Emotions are critical when it comes to success, may it be anywhere in your life. For scholars who are enrolled in PhD, it is a long and daunting journey and there is a lot of different kinds and levels of emotions that you would face during the journey. What means and methods you adopt to deal with these emotions is as important as you deal with the academic side of the journey. Stress is imperative and you would have eustress and distress, you have to know how to convert eustress to distress and here are some tricks for PhD students to know how to use their emotions in a constructive way, rather than let them overpower them:
Learn to stay happy: Yes, as we grow up, we forget that staying happy is out inherent trait and we need to learn to work around ways to stay happy. Do acknowledge good times, small or big. This would help you to realise that life does keep giving reasons to stay happy and it is up to us to ignore them or accept them.
Stay balanced between being rational and emotional: Do not dwell over mistakes you have made. Try to have a rational perspective and do the right time rather than actually sulking over it. Apologise when you feel you have made a blunder. Whether it is with your supervisor, peer or anyone else in the university and take corrective measures as and where necessary. This is a better perspective than actually sulking over a problem.
Acknowledge your stress or depression: it is easier to close your eyes to depression or an emotional outburst. Accepting a low phase is the first and the biggest step towards getting over it. The PhD journey is cyclic like many others and there are low and high phases. Not all times are bad times. Know that reassure yourself that any downfall isn’t the end of the world.
Have a life outside your PhD: yes it is ok to have friends, family, kids, home, cooking, hobbies and other things as important in your life other than your PhD. Having diverse interests gives variety of food to the body and the mind. It really helps you to stay sane in the never ending challenges that you PhD would throw at you and you would have other things to talk about other than your PhD, to yourself as well as to others.
Stay as honest as possible: this is perhaps the most important to key to emotional balance. Difficult but stay honest to not just others but yourself too, as much as possible
Try these tips and be honest, be decent, try to keep your perspective, and acknowledge the highs, lows, blahs and whoo-hoos and see yourself soaring with success!!