This article is written by Kate Walker.
Emotions affect almost 90% of your reactions to various situations in life. However, you know you are controlled by your emotions if your mood changes depending on circumstances. Some situations are easy to handle while others are hard to control. For the difficult ones, you have to learn the skills to stop such feelings from controlling you and reduce their impact on your life. It requires a lot of practice and dedication to master the art of controlling your emotions. Nonetheless, the results are worth all the efforts.
Here are 10 ways how to handle your emotions and stop yourself from being a slave to them.
Identify the type of emotion you are experiencing
You can only be in a position to manage something if you are aware of what you are dealing with. Are you sad, angry, anxious or happy? What has triggered that feeling? Getting the answers to these questions is the first step to learning how to control your emotions and reduce their effects on your decisions.
Unload your emotions
Do not bottle up what you feel. Find a healthy way to let it out. You can use relaxation techniques such as taking deep breaths, counting from backward from 10, meditation or praying. You can also release your emotions by writing them down on paper. Other people ventilate through kickboxing or martial arts. Engaging in your hobbies whenever you feel strongly about something is another way of channeling your emotions to prevent them from taking control of you.
Create a mantra
A mantra is an affirmation or phrase that you repeat so many times to yourself until you establish control of your emotions. It makes you aware of your feelings and gets the motivation to cope with the difficult emotion.
Change your way of thinking
It’s absolutely normal and natural to feel sad, angry or frustrated, but allowing your mind to dwell on the negative feelings or situations that trigger you, makes you a slave of that sentiment. Reframe your thoughts by focusing on positive things in your life, being optimistic and replacing negative thoughts with something that makes you feel happy.
Forgive your emotional triggers
There are many things that can set you off. It could be a situation, a friend, a family member, or even yourself. If your actions are what triggered you, forgive yourself for the mistake and allow yourself to move past that situation. You will do it differently next time. Forgiving the friend, family member or colleague who triggered your outburst will enable you to detach yourself from the negative feeling you got from a situation, thus regain self-control.
A healthy lifestyle
Take care of your emotional health the same way you do for your physical well-being. Get enough sleep, follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly. You will think rationally and control your emotions better as healthy habits boost your mood even when confronted with strong emotions. Abusing drugs or alcohol as a way of dealing with strong emotions only escalates the situation. They suppress your emotions instead of dealing with them thus posing a threat to your well-being.
Connect with friends
Human beings are social creatures and spending time with your friends or family is what you need to promote a positive mood when you are feeling emotional. Feeling loved or laughing together is a distraction that allows you to take control of your emotions.
Take a break
Do not react right away when your emotions get triggered. Take some time away from the person or situation that sets you off and calm down before reacting. Actions such as sending an email or text message to the person who hurt you in the middle of the night or venting about them on social networks are actions that you will most likely regret later when the emotion passes. Only act after processing your feelings to avoid destructive consequences.
Establish meaningful goals and purpose
Setting meaningful goals for your life such as work or family makes it easy to move past strong emotions without letting them control you. Focusing on the goal makes it easy to comprehend that the situation is only temporary.
Seek help from friends or professionals
Suppressing your emotions is one of the leading causes of mental illness and emotional problems. Talk about your feelings with a friend, support group or counsellor to reduce adverse effects on your health. A problem shared is a problem half solved.
Bottom line, it’s not easy to admit to yourself that you have been enslaved by your emotions. However, accepting when your emotions are controlling you is the first step to learning how to manage them. Use the above psychological tips to stop yourself from becoming a slave to your emotions. You will experience positive changes in your life when your stress levels are checked and you have more control over your life.
If you enjoyed reading this article, you might also like: