Here are two identical twins Emily and Sophia.
Every little thing makes Emily fly off the handle – from the traffic on the roads, to waiting in a long queue, to stumbling upon mean people. Her mood and her happiness is directly determined by the things happening around her.
Sophia on the other hand doesn’t let the little things in life get to her. She remains calm, controls her emotions, and on a continuous basis is much more happier with life than Emily is.
Looking at Emily and Sophia, which twin would you like to spend a day or two with?
Most certainly Sophia for me!
The difference between them is choice.
Controlling our emotions becomes very much like our choice. It is rather like developing a skill that may take ages to get used to. And as humans, we tend to struggle with change the most.
When a particular emotion bothers us, the last thing we want is to deal with it pro-actively. Instead we want to rant about it, which ultimately brings us no good. While emotions are a crucial part of life in helping us to know ourselves and to connect deeply with other people, as soon as when we act on our emotions too quickly, or we act on the wrong kinds of emotions, we often make decisions that we later lament.
To tackle this, it is very important to identify our emotions- and allowing them to be seen. Monitoring them will help to create awareness about the particular emotion that makes us have a conniption fit.
Then allow yourself to discover why you feel this emotion. This could be due to many reasons like a low self-esteem, insecurities, etc.
Once we figure out what circumstances or situations have a major affect on us, we must find a solution for it. In reality I have noticed that a lot of times I feel emotions that arise when someone says something to me. But a simple solution for that would be to laugh about it! Nobody in this world has control over our emotions, it is always our choice.
Another thing to remember is that many times we react a bit too soon. A sudden wave of anger hits us and we do stupid, unnecessary things (which becomes our greatest regrets later on!)
For this it is important to distant yourself from the situation or the person for a little while whenever you get an emotional upsurge. Take time to stabilise yourself and your overwhelming impulse. Calm yourself, think with a rational mind and only then act on it. Never act on a strong emotion, which most of the times I notice is anger.
This is, indeed, easier said than done. However, many people believe that they will be free of anger if they express it, that their tears release pain. But this infact is an often harmful concept that has proven to be completely wrong. It sees the brain as a steam kettle in which negative feelings build up pressure. Meaningful friends often tell us to “cry and let it all out!”. But in reality this helps no one. Controlled studies show that tears can drive us still deeper into depression, and that fits of rage are more likely to intensify anger. Ultimately, it brings us further down in the dumps. People who make the effort to control their emotions not only live a happier life, but are favouring their health too, (Increasing the activity of the left side of their prefrontal cortex).
So recognise your triggers and take charge of them. Quiet down your uneasy mind and you decide how you want to feel – just like Sophia!