Managing emotions is one of the most important skills you can learn. They are part of emotional intelligence and if you develop it you will have a better quality of life, you will develop better personal relationships and you will have more professional success.
In this article, I will explain how to control negative emotions and feelings to have a more pleasant life, build good relationships and avoid conflicts.
The well-known German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche already said: “Thoughts come when they want and not when we wish”.
The negative emotions come and go, and often we fail to handle them. On the other hand, we see that in the same situation people react in different ways.
About the level of management that you can have about your emotions there are different theories, however, most of them coincide in something: the way in which a person interprets their emotions determines the way that experience lives.
In that sense, it is possible to handle them properly and the way in which you experience and interpret them will depend on you.
7 tips to control your emotions
The emotional level is very variable and dependent on the personality of each one.
The experiences you have had and how you have processed them is what largely determines the way you act and feel today.
You may not be able to avoid feeling some negative or unpleasant emotions, but you can handle them so that they affect you as little as possible and allow you to live happily.
These are some practices and ways of thinking that will help you control your emotions:
1-Look for ways to distract yourself
When you feel anger or a lot of anxiety, never let these feelings invade you; try to change tuning immediately.
The reason for the anger or the anxiety surely you have it defined, no more reflections on the matter.
Distraction is very effective for emotions such as anger and anxiety, whose effects are seen in the short term.
Regarding the ways to distract yourself, you have many. The important thing is to do something else when you feel the anger.
2-Think about your nearest future
When you are particularly sad, confused and can not think clearly, this practice can be very useful.
Whatever it is that is preventing you from thinking clearly, put a brake on it. Do not project in the long term and just think about the immediate future.
Uncertainty is one of the most difficult feelings to handle. It is the key ingredient to unleash anxiety and then the anguish comes because of not being able to solve things.
When you think in the longer term, everything will be more complex. You will see an infinity of obstacles and you will not see any way out. There you run the risk of succumbing.
Think of the most immediate thing to solve and focus your energies on it. Then there will be time to move on to the next problem.
Always ask yourself the following question: What is the worst thing that can happen to you? The answer usually shows you that the situation is not as serious as you think. People who are anxious or anxious tend to oversize problems.
When you feel anxious to get a result, and you would like to see it immediately, wait for an ordeal. You have organized your child’s birthday and there are rain forecasts. You start to feel distressed and you do not know what to do.
Cancel everything or wait for the day to arrive? You can not stand the anxiety and your bad mood starts. What is the worst that can happen if it rains? Those children cannot be in the yard and have to enter the classroom? Maybe it’s not so serious and you’re worrying more.
If you are constantly worried and that state has lasted several months you may have generalized anxiety.
3-Practice relaxation or meditation techniques
It is scientifically proven that meditation helps eliminate negative thoughts. It has nothing to do with philosophical or religious beliefs. They are only practices that promote a state of relaxation and disconnection of everything that overwhelms.
You are in the digital age and your mind is bombarded daily with a lot of instant information. Everything is designed so that things are faster and you do not have to wait. The current pace of life often encourages the anxiety to get more things faster.
Take some time to disconnect from the every day, practice relaxation techniques, relax your mind and release stress.
This is step-by-step for meditation beginners:
Step by Step:
- Breathe through your nose for 4 seconds slowly, so that the hand of your stomach rises and the hand on your chest rises very little
- Hold the air for 4 seconds
- Exhale the air through your mouth for 4 seconds slowly, expelling as much air as you can while contracting the abdomen
- The seconds that I mention are a proposal, make modifications until you feel totally comfortable. Practice is the key
4-Take time to see things from another perspective
It is not easy, especially when living a situation that generates anguish or fear, but it is absolutely necessary.
It does not matter what you plan to do or if you have not thought about anything yet. When emotions are at the surface of your skin you have a very limited vision of what is happening.
When you take a moment to let the emotions of the moment pass, to hypothesize other hypotheses or simply that things decant, then you will see the situation in a different way.
5-Develop a critical spirit
If you can do it when your emotions have not invaded you then better. That way you can make a more objective assessment. If there is an emotion that makes you feel bad and is recurrent then there is something that is not right.
When living a distressing situation or a lot of anger is frequent, there is obviously something in you that is out of control.
That does not mean that you are guilty or have irreversible defects. That means there are things about you that you can modify.
Albert Einstein said that if one does something whose result is negative and continues to do so in the same way, then the result can not be expected to change. The moral is: change what is not working!
6-Find the engine of your emotions
Whatever emotion you experience, that makes you feel good or bad, you need to understand how the mechanism that triggers it is activated.
Understanding why we act or feel in a certain way before certain stimuli is part of the first concept of emotional intelligence. In order to modify or control something, you have to have that “something” identified and know it well.
If you feel an uncontrollable fury every time someone in authority makes an observation or sanction, then there is a recurring element.
Ask yourself what really bothers you and identify the stages of the process that lead you to that state.
That way you can understand what really makes you so angry, and as a consequence, you can control the cause that gives rise to anger.
7-Think about your virtues and all the good things that are in you
If you are very angry or very sad about something, try to think about the good things that have happened to you.
Rage and sadness are two very different types of emotions, but both make us suffer. If we are angry because we are late for work due to some setback, think for example of the following: most of the time you arrive early, so being late once is not so serious.
Instead of concentrating on cursing traffic and the government for not having adequate traffic rules, think that you are a responsible person. That is why you have earned “certain rights”, and this is an occasion to use it.
If you are sad because you do not have enough money to buy a car and you have to walk a lot, think that you are very lucky anyway.
There are those who, being in a wheelchair, would give everything to walk. It is not about being conformist, but about knowing how to value what you have.
Emotions are part of the human essence, and the idea is not to try to feel less. The key is to manage emotions in a way that allows you to live a full and happy life.
8-Write about your emotions
Although in these times writing a journal is not fashionable, it is a technique that gives good results.
Writing is a form of expression, and although you may prefer other ways of doing it, it has great advantages.
When you are sad, angry or very distressed, write with your words everything you feel. Think that what you are going to write does not have to be read by anyone, if you do not want to.
When you write, do not save any words or comments. Everything will be very useful to download all the negative, and when you read it later, you can relate that state of mind to what happened later, and if the experience was good then you can repeat it.
Writing is very beneficial for when you feel very confused. If you have many ideas but you can not prioritize, write them in the order that arises.
Then read them carefully and go prioritizing them as much as you can. Reading frequently those priorities will help you to keep the focus on what you have defined.
How are you writing your personal diary?