Managing difficult emotions at work
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Managing Difficult Emotions at Work. Neely R. Conner, LCSW, LSATP, CEAP Carilion Employee Assistance (540) 981-8950 or 1-800-992-1931. Objectives. Participants will review basic tenets of stress.

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Managing Difficult Emotions at Work

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Managing difficult emotions at work

Managing Difficult Emotions at Work

  • Neely R. Conner, LCSW, LSATP, CEAP

  • Carilion Employee Assistance

  • (540) 981-8950 or 1-800-992-1931



  • Participants will review basic tenets of stress.

  • Participants will discuss current challenges in the workplace that lead to emotions as well as importance of managing those emotions.

  • Participants will learn basic functions of the brain and operations of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

  • Participants will increase self awareness of habits.

  • Participants will develop an expanded ability to manage thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

A brief overview of stress

A Brief Overview of Stress

  • A physiological response to a perceived or actual threat.

  • An applied force.

  • The confusion created when one's mind overrides the body's basic desire to choke the living daylights out of someone who desperately deserves it.

Stress equation

Stress Equation

  • Stress = Pressure


The brain

The Brain

Seat of Reason

The Secretary of the Brain

Seat of Emotion

Thoughts feelings behaviors oh my

Thoughts-Feelings-BehaviorsOh My

The cycle

Precipitating Event

The Cycle



Managing difficult emotions at work

Our Thoughts are based on our life experience and the beliefs and values we attribute to those experiences.

Thought habits

Thought Habits

  • Siloed Thinking

  • Thinkaholism

  • Dependenthink

  • Thinklessness

  • Stinkin’ Thinkin’

Points of control managing thoughts

Points of ControlManaging Thoughts

  • Thought restructuring (changing distorted thoughts)

    • Generalizations: All or nothing thinking.

    • Judging: Shoulda, woulda, coulda.

    • Assumptions: Jumping to conclusions

    • Labeling: You’re a __________. I’m just a ____________.

    • Poor Me

    • Negativism











Points of control managing emotions

Points of ControlManaging Emotions

  • Feelings are Feelings

    • Everyone Has Them

    • They are Normal

    • They are Useful

  • Feelings don’t cause physical harm

  • Feelings are not thoughts or behaviors

Points of control managing emotions1

Points of ControlManaging Emotions

  • Acknowledge and Normalize your emotions.

  • Ask this Question

  • Use supports to help normalize feelings

    • Let listeners know what you need ahead of time.

What are my feelings telling me?



  • Action or Non-Action

  • Internal Physiological Responses

  • External Observable Responses

    • Aggressive, Passive, Passive Aggressive

Points of control managing behaviors

Points of ControlManaging Behaviors

  • Develop your Pause Button

  • Manage internal responses

  • Establish a goal and plan

  • Consider your communication

  • Implement

Points of control managing behaviors1

Points of ControlManaging Behaviors

Establish healthy habits

Lifestyle Quiz

Exercise as little as possible

Eat a healthy diet

Drink a lot of alcohol

Smoke cigarettes

Sleep as little as possible

Think before you act

Engage in really chaotic relationships

Always put others before yourself

Be flexible and adaptive

Reframe positively

Jump to conclusions/assumptions

Take everything personally

Avoid your emotions

Attempt to control all aspects

of your environment

Managing difficult emotions at work


  • When appropriate, can defuse an angry, tense situation.

  • Helps you get a more balanced perspective on the situation.

  • Promotes spontaneity.

  • Be careful as Too much and/or too soon can be damaging.

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