead the way, let reason guide you. Think of others besides yourself. Investigate situations. Learn the facts. Be diplomatic. Be productive. Be  healthy.

Brushing Up on Office Courtesy

You probably spend more of your waking hours with coworkers than you do with your family. Where better to practice goodwill and courtesy than at work? Let the following suggestions help you become easier to get along with.

  • Be courteous. A simple “please” or “thank you” goes a long way. And refrain from irritating habits such as popping your gum or knuckles, smoking around non-smokers, playing your radio too loud or borrowing without permission. If you use something such as your co-worker’s computer, leave it the way you found it. And don’t look through your coworker’s desk, papers or computer files.
  • Don’t be the office slob. Maybe your work area will never be as neat as your co-worker’s, but try to keep it clean and reasonably orderly.
  • Find ways to make everyone you work with feel included. If you especially like some people at your office, socialize with them outside work. But don’t be too close knit during work hours. A coworker may feel left out.
  • Be honest. If something about a coworker bothers you, consider discussing it diplomatically. Politely ask the person to go lighter on cologne or to keep phone conversations quieter, for example.
  • Compliment co-workers on jobs well done. Few people feel they get the credit they deserve.
  • Be reliable. Don’t take extra time for lunch if it means a co-worker will have a short one. If you’ve promised to meet a deadline, do so.
  • Avoid gossip. Respect your coworkers by looking for the best in each of them instead of believing ugly rumors.
  • Choose appropriate ways to have fun. Don’t participate in practical jokes that are harmful or at someone’s expense. And skip repeating jokes that may be offensive to others.
  • Acknowledge significant events in your co-workers’ lives. Phone or send notes or e-mails to congratulate them for their achievements or to offer sympathy when it’s appropriate. Or simply remember to say “happy birthday.”
  • Get help. If you can’t overcome problems with your co-workers, ask your supervisor or Employee
  • Assistance  Program (EAP) counselor for help.


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