Wellness Basic Training: Part 6, Social & Emotional WellnessSep 30, 2022
Your social and emotional abilities are highly related to your sense of personal security. You can feel terribly threatened if emotionally insecure, even intellectually advanced.
Understanding Emotional Wellness
Your emotions come from your heart, and that muscle is temperamental.
It's a muscle that needs constant nourishment and care, just like your body.
Before we go any further, let me address the 'elephant in the room.' I know that discussing your emotions is not something many cops want to discuss.
But, here's the deal- you WILL have emotions. You can't eliminate that from happening any more than you can stop evil from happening in this world.
What you CAN do is determine how you will show your anger.
Understanding your emotions also involves letting go of any judgment or labels you add to the process.
For example, you can't get mad at yourself for feeling anger because anger is not something you can force yourself not to feel. Anger is a natural human emotion. It does not go away if not expressed.
It's like saying you're going to stop water from flowing in Niagara falls. That's not possible, either.
And yet, engineers have managed to control the flow of water at Niagara Falls.
It's the same thing.
Emotions are neither good or bad. They simply are.
Emotional wellness training focuses on and enhances:
- Interpersonal leadership
- How you interact with others
- Empathic communication
- Creative cooperation
In emotional wellness training, you learn the difference between what you feel and how you express yourself.
Understanding Social Wellness
Our health depends on our positive affiliations with others.
We are not made to live alone.
To avoid becoming a one-dimensional cop [add a link to that phrase instead], you must lead a well-rounded social life (from Part 2).
Steps to avoid becoming a socially withdrawn cop:
- Proactively schedule social events with friends AND family
- Schedule a vacation
- Make a bucket list
- Balance cops with non-cops
- Make a laugh list
An active social life also enhances and improves your interactions and cooperation with others.
Do the Work!
On some level, all cops want to feel like they are in control—even me. Let's identify how you can expand your circle of control in this realm.
1- Try looking at the color wheel below and list 5-10 emotions that resonate with you. Then, identify polite and assertive but non-aggressive ways to express your emotions.
One of the most successful ways to avoid acting in a manner you want to avoid is to identify how you would like to respond instead, which is a classic "Begin with the End in Mind," Habit #2 in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People type of activity.
2- Make a list of venting activities that you could use to help blow off steam when you need it.
3- Take a personality test, and study the results. Expanding your self-awareness in this way further contributes to your "Habit #2" effectiveness.
4- Figure out a comfortable way to talk about your emotions. I know this one will feel weird to some people. I'm not asking you to stand up at a podium before your shift at roll call and start laying out all your emotions.
It's no different than me writing down in my gratitude journal at the end of each day the three things that went well today and the one thing I learned from, but in this case, you are saying it out loud. Perhaps you have a loved one, friend, or family member that you could call once a week and go through those simple topics: three things that went well and one thing you learned from this week.
5- Complete the social wellness activities listed above.
For all of these tasks, you must SCHEDULE IT! We will talk further next week about the importance of doing all these wellness tasks daily or regularly, but the common theme is to schedule this type of work. Otherwise, it won't feel urgent, and you will give in to the urge to skip it.
Now on to Part 7- Implement!
Want more info on Wellness Basic Training? Figuring out what wellness means for you? Finding the time for wellness? Click here.
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