Emotions are strong forces that project our thoughts, feelings, and disposition. Emotions are inevitable when you’re in situations that demand a certain emotion. It could even drag you to an extent where you could feel helpless, behaving or feeling what you don’t want. This makes it a necessity to take control of your emotions.
The power of Emotions
Emotions are very powerful and they can control you if you don’t control them. They are a natural response to people, things, or situations you pass through in life. Joy, fear, sadness, disgust, surprise, anticipation, anger, and trust are the 8 basic emotions we portray.
The ability to control your emotions can boost your confidence big time and make you feel very powerful.
“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.”― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
Do you find yourself jumping from one emotion to another within a second?
Are you tired of being unable to manage reactions that you end up regretting? Because it’s also almost impossible to take control of your emotions when you’re at a boiling point feeling flushed with a clenched jaw, your heart rate increased, and your baring teeth. You’re so angry you could rip the person out.
Taking control of your emotions is a skill you cultivate. Since emotions are responses we’re wired to create, we can manage them effectively and stop moving from highs to lows. The only way you can truly control your emotions is by choosing to do so. You must understand yourself and use that as a basis to control your reactions.
Your emotions are many things but they’re not independent of you. You unconsciously give permission to all your emotions and unless you handle them, you’d always be worked up, disgruntled, and destabilized.
Suppressing your emotions is also unadvisable. Rather than pushing your emotions to the back burner, you should channel them to the safest outlet possible. For example, emotions like anger, rage, and disappointment will always find a way to reflect on your actions if they’re.
Disappointment makes you push people away, anger makes you quick to find fault and place blame while rage perpetually keeps you in a sour mood.
Emotions are contagious. The way you feel can be transferred to another. As social creatures, we can translate a positive or negative feeling to others without even realizing it.
For example, you and your girls want to see a movie in the evening but because you’re angry at your supervisor for something that happened at work, you’re no longer interested in going. Do you think your friends would still be excited about the movie?
The 5 steps to help you take control of your emotions today.
It’s obvious that your being unable to take control of your emotions has long-lasting effects on you. So how do you manage them? You can control emotions only if you choose to do so. Your emotions are subject to your decisions. Consider the following steps to help you get a handle on your emotions.
Dive into your root cause
Prevent future occurrences by learning from past happenings. This is the first step in managing your emotions. Walk back in time and find out what triggered a particular emotion. Did your ex leaving affect you more than you let on? Or the absence of most of your friends for your big event made you sour. (Remember what suppressed emotions do).
Visiting the cause would help you know the kind of events that bring up the emotion and keep you conscious of them. It would stop you from reacting immediately to emotional triggers. If you know that too many people in a room make you anxious, you’d not frequently visit such places because you’re intentional about controlling anxiety.
Tackle your triggers
Find out what triggers an unhealthy reaction in you and tackle it. Be actively conscious of these triggers and try not to react to them. This may seem hard but taking a step back from the entire scene and looking in from the outside would help you here.
Try to see the big picture. For example, your colleague keeps making errors that affect your work and you’d normally be mad at this. If you stopped for a moment and tried to reason out why your colleague was acting this way, you’d have not only had some time to cool off but you’d also feel a less harmful emotion. You’d have moved from maybe anger to pity which is a lot less explosive.
Find alternative reactions
Sometimes, your emotions may just require alternative reactions to help you manage them properly. I find that focusing on something that keeps you out of touch with the emotion at that time is a splendid solution. If you’re disgusted by the way someone’s eating, you can prevent from showing your disgust and offending that person by doing something like planning your day tomorrow or thinking of the perfect end to the series you’re still watching.
The person is not right, but it wouldn’t speak well of you if you go correcting the person right then especially if it’s a stranger. You can find a subtle way to let the person know. That says a lot about your personality.
Have you ever considered that you feel certain emotions due to your problems?
Sometimes it’s not managing the emotion that you need. It’s being true to yourself. You might feel annoyed because you see women on TV who can afford some luxurious thing you can’t. Get real! Rather than focusing on controlling that emotion, you should be realistic with yourself
If you can’t afford a product because you have some student debt you’re paying off then accept that you can’t have it right now but you would when you can. And stop resurrecting that annoyance. It’s that simple.
Talk it out
“In order to move on, you must understand why you felt what you did and why you no longer need to feel it.”― Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven
Often, talking about issues gives you better insight and understanding. Talk to a friend a life coach or any trusted person about it. You just might be having the wrong perspective on situations and you need external insight. There are communities on social media like Facebook that discuss and address this.
You may even approach professional psychologists for counseling sessions who provide their services even online. An online therapy session with the right person can bring the change you want for good.
Not all emotions need to be controlled. If you’re happy because you’re watching comedy, there’s no need to control that. At the same time, lots of emotions are appropriate. Our way of expressing them is most often not appropriate and that’s where control comes in.
Irritation is an appropriate emotion when the door of a car is refusing to open. Using a sledgehammer to break the window is not the best way to show your irritation. You may prefer a physical expression as a safe outlet for your emotion. I’d advise you to get a punching bag.
You can only control your emotions if you choose to do so. Not just by saying so but equally acting on it.
Are you able to take control of your emotions? How well?
How do you plan to take control of your emotions from now on? Let me know in the comment section.
Practice makes perfect. I’m sure you’d be great at managing them.