Quote: “Control your emotions or your emotions will control you.”
The 6 types of basic emotions are fear, anger, sadness, disgust, surprise and happiness. Every day we have more than enough opportunities to experience one of the ‘negative’ ones. And let me start off by saying that it’s perfectly OK to feel all of these emotions.
What we do when we engage with negative emotions is giving something outside ourselves the power over our own contentment. Too often we give other people or external factors the power to control the way we feel. But it’s possible to replace all that fear, hate and anger with love. Gaining control over your emotions will ultimately help you become mentally stronger. Doing just that will set you free.
Don’t get me wrong. I know that emotions are powerful. But I also know that it’s absolutely possible to regulate and overpower them.
How to be bigger than your emotions
Start by identifying what you’re feeling in an attempt to label every sentiment. Take the time to check in with yourself about your mood and ask yourself the following questions:
- What am I feeling at this very moment? (I am extremely angry)
- What are the things and events that led to this emotion? (Somebody pushed me, I fell and now I am angry)
- Could this situation have a different perspective than the one I have right now? (The man that pushed me was rushing to the hospital to check on his daughter that got involved in a car accident)
- What can I do about the way I’m feeling? (Insult that man as loud as possible to make up for my embarrassment)
- Is there a better way of dealing with my emotion? (Ask why he’s in such a hurry)
Now, let’s switch roles for a minute and imagine you were the person that was racing to the hospital. Would it help if the person you accidentally knocked down started screaming at you in front of everybody, while you’re trying to get to your daughter as quick as possible? You get the point.
With a bit of practice you can take back control. When you control your thoughts and emotions, you control pretty much everything you could possibly have a mental grip on. Of course, you cannot control other people, but you can control how you react to them. Nearly every situation is subject to perception. If you are angry about something, you actually make yourself angry because of the way you perceived that particular situation or because of how you chose to respond to how things are presented to you.
Everyone has feelings
Other people also have emotions. So, you also need to be aware of those of others. Add an extra question to the above exercise; “how do others feel?”
Take some time to notice your emotional responses and think about what might be behind them. Remember, you can change how you feel if you start changing how you react. Aim for regulation, not for repression or suppression. Those are very different things. What you’d really want to achieve is being able to manage your emotions, no matter the situation. If you never let your emotions overpower your intelligence, you will create the ability to react the way you want. That is almost like a super power.
You’ve got to train your mind to be stronger than your emotions or else you’ll lose yourself every time you feel overwhelmed.
Managing your emotions is really about living your truth, your reality, rather than suffering a series of reactions to certain situations. You are a powerful creator and more than a sentimental being. View it this way; your emotions are a good guiding system to let you know what is going on on the inside, but they have no dominion over your world. Not if you don’t let them. Appreciate your emotional range which is part of the wonderful human experience, but keep your inner guidance system in check.
You can always follow your emotions or follow your path, your intention and your destination. Choose the latter.