Controlling our emotions…

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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!

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141 thoughts on “Controlling our emotions…

  1. A great post.
    I used to be like Emily. Now I am more like Sophia. That is exactly because I follow what you recommended. It required a lot of effort and in-dept analysis in the beginning, but it becomes easier with time. We just have to be able to be honest with ourselves and be able to control ourselves.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. This is soo true!! If you are mad, better to walk away first than say something that you will regret in the future. Strong emotions usually put us in trouble. It is like being an impulsive buyer, after buying you realize that you don’t need it at all.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Interesting, I would choose to be with Emily and till now I went with the assumption that everyone else would too. The difference as I see is between being happy(and of course as you say, sad, angry, emotional) and being right( as in wise, balanced). We know the virtues of being (with) Sophia and the suffering that would ensue if we choose otherwise, but we do, or at least we long for the Emilies.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Very thoughtful and profound message. However, easier said than done… You cannot control your emotions in a click, specially your anger. There are so many leading factors involved and equal number of controlling factors to keep a tab on… (matter of discussion)

    Keep the great work going 👍

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I think it is very hard to control our emotions , but when we find ourselves surouneded with people who spread positivity and good vibes , we learn to be like them and imitate their behavior , nice post , well done !

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Great post! I manage a team of 7 people and 2 are very emotional and negative women. It’s a challenge for me but in the end it’s their responsibility to take charge of their own lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wonderful ❤
    But I am confused whether spending a day with Sophia, worth or not ?
    As I’m just like Sophia so why not to experience something knew, looking into Emily’s life ??
    What makes her to act on immidiate desires, why she is failing to control her emotions?
    We are humans & possiblity is that at some point of time or some day we may loose our temper & if I can learn something after observing the behavior of Sofia then I’ll surely do it.
    Because rationality comes with observation & observation leads to experience.
    Just my side 😛🍷

    Liked by 2 people

  8. There is a middle path here that western models of psychology are just beginning to adopt from the long-standing traditions of Eastern meditation practices. Controlling emotions In and of itself can be effective, but in extreme circumstances leads to just as many symptoms as uncontrolled emotional response. EMotions stands for Energy in Motion. By themselves they are neither positively or negatively charged. Instead, the behaviors channeled from them can have positive or negative consequences. Instead of trying to control them, we need to learn effective ways at channeling the vast sources of energy they hold within. Great article and I look forward to reading more. Emotions and their effects on lifelong development is a greatly under-represented topic being explored at this time.

    Like

  9. While I agree that we should definitely shouldn’t be led by our emotions, sometimes it is necessary and healthy to let our emotions out – crying can be a way of healing our pain.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi there
    I just read your post on emotions and keeping them in check. What you wrote, really resonates with me as a Buddhist. Meditation is a key part of my daily life and it helps calm and relax the mind. In the west, there are so many things to stress us out but you’re absolutely right it is a choice and one we should take very seriously. How we react in the world based on our emotions, doesn’t just affect us as individuals but those around us too and our wider communities. If we carry negative emotions, our loved ones are directly impacted too. The change in their mood because of our emotion will touch every person they come into contact with and they then carry that back into their wider communities and so on. So from a Buddhist perspective, whether our emotions are of joy or anger – they both act like ripples on a pond when a pebble is dropped into it. Please keep your posts coming I really love your work. My own site mind medicine touches on very similar things and I’m also fascinated by philosophy which is why I was drawn to your work. Best wishes Julie x

    Liked by 1 person

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