Learn about Controlling Emotions
Have you ever experienced situations where you wished that you were controlling emotions rather than be controlled by it? Like when you lost your temper over a misunderstanding? Or getting upset over little things. Or becoming all tense and nervous when close to an attractive member of the opposite sex?
First off understand that emotions are there for us and serves us well. Emotions make our life more interesting and colorful. You don't want to be without any emotion. That is not the goal here.
What we want is to acknowledge that emotions have a very important place in our lives. However just like anything else, too much of one thing makes it unhealthy.Sometimes it is good to let emotions take control over us and guide our actions and decisions. Other times, it is better that we are the ones controlling emotions. When dealing with emotions, don't ignore it, avoid it, dismiss it, and especially don't suppress the emotions. Instead, we acknowledge its existence, and take note of what it is trying to tell us (the message), and move along by responding to the message in an objective manner.
Note : If you are suffering from emotional problems, please note that health problems such as sclerosis, hormonal imbalances etc may cause emotional instability. As such, in addition to trying out the tips contained in this website, you should also pay a visit to a M.D to check if the problems you are facing are actually due to medical imbalances or deficiencies.
This is how we do it... controlling emotions
Whenever you feel a surge of emotions coming over you, immediately break your state. Disassociate yourself. Then become a 3rd party observing what is happening. Like watching a movie, or playing a computer game where you are controlling the character in the game. What is happening isn't really affecting you, but rather the character you are playing in the game.
The key is to break your pattern immediately, then go right into disassociating mode. One split second is all it takes for us to get sucked into the emotion. Emotion builds on momentum. The more you let it dwell, the stronger it gets. The more time you give it, the wilder it gets.
Break the state by saying or doing something that is totally bizarre and unexpected. The more bizarre the better. Make it so weird that it jolts even yourself. That your brain doesn't know what to make of it. It sounds funny but it?s true. This is the first step in controlling emotions.
By doing this your brain goes Whoa what is that? What just happened there? I have no idea. That was weird. Now what was it I was feeling a moment ago? Make it so bizarre that you brain loses track of what it was feeling for a while.
Doing this drains the initial power out of the emotion. You got the first attack and winded the emotion. Now what you need is to keep up the attack while you have this advantage and not let it get back into the fight. Quickly deliver the next few blows and knock it out.
And believe me that the emotion ain't giving up yet. A short while after breaking your state, the emotion will try to come back into play at least once or twice. Be strong and stick to your game. Stick with the process and do another state break if needed.
There will be an urge to give in and let it take over. Think of it as swimming against the direction of the current in a river. Initially it is easier to give in and go with the flow. Just keep pushing. Once you start to get some momentum, it becomes easier and easier. After a while the current disappears and you will start to feel neutral about it.
Next, get curious
Ok got it? Now you are able to break the state and allow yourself to be a disassociated 3rd party observing what is happening. Next, neutrally just observe what is happening to you and what are the emotions you are feeling. Do this by asking these questions;
'Hmmm...What is going on here?'
'Now I wonder what just happened?'
'What is this character I am feeling?'
'Hmmm...What are his emotions now?'
Do this in a very objective and curious manner. Don't make it personal, observe yourself from afar. Be curious and really wonder what is going through him/her right now. A tip would be to use a questioning or curious tone in your intonation when asking those questions. This helps a lot in taking the energy and focus out of the emotion and replacing it with a genuine curiosity to know more.
After you observed what is going on and having identified what emotion the character is feeling, proceed to get curious about why is he feeling that way and what does she want. You can ask questions such as;
'Hmm... so why is he feeling that way?'
'What would she have to believe in order to feel that way?'
'What does he want instead?'
'What would make her feel better?'
By doing this you will find the answer to why you are feeling that emotion. You will be clear on why you feel that way, and what you would want instead. Observing it objectively will give you a clear answer. When you are blinded by emotions, you will not be able to identify what the problem is.
The final step is deciding how to respond & what action to take.
'Now that I have figured what's going on and why is it happening, what should I do about this?'
'What can I do that will help give me what I want instead?'
'How can I communicate this better to others?' (When the source of the problem is poor communication)
'What is the best way to respond to this?'
All the efforts of the prior steps comes down to this outcome, the manner in which we respond. We want to control our emotions so that we can respond to something in our usual competent manner. By disassociating and controlling emotions, it helps you come up with a good objective response, and also the calmness and objectivity to carry out that solution well too.
No matter how you answer those questions, be rest assured that the solutions that you come up with will be objective. Because you were not driven by your emotion. You have assessed the situation in a clear mind.
So here it is in a nutshell, a step by step process of controlling emotions in any situation.
1. When something happens and brings a surge of unwanted emotion to you, immediately do something bizarre and break your state. Get the first attack. Be an unrelated observer of the scene and keep yourself in that disassociated state.
2. Watch what is happening from a 3rd party observer perspective and get curious about what is going on. What happened? What are you feeling?
3. Continue to probe further while still being disassociated and observing from afar. Why is she feeling that? What does she want instead?
4. Finally objectively come up with a response or solution to what happened.
Many people feel that controlling emotions is a very difficult thing to do. In fact, it is just a matter of habit. The more you do it, the better you are at it. Perhaps for the first dozen times you would find it hard to consciously guide yourself through controlling the emotion rather than just giving in to it. But the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Before you know it, it will become a habit. You can't help but be objective whenever you are swamped by emotions. Controlling emotions becomes natural.
Don't take life too seriously. Life is too short for us to act serious all the time. Have a ball & when something bad happens, just laugh it off. After all it is happening to the game character, not you.
Related Articles Dealing With Negative Emotions Positive Thinking Technique Benefits Of Positive Thinking
Go to the top of Controlling Emotions Go back to Self Improvement home