How to gain control of your emotions
I’m making a confession today: I am a highly emotional person.
I’m the kind of person that feels before I think and am sensitive beyond all rationale.
This can be extremely frustrating and have negative consequences on my everyday life, as seemingly small issues are very serious in my mind. It is often difficult for people around me to understand why I feel so deeply, and why little things can be so impactful on me.
It has taken me a long time to accept this about myself, and to find a way to come to terms with and take control of my emotions. It is an ongoing journey, but I can say with great pride that I have come a long way.
Just in case this happens to be something you struggle with too, I’m sharing with you my best tips to help you gain control of your emotions.
Remember, being emotional is not always a bad thing. Sensitive people also tend to be highly caring, insightful and creative. However these tips will help make sure you get the most out of your sensitivity without giving in to the vulnerability of feeling like you don't have control.
Don't react right away. When something upsetting happens or you feel negative emotions taking over, pause and take a breath. Once you are calm, evaluate the situation objectively. Is this really as bad as it seems? How long will the unpleasantness last? What will you learn from this? Is is worth becoming so upset? Taking 10 seconds to centre yourself and take deep breaths will stop you making irrational decisions.
Trust in a greater plan. Things may not be going the way you want them to. It can take a lot to trust that things are going to work out alright, especially when you are feeling down and upset about the current situation. When we get caught up in our emotions, we can forget about all of the incredible possibilities the future holds. As much as you may not like to believe it now, one day you will be glad things didn't work out the way you wanted them to.
Find a healthy release. Emotions are not meant to be bottled up. This doesn’t mean you need to tell everyone all your deepest and darkest thoughts and fears. We are not all cut out for sharing our private concerns, and it may not feel better for us. However, you need to find a way to express yourself. Whether it is writing, through sport, exercising, or meditating. Find what works for you, and make sure you use this outlet regularly.
Get a second opinion. Sometimes we have a way of creating an inner dialogue that is far from the truth. When our emotions get out of control we can create unrealistic scenarios in our minds. In situations like this it is best to confide in a close friend for another opinion. Your friend will be likely to shine some light on the situation and tell you what you need to hear (even if it is not what you want to hear).
Understand your triggers. When you start to become aware of the thought patterns that lead to negative emotions, you can stop them in their tracks. Triggers may be being stuck in traffic and noticing yourself become frustrated, angry and impatient. Notice as your heart beats faster, your fists clench and your teeth grind. Now that you are aware of what is happening, ask yourself if this reaction is making a difference to your situation, i.e. are you going to get there faster by being mad at the traffic? Once you realise you are gaining nothing from these negative emotions, you will be able to release them as quickly as they arise.
Have you tried any of these before? Did they work for you?
If you give the tips a try, I would love to hear how you go!