The first part of our brain to respond to a situation is our emotional center.  Think of it like a 4 year old in control of your response.  Now this emotional part of your brain is extremely important especially when it is regulated so it gives you intelligent responses rather than “me-oriented” responses.

So how do you start to train your brain to be better at decisions?

1. Accept responsibility for your emotions and what has upset you. This means you first look at what YOU can do to change the situation rather than what the other person has to do. Once you begin to manage your emotions you will begin to manage all areas of your life.

Brian Tracey said it best when he said, “Why you get upset, that’s when you must accept responsibility. The starting point for controlling your life is controlling your emotions.”

2. Buy think time.  The easiest way to do this at first is to take 5 deep breaths (all the way to your toes) and exhale each one so you slow your heartbeat and chemical reaction down.

When you are first trying to manage your emotions you need to buy think time so you can step back from your emotions.  In 5 minutes of reacting emotional to a situation will actually flood your body chemically and stay with you for over 8 hours!  So the better you get at managing it upfront so you don’t even react with strong emotions, the better you will become at Critical Thinking.

3. Write down what you reacted to and why.  Spend your time unwinding the “why” as that is the part you can start to control.

TAKE ACTION: In this next week try to see how you can stop and change your emotional responses to events that happen.