Five Ways to Manage Your Own Emotions
We all have emotions and feelings, but sadly, many people are unable to properly manage their emotions. How can you better manage your emotions?
Too many people suffer with too much fear. Or they lose their temper too often. As a result, they say too much, they say the wrong thing and hurt someone else's feelings.
We know that living with too much fear or anger can have bad consequences. There are other people who don't have enough self-confidence or not enough self-motivation. Insufficient motivation or self-confidence can also have bad consequences.
For many, their inability to control their own emotions makes life feel poorer. Their emotions seem to be an uncontrollable element; their emotions seem to be a mysterious force that sweeps over them, as if from a source outside of themselves. For example: my friend Jonathon tells me that emotions of anxiousness might, at any time, seem to sweep over him and leave him in a state of what he calls "a panic attack".
For others, they are caught up in an emotion of over excitement that seems to grip them and cause them to do reckless or dangerous things, which they would not normally do. But their emotions got carried away.
It is important to put emotions in their place. We should be the masters of our own emotions, not slaves to emotions. Emotions are a method of enjoying life. In order to do that we must master our own emotions.
How can you master your own emotions?
First, realise that emotions are created by your own brain. They do not come from other people, nor do they come from circumstances. They come from your own thought processes.
It is common for people to blame other people or circumstances for how they feel.
It is important not to blame other people, nor circumstances for how you feel. It is important that you take full responsibility for your own emotions.
Here is the point I would like to put into your memory: please mark this next sentence well:
You feel whatever you think about
- If you think about food, you will begin to feel hungry.
- If you think you will win, you will feel confident.
- If you think you will lose, you will not feel confident.
- If you think you are in trouble, you will feel anxious.
- If you think the future will be better than the past you will feel optimistic.
- If you think the future will be worse than the past, you will feel pessimistic.
You see, your emotions are not the product of what other people say to you.
It is a mistake to say, "You MAKE me angry when you do that".
The true statement is, "Whenever I see you do that, I lose my temper".
The difference between these two statements is not mere semantics.
The point is that, in the first statement, the control of your emotions lays with the other person: If he can make you angry, on demand, then he controls you.
In the second statement, you are the one who is in command of your own temper.
Similarly, if he can make you afraid, then he controls you. Do not give control of emotions to anyone or anything, other than yourself.
YOUR THOUGHTS are the cause of your emotions. And YOU are the one who controls what you think about. (Or at least you should control what you think about.)
Here is a great phrase. Use this following phrase as a mantra to say to yourself 1000 times a day:
I am responsible. I am responsible. I AM RESPONSIBLE.
Meaning: you are responsible for your reactions to things. You are responsible for your own mind, and you can, with sufficient practice and will power, gain full control over your thoughts, so that you can, by implication, gain full control over how you feel.
You don't have to be anxious any more. You don't need to lose your temper so quickly any more. You don't have to feel afraid when thinking about the future.
Five methods I use to control my emotions
1. I refuse to think that the future will be bad. I consciously look for evidence to support the view that my future will be better than my past. And if I cannot find any evidence, I go to work to make something happen that will give me the evidence that my future will be brighter than my past.
2. I set goals and write plans of action. Every time I set a goal and write a plan of action that will take me to my goal, I feel stronger. So I do it most days. You could do that too, couldn't you?
3. In bad times, I turn my mental focus on the very moment that I am in. I don't worry about the next hour. Fix your mind onto this moment. What is happening right now? Attend to your senses. What do you see? What do you hear? What is happening right now? Become very sensory, outward looking. Don't regress into fearful imaginings.
Be like a cat. Looking, listening, smelling the air. Feeling the situation. This will make you more able to successfully cope with the situation, as it is unfolding. Do not go into imagining what might be happening. Look at what you can see IS happening.
4. Educate yourself. Your emotions respond to your dominant thoughts. If you have the habit of thinking about all the bad things that might happen, then you will feel worried.
If you have the habit of thinking about all the bad things that have already happened, then you will feel angry or upset. It is possible to distract your thoughts away from fearful futures and painful pasts, by studying.
Study whatever interests you. Study history. Study mathematics. Study psychology. Study German or French or Spanish. Study philosophy or astronomy or nutrition. But don't read the newspapers. They will fill your mind with fear.
I find that if I study for two hours, then my emotions settle down to a neutral state.
This is because there is not an emotional component to studying biology, or German. It is emotionally neutral. It is simply knowledge. So the emotions settle down after studying because the mind is distracted from the fearful future show, or the painful past show.
5. Exercise. The last method is to exercise. This will change the way you feel emotionally because exercise distracts the mind. And also exercise causes physiological changes that change the chemistry of the brain and thus how you feel emotionally.
If I am feeling down, or depressed, I will go into my garage and lift weights. Heavy weight lifting causes me to focus my mind onto the barbell, and therefore, off my problems. And the act of exerting myself to lift heavy weights causes adrenaline, endorphins, testosterone and growth hormone production.
These chemicals change the brain function and therefore I always feel better after a workout than I did before the workout.
I suggest you could make yourself feel better by training hard, three times per week. (Not necessarily weights - do whatever exercise you like.)
- You are responsible for your emotions.
- Don't give that control away to others.
- Don't allow your mind to dwell on fearful futures or painful past thoughts.
- Think of how you could make the future better than your past.
- Or think of the current moment. Attend to your senses.
- Or study and distract your mind away from your negative emotions.
- Or exercise and change your chemical balance from negative to positive.