Most emotions can be reeled in by bringing awareness to what you are feeling and using practical strategies to overcome them.
Therefore, to be able to control your emotions, below are important sectors to focus on:
- Identify what you are feeling.
Your emotional experience is broken down into three elements; body language and behaviors, visceral reactions, and thoughts. Sometimes, you may clearly feel one emotion, while, at other times, you may experience a spectrum of emotions. Consider some common emotions with their three associated elements to determine how you are feeling right now.
- Pinpoint which situations cause you to get emotional.
If you are experiencing strong emotions, you need to figure out the stimulus that caused these feelings. This is especially true if you find yourself getting upset often. Think back over the last few hours or days, consider the people you have talked to and the topics of the conversations you have had.
- Become aware of your thoughts about the situation.
Once you target which person/people or topic is stimulus, write down your feelings about this person or topic. Write out these emotions as ”I am disappointed because…” This exercise can give you some insight into what’s driving your emotions. You may not have even been aware of these factors before now.
- Verify if your thoughts are realistic.
Once you have written what’s driving your feelings down on paper, you can then check this statement for accuracy.
For example, if you wrote ”I am disappointed because Friend X did not buy me a birthday present,” you need to consider the variables that surrounded Friend X’s behavior and your own.
Did you explicitly tell Friend X that you didn’t want a gift this year?
Do you generally feel dissatisfied by the previous presents Friend X has brought you?
Is Friend X going through financial difficulties and couldn’t purchase a gift?
If you can find at least one shred of evidence that shows Friend X’s behavior was warranted, then you have proven that your response (i.e. disappointed) was illogical.
Understanding this will not only help you emotion-wise, it’ll help you a great deal career-wise in the sense that it’ll make you slow to conclusion, slow to give up, and it’ll make you understand that no business or career idea is the last of its kind — just as different theme platforms were developed on the basis of giving web platforms like WordPress a different, unique user interface.
- Develop an adaptive substitute behavior.
After you have closely examined your thought patterns and behavior in your interactions with others, try to devise a plan to demonstrate healthier responses in the future.
Methods of Relieving Extreme Negative Emotions
- Engage in extreme mindfulness.
Mindfulness practices such as meditation can be helpful in overcoming strong emotions such as sadness, fear, anger and even jealousy. As soon as you notice the physical cues of a strong emotion approaching (i.e. racing heart, clenched fists, etc), you can step aside and practice a few seconds or minutes of deep breathing to retain your sanity and peace.
It may be especially hard to motivate yourself to engage in physical activity when you are experiencing strong emotions, but the benefits are worthwhile. Just as regular exercise provides amazing benefit to your physical health, it can also benefit you mentally. Exercise reduces the level of body’s stress hormones, and increase the production of endorphins, which elevate your mood and act as natural pain killers.
- Do progressive muscle relaxation.
If a strong emotional state causes you to feel tense in your body, take a few minutes to try this relaxation technique. Progressive muscle relaxation involves gradual contracting and releasing of different muscle groups in your body. It functions as a way of relieving stress and makes you more aware of tensions in your body.
- Know when it’s not a good time to have a serious discussion.
There’re few circumstances when it’s best to postpone a discussion until later to avoid our emotions from getting out of control. If you are about to talk to someone when tempers are already flaring or extreme emotions are already involved, consider the acronym H.A.L.T. It represents hunger, anger, loneliness, tiredness.
In conclusion, overcoming negative emotions, in some cases, is very difficult, but not impossible. Inculcate the above tips to your everyday life and you’ll gradually become fully in charge of your emotions in due time.
BY Joseph Chukwube