Emotional Agility in These Times
By Shawn McAndrew
This year, 2020, has been an emotional rollercoaster for most everyone I know. It seems many days bring unwanted news of tragedies, higher COVID-19 cases, hurricanes and fires, mounting death tolls, and political chicanery.
Faced with all this and whatever is happening on a personal level, what can we do to maintain some balance in life? How do we maneuver through the maze of emotions, trials and tribulations? How do we find joy when there’s so much suffering?
A recent Hoffman webclass explored the topic of Emotional Agility. The purpose of this class was to look at how we can use these times for purposeful, personal growth. By looking at what triggers us, we can use our Hoffman tools and practices to get through tough times. We can build resilience and powerful ways to act, instead of resorting to old behaviors and patterns, and going down the left road.
I have found myself feeling more positive today than I did last March, when the whole world seemed to collapse. For weeks, I resisted and reacted, fought my feelings and tussled with my intellect. I’m pretty much a homebody anyhow, but I don’t like to be told I have to stay home. Those old rebellion patterns came up. The good thing is that I had a really great resource upon which to draw – the Hoffman tools and practices.
In response to the pandemic shut down, Hoffman started offering daily Instagram Quadrinity Check-Ins as well as Appreciation and Gratitude visualizations; Saturday Connecting Cafés; a website full of recorded visualizations, tools and practices; and online-based virtual grad groups and Hoffman courses. With all these resources, there is never an excuse for me to continue to wade in that Dark Side pool.
Though I still get triggered by events almost every day, I have put several “stops” in place to keep myself from lapsing into a stupor of fragility or reactive rancor. Awareness is the number one action I can take. If I can understand why I am so triggered by something, I can take steps to get past it. That is known as emotional agility – the ability to recognize what is going on, deal with it, and move past it.
Steps to Take
According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are several steps we can take to address stressful situations:
- Breathe. Notice how you feel. (Awareness; hands on heart.)
- Take breaks from upsetting content. (Take a Self-Forgiveness walk; stop a conversation that is becoming a vicious cycle; turn off the news; do something different.)
- Take care of your body. (As well as your Emotional Self and Intellect.)
- Reach out and stay connected. (Check in with your Hoff-mates. Be with those who love you and whom you love.)
- Seek help if you’re feeling overwhelmed or unsafe. (Get some coaching; attend a virtual grad group; call the Institute [415-485-5220].)
These steps are very Hoffmanesque. Each one is a tool or practice that we already have access to and experience with. They remind me of what I can do when I stumble, and remind me that we are not alone on this bumpy journey. We have so many resources available to get through these tough times. Please visit our website for a multitude of resources. We really are all in this together.
If you’d like to listen to the Emotional Agility webclass, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or check it out here: