Getting Control of our Emotions

Controlling Your Emotions

Everyone struggles with controlling their emotions, some have more success than others. It’s not the emotions of love or joy that are potentially problematic. It’s the anger, fear and frustration that can get us in trouble. Doing or saying the wrong thing in the midst of an emotional misstep or meltdown could have very negative effects. Meltdowns at work or with family members or significant people in or lives can have devastating results.

Here are some strategies that can be helpful:

  • Realize that negative emotions simply don’t last. If you’re angry about something right now, you will eventually get over it, it may be in a day, a week or a year, eventually it lessens and subsides. Either way emotions tend to focus our attention right here and now. We don’t consider the potential long-term consequences that a temporary emotional state can create.

  • Who hasn’t done or said something in the heat of the moment that’s caused great remorse? Your anger, fear, resentment, or other negative emotion will fade quickly enough. Your rash response may not.

  • Examine your emotions. Learn to notice when you’re getting emotional. When you notice yourself reacting strongly, ask yourself why. Try to label the emotion. Beleive it or not anger and fear is usaully not about the other, it's about our own sensitivities.

  • Analyze why you’re feeling that particular emotion and then admit it to yourself. This way, you can avoid rationalizing your behavior, which is a nice way of saying “lie to yourself.” If you know the real reason you’re feeling the way you do, you’re more able to do something about it. It takes a little digging into what makes you tick.

  • Again, it’s rarely the “other” person or situation, emotion comes from our own thoughts and concepts, which we can change with practice.

  • Create space. Many of the challenges created by our emotions could be eliminated if we could just take a moment before reacting. Getting upset isn’t something that happens to us. It’s something we do to ourselves, and some of us are very good at it.

  • Find a role model. Ask someone you know why they rarely get upset, you make pick up some surprising tips. Learn emotional control from those that maintain their composure regardless of the circumstances

  • Find a healthy way to release negative emotions. Our actions can influence our moods. If you’re feeling bored while watching TV, there’s no reason to continue watching TV. Immediately get up and go for a walk. Go to the library and find an interesting book. Call a friend. Exercise is a great way to release energy.

  • You don’t have to passively accept your mood. Go do something else and change it! There is no law saying you have to be in a bad mood you are actually in charge.

  • Breathing is the key. Every emotion has a corresponding breath pattern. Change your breathing change your mood. Many people assume that emotions are entirely psychological, but there is a physical component. Realize that all emotions are ultimately experienced as physical feelings in your body. You’ve just learned to label certain body feelings with names like “anger” and “fear.”

  • The only part of your physiology that can be easily controlled is your breathing. Take a look at how you’re breathing during a strong emotional response and change it.

  • Sit down and relax if you can. Start breathing in a slow rhythmic pattern nice long slow inhales , long slow exhales. You should never want for breath, just feel relaxed and breath. With each exhale allow yourself to mentally let go of what ever negative emotion you are feeling.

If you’re used to being controlled by your emotions, you know that it’s not easy to maintain your composure. But you can choose to respond differently to your emotions and make wiser choices. Negative emotions exist to inform us that something might be amiss. They are not there to control us.

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