Are you listening to what your emotions are trying to tell you? Today we are looking at our emotions; not only how they can negatively affect us, but most importantly how to control emotions and get them on our side.
While some people are more emotional than others, all of us can struggle with understanding our emotions. Emotions are in place for a reason. Do you know what that reason is? Are you listening to what your emotions are trying to tell you?
Emotions are a tool for us to use in identifying what is really going on in our lives and especially in our minds.
I was recently reading of a three-step process that we can use to better understand and take control of our emotions.
How to Control Emotions, Step-by-Step
Step 1 – Feel Your Emotions
As you feel an emotion come up, especially one that makes you feel uncomfortable or bad, that is the time to let it come to the surface so you can deal with it.
When something happens that creates a strong negative emotion in you, take the time to blow off the steam, or deal with the emotion head on. You may have to walk away, count to ten, breathe deeply, write in a journal, meditate or some other means to try to calm down.
You want to take that strong negative energy down a few notches, so you can regain balance and control. By calming down from the raw, out-of-control emotion, so you can move on to step 2.
Step 2 – What Do You Believe?
Whatever it is that happened to cause such a severe negative emotion, you need to calm down so you can understand what is really going on.
For example, if you asked a friend to go out to lunch and the friend turned down your invitation, you may feel strong emotions such as anger or hurt. If you are very hurt by your friend’s rejection, you need to really think through why you are hurt by the event. Maybe your thinking your friend is mad at you for some reason, or doesn’t want to be your friend anymore.
These negative thoughts will cause strong negative emotions to surface. But after calming down and looking at the situation more objectively, you may be able to come up with some other more positive thoughts. Maybe your friend has a lot to do during the lunch hour, or simply made prior plans.
This is the time to question your emotions which are leading to these beliefs. Ask yourself why you are thinking the most negative thoughts about this or a similar situation. This is the time to question your beliefs and ask for proof that your belief is really the truth, or if it’s just the emotional part of your brain influencing your thoughts negatively.
Try to calm down enough to look at the situation objectively, not emotionally. Think about how to control emotion. It is especially important to question beliefs if you come up with answers such as, “No one likes me,” or “I don’t have any friends.”
Listening to your self-talk during emotionally-charged moments is extremely eye-opening and can help you eliminate beliefs that either aren’t true or simply don’t serve you well anymore.
Step 3 – Stay Positive
After taking the time to calm down and then sort through why you are feeling strong negative emotions, end your experience on a positive note.
Don’t keep replaying the incident over and over in your head. Acknowledge your emotions and why you’re feeling them. This is the point you need to let go of the negative emotions and focus on something positive.
If similar events with the same people keep coming up and making you feel strong negative emotions, it may be time to move on and remove these things from your life.
So, your negative emotions can be a very powerful tool as to when and if you need to make changes in your life. You may need to re-think friendships, relationships and careers if they are constantly putting you in a negative emotional state.
Put more positive thoughts, positive people and positive situations into your life. Put more energy into doing things and spending time with people that make you feel more upbeat and positive.
Emotions are part of what makes us human. So, learning to understand what your emotions are trying to tell you and how to control emotions, can help you grow as a person. The emotions you feel come from what you think about most often. Emotions also stem from the belief system you have in place. For example, if you think mostly negative thoughts, don’t be surprised if mostly negative emotions come to the surface.
Instead of suppressing or ignoring your emotions, use them as a tool to really challenge long-held beliefs. By doing so, you can react more positively to situations that would normally upset you.
You should also know that not expressing your emotions in a healthy way can result in stress, frustration, anger and unhealthy habits as a means to deal with what you’re really feeling inside. Ignoring and/or repressing emotions such as anger and fear can play havoc with your health over time.
By challenging your negative self-talk and beliefs, in effect changing the way you think about things going on around you, you can experience positive emotions and control your emotions more of the time.
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