Next time you’re faced with a situation that demand strong feelings from you, pause to consider what meaning you’re going to attach to it.
Emotions are an integral part of our development. They’re what make us feel, improve communication, and build stronger relationships – professionally and personally. Even negative emotions such as anger, frustration, irritation, and sadness are important. Mastering our emotions and balancing our emotions can help us experience the feelings they bring forth from the dark to the new light, a better light.
When you learn how to control your emotions, you can derive more positive, productive meanings, even from seemingly negative events.
It’s critical to understand that they are YOUR emotions. They belong to you. By letting your emotions run the show – and attaching negative meaning to them – we can damage our relationships and our lives.
So, what can can you do regain emotional control or prevent yourself from losing it? Change the meaning and you’ll change the emotion.
I worked alongside my therapist to compile some ways you can learn to take back control of your emotions if and when they go out of control.
1) Take a deep breath
2020 wasn’t me, I’d snap for every little thing. Most that know me, I am usually calm and collected. The pandemic played a massive part on this. Anything that pissed me off, I’d just react usually with disrespect, I just didn’t care who got it. But I’ve learnt that instead of reacting right away – whether positively or negatively – give myself a moment to process what has just happened.
Sometimes emotions can become too overwhelming and can make us act out of character. To avoid exploding and snapping at others, you can try taking a break from your situation. Sometimes putting some distance between the situations causing you to feel emotional can help.
I never believed in it until I tried it myself but taking deep breaths when your emotions are all over the place can help you take back control of your emotions. Next time you feel overwhelmed with emotions, take a deep breath and picture yourself in your happy place. It’ll help!
Expressing your emotions instead of bottling them up is another way to control your emotions. For example: If you’re too angry or frustrated at something, you can try screaming into a pillow or if you’re sad, you can try to cry your feelings out.
2) Find out what you’re feeling.
It’s easy to say, “I’m feeling angry because they’ve hurt me” Dig deeper to that emotion. Are you angry because, they’re right? What’s triggering you? Are you sad? Emotions are complex and often piggyback onto one another. Once you’ve identified that, you’ll be able to control your emotions a little better.
Just remember to do so in a way that no one near you gets hurt. Screaming at someone you care about is probably not a good idea to express your feelings of frustration or anger.
3) Replace negative thoughts
If your mind goes straight to how you’ve been wronged or how terrible everything is, talk to yourself. Dwelling on negativity will only make you more prone to it, so focus on positive emotions. Change your thoughts and change your story.
4) Channel your energy
Accepting your emotions is a big part of learning how to control them. Accepting them can make you feel more comfortable when they surface and once you’re comfortable with your emotions you can learn to feel them without losing control. Accepting them as bad or good – can also help you increase your life satisfaction and happiness.
5) Explore your emotions
Why do you feel the way you do? Talking with a trusted friend or family member can help you understand why you’re feeling what you do. Once you understand an emotion, it’s that much easier to control it. By questioning and putting a name to your emotions, you are reframing your thoughts.
Sometimes emotions can become too overwhelming to be controlled on your own. In such cases, it is always recommended to seek help from a professional therapist.
Next blog, December 29th 2021. End of year segment!