While necessary, emotions can be tricky. If you don’t know how to manage your emotions, they can take over and dictate how you think and act. This can wreak havoc in your life. But there are things you can do to help you stay calm and in charge of your emotions when you need to.
The Good and Bad About Emotions
Emotions are neither good nor bad. They are simply how your body reacts in certain situations. The difference lies in how you manage them.
The problem with emotions is, if you’re not careful, you may act on your emotions too quickly. This can lead us to making decisions you come to regret.
If you’ve had issues handling your emotions in the past, don’t think it has to remain this way. You can learn how to manage your emotions instead of letting them get the better of you!
Use these techniques to better manage your emotions:
1. Take a Step back
If you find yourself strongly triggered in a situation with negative emotions, try to remove yourself from the situation. You can do this either mentally or physically.
Walk away, if possible. Look for a quiet place to perform some deep breathing exercises while you collect your thoughts. Afterwards you can return to the situation, safe in the knowledge that these emotions are just temporary.
If walking away isn’t an option, take a moment to breathe deeply while you consider an appropriate response. When you breathe from your diaphragm, you’re getting extra oxygen in your bloodstream that will help relax your muscles, calm your mind, and clarify your thoughts.
You might let the situation play out a little before speaking. This will give you time for your deep breathing to take effect. Once you’ve calmed yourself, you are better able to respond to the situation with a well-thought-out reply, rather than a knee-jerk reaction.
2. Let the Spirit Guide You.
If you are a person of faith, take a moment to call on it for help. When you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed by emotion, close your eyes and seek a positive solution, asking the universe, your higher power, the Divine, or even your inner wisdom to help you manage your emotions and find the best way forward.
3. Find a healthy outlet for your emotions.
Once you have your emotions under control, it’s important to find a healthy way to release them. Bottling up your emotions is never a good strategy because eventually they’ll boil over.
Here are a few ideas to let your emotions go:
- Call or visit a trusted friend or family member to talk about the situation and how you reacted. Another person’s opinion can broaden your awareness. This may allow you to view the situation from a different perspective.
- Consider keeping a journal or diary in which to write down your feelings or emotions. Seeing them on paper helps you see them more clearly and can help you find a solution for future situations.
- Many people find aggressive forms of exercise like martial arts or rock climbing helps them manage their emotions. Others find that calmer methods such as yoga or Tai Chi work best for them. Pick the exercise that helps you manager your emotions the best.
4. Try to See the bigger picture.
Situation don’t happen in a vacuum. Whatever is happening to you is happening because of something. Try to look past the current situation and understand what it means in the grand scheme of things for you. Even in your worst times, there is usually a reason why this is happening, something you can learn from, if you give it time.
5. Replace your negative thoughts with positive ones.
Negative emotions trigger negative thoughts, and vice versa. Regularly thinking negative thoughts can create a cycle of negativity that can be hard to shake.
Whenever you find yourself experiencing an emotion that causes you to think negatively, replace that thought with a positive one. One of the best ways to do this is by thinking of the ideal resolution to your current situation.
Another method to help you manage your emotions is simply thinking about someone or something that makes you happy.
6. Practice Forgiveness
Try to determine what sets off that emotional reaction. Maybe you feel angry when your friend does that thing you don’t like. Perhaps you feel depressed thinking back at a decision you could have made differently.
Forgive whatever is causing those negative emotions. Forgiveness helps you detach from these triggers. This can prevent these emotional reactions from boiling over in the future.
You CAN Manage Your Emotions!
You can use these simple techniques to help you manage your emotions. What’s best about them is the payoff is tremendous. By taking control of your emotions, you are taking control of your future! Practice these strategies and take back control of your life.