Blog 14: Sharing emotions help us outlast the crisis

In a time of a crisis, we fall into behavior patterns that may become a major obstacle in itself. In a challenging situation, our mental state seems only to exacerbate negative thoughts. But why is sharing emotions still a good part of a smart strategy for getting through a crisis?

Our mind’s natural tendency is to get distracted. We lose our focus easily – when working from home even more so. The wandering mind is often cornered into patterns and negative thinking. At a time of a crisis, these negative thoughts are exacerbated and we get absorbed by feelings like fear and helplessness. Our field of vision narrows and we start to lose the bigger picture and connection to each other. Working in isolation only adds fuel to our worries.

In an organization, we cannot control outside factors like travel restrictions, supply shortages etc. This is the first wave in a crisis. The second wave comes with more personal importance: do I or my family stay healthy, what are financial implications and all the dark scenarios from the media. How we encounter the first wave – our resistance to unavoidable pain – creates the ground for the encounter of the second wave. 

Mental resilience helps us encounter the waves of crisis

Mental resilience means managing our minds so that we are more prepared to take on the first wave and brake the second before it strikes us. We can build our mental resilience by distracting ourselves from overreactions – working too much, reading too much news, overthinking – just by looking out the window. This helps to calm your mind which is crucial to stop wandering and get hooked in stress and worry. Thirdly we can connect with others through compassion.

Sharing feelings help to build a meaningful connection

Meaningful connection begins with compassion. Compassion is the intention to be of benefit to others and it starts in the mind. Sharing feelings – talking about them yourself and listening to others – helps us understand that we are not alone in this. There are anxiety and stress, but there are also hope and positive ways of coping. 

This crisis has shown that communication is more important than ever before. We need to be understood correctly via mails or in situations where it might be hard or slow to ask for more details. We need to find ways to express our feelings through online communication.

Out of a crisis with the help of photography: case UIT and Black Swan workshop 

In an organization, we are not used to sharing emotions. And in a time when we cannot even meet each other, sharing feelings may seem quite difficult. Art is one solution for this and in Neemo™ Method especially the art of photography. 

Uusi Iloinen Teatteri UIT, a well-known music theater in Finland, didn’t freeze when the Covid19 shut down theatres. Instead, they began to find solutions that would help them continue their business in the coming months. In the Black Swan workshop held by Neemo™ coach Nanna Hänninen, UIT focused solely on the question: how do we move on.

Photographs drew us in and made us focus on the topic 100%,” says Sari Siikander, an actor who has extensive coaching experience herself too. “Sharing photos and explaining them revealed new sides of people I have been working with for years.”

Within only six hours we had created a roadmap on how to save our future,” says theatre director Timo Kärkkäinen. He continues “this would have taken us countless hours if we would have tried to do this by ourselves.With photographs, we find new solutions and ideas that our conscious mind does not see,” says Hänninen, “this calms us down and gives us hope and trust for the future. This leads to concrete actions and plans – to the roadmap for the future”.

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