Feeling all of the emotions is a healthy thing because it means you are tuned into yourself and how certain things make you feel. However, controlling your big emotions is a good idea because it will keep your life on a smooth track.
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Uncontrolled emotions can interfere with healthy relationships and your career. While it’s certainly fine, and even important, to feel your emotions, keeping them in check allows you the best of both worlds – that is, the opportunity to feel at ease with a life that stays on track and allows you to surround yourself with people who appreciate how you feel.
Need help controlling your emotions? Here’s what works.
Acknowledge The Emotion
You should never try to ignore or squash your emotions. This can lead to issues down the road. The best way to learn to control your emotions is to first learn to acknowledge them. That means it’s fine to feel angry, but simply telling yourself how mad you are can really help you as you choose a reaction to your anger.
Once you are able to identify and acknowledge how you feel, it will be infinitely easier to control your anger, excitement, sadness, etc. in a socially acceptable way. Many people find it helpful to keep an emotional journal in which they record what they are feeling and what made them feel that way.
This can help you learn to better acknowledge how you’re feeling so that you can work on appropriate responses to your emotions.
Avoid Certain Situations
If you know that a certain situation or place will cause you to have strong emotions, it might be best to avoid that situation or place. For example, perhaps family gatherings with a certain relative always cause you to become angry or sad.
Taking a break from those events when the other person is present can help you control those emotions, which probably don’t make you feel that great anyway.
If political conversations really get you upset or overworked, perhaps you can make a rule among your friends and family that the topic is off limits. If you hate being late, consider leaving the house a few minutes earlier than usual so that you won’t have to worry about the anger and stress that tends to crop up when you are in a hurry and things keep slowing you down.
These simple changes can go a long way toward helping you control big emotions, which makes for a better quality of life.
Pay Attention To Other Things
Sometimes focusing on the same things over and over can create emotions that are hard to control. For example, if you really want to settle down and get married, but you aren’t seeing anyone seriously, it can make jealousy an emotion that is hard to control when your friends announce their engagement or you see happily married couples when you’re out and about.
Likewise, if you want kids, but are having trouble getting pregnant, you may experience anger and jealousy when friends have babies or you see moms with their little ones.
If you want a career change, but can’t make it happen, you may experience anger and frustration that is hard to control. The point here is that by focusing on other things, you can control these emotions so they don’t take over your life.
Concentrate on having fun with your single friends, skip the baby shower if you must and try to find things about your current job that you love and wouldn’t want to change. By shifting the focus on what spikes the big emotions, you can help tamp them down so they aren’t making you miserable. This will take some practice, but the effort will be worth it.
Try Cognitive Changes
This is a tricky thing, but can really help you in your response to certain things that tend to get your emotions going. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a well-known technique that helps you train your brain to think and behave differently in situations that bother you.
It won’t happen overnight, but with consistent work you can begin looking at things in a whole new way, which will help you feel better in all kinds of environments and situations. You don’t have to attend therapy to benefit from this.
You can also work on it on your own, although it will take a lot of diligence and dedication to remember to train your brain at points when your emotions are threatening to get the best of you.
Be Willing To Learn
There is a learning opportunity in many parts of life and your emotions are one of them. By examining why you feel the way that you do, you can learn from your response and craft a different outcome next time. This is an instance when your emotional journal can come in handy.
By looking back at what you’ve written down, you can see patterns emerge that will paint a picture of when your emotions could use some extra control and what things have helped in the past. Learning from your emotions is a great way to control them because you will be getting to know yourself in a deeper way, which opens many doors in terms of control and response to your feelings.
This might be one of the hardest methods for emotional control that there is. If your emotions tend to cause social faux pas or make it hard for you to develop healthy relationships, it could be because of the way you display emotions.
For example, fear could translate as amusement or sadness could result in anger. When these socially inappropriate emotions are displayed, it can compromise your interaction with other people.
Therapy can help you train yourself to respond more appropriately and keep the negative aspect of your emotions under wraps. You can also create a written plan on your own so that you have a technique in mind for when an instance comes up that has caused you to react negatively in the past.
There is certainly nothing wrong with having emotions and showing them, but it does pay to keep them under control when you are out in the world and around other people. If you continue to have trouble dealing with this, you might consider seeing a behavioral therapist to see if you can determine what is going on and more intense ways to cope and deal with the situation.
Through practice and dedication, you can learn to control your emotions so they enhance your life and relationships, rather than hindering them. Of course, this will take some time, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t start seeing results immediately. Staying invested in the end result will keep you on track and help you reach your goals before you know it.