Take Control of your Emotions
Taking control of your emotions – especially the negative ones – is key to success in relationships and life. We all face a stream of negative emotions at certain phases of our life, how we respond to these emotions determines our happiness.
People perceive us based on our response to negative emotions like anger, resentment, delay or uncontrolled laughter. Emotions like road rage when not often controlled leading unnecessary fights and even death.
So, how do you handle your emotions and prevent yourself from spiraling out of control?
Acknowledge how you feel
We have been taught that acknowledging our feelings –especially men – is a sign of weakness. So, what do we do? We hide what we are feeling. Withholding emotions is dangerous and is a cause of many social problems. Emotions have a way of coming out and when they do in a wrong way they cause harm to those around us. Before, we can take control of our emotions we have first to acknowledge that they are there. When we validate our emotions, we can look at their origins. Awareness gives us back the power that emotions have taken. When we acknowledge our emotions we can ask the question, “Do I perceive things from a place of truth?”
Take deep breaths
If someone has hurt you or there is a situation you feel you have been unjustly treated or accused try not to react immediately. When we respond quickly to how we feel we often make a decision that we will later regret. To keep calm, take a few deep breathes while focusing on your breathing. Continue doing this for the next five to ten minutes. After this, your heart rate should slow down, and you can then make a decision that is devoid of negative emotions.
Act of forgiveness
We live in a world where we get offended easily. It could be from a loved one, friend, or colleague. Instead of succumbing to anger, resentment, bitterness or even opiate abuse we can choose to forgive. Forgiveness sets your heart free from all these negative emotions. The moment you decide to forgive you can detach yourself from the events that took place. Forgiveness also frees you from living in the past.
Meditation has been proved to help in dealing with negative emotions. When we engage in meditation we can view events from a broader perspective. With our emotions out of the way, we can be objective and avoid overreacting. To meditate, find a quiet place and begin by focusing on your breathing. As you experience calmness, focus on what is going in your mind or the events that took place during the day. As you become conscious of your thoughts, choose to let go of the days hurts.
Finding a healthy outlet
Instead of reacting to negative emotions through fists or abusive language, you can find a healthy way to vent. The options for venting are many and include journaling, speaking to a friend or therapist, martial arts, shouting aloud, laughing, taking long drives or showers, prayer, listening to music among others. It has been noted that people who have devised healthy ways to vent tend to be happier. Look for what works for you.
Look for triggers
There are places, events, or thoughts that trigger our negative emotions. Finding these triggers helps you to avoid them in future; this could be a place that reminds you of an adverse event in your life or a friend who is always negative. Once you identify the trigger, you should find ways to respond positively.
Take responsibility for your actions
We cannot change how people treat us, but we can improve our response. We gain control of our emotions when we take responsibility for our actions. Someone can make you feel angry, but you can choose not to remain angry. You can find healthy ways to vent or practice journaling. When we choose these paths, we become captains of our souls. You can also choose to walk away from a situation. For example, you are driving, and someone hits your car from behind, you can choose to engage in a confrontation on who is wrong or you can drive away and report the matter to the police.
The benefits of exercise when it comes to handling negative emotions cannot be underestimated. People who go to the gym often tend to be happier than those who don’t. Exercise besides being good for the body helps in the production of endorphins which boost your moods. It also helps you get distracted from what is going on in your life. Exercise is also an excellent way to vent. You can practice exercise like kickboxing to release any bent up emotions.
Some situations may require one to seek help from a therapist. If you have suffered some form of trauma, it can be hard relieving the past events. Your negative emotions could be so ingrained in you, that overcoming them alone is difficult. A psychologist will help you solve some of these issues. As you become aware of all the emotions that you have withheld, you will be better able to control them. Counseling can be difficult for some people, but it is one way through which you can be free. Therapy helps you disentangle yourself from past events and lets you live in the present.
We are not our emotions, but our emotions play a big part in who we are. Learning how to control our emotions is the first step towards freedom and happiness. We do not need to react to everything that is said or done to us. The first step to controlling our emotions is to become aware of them. When we can identify our emotions, we can choose a positive response. We can also choose healthy ways to vent like journaling, meditation, exercise, long showers, or talking to friends and counselors. Maturity consists in been in control of our emotions instead of reacting to every stimulus that comes our way. Lastly, learn your triggers and find ways of avoiding them.