I want to discuss negative emotions like anger and sadness, the ones we DON’T want in our life. Sometimes, our life circumstances can be frustrating to deal with, especially if we don’t have the right mindset. If we have disempowering beliefs and tell ourselves negative stories about our lives, then we can fall victim to the way our life is right now. As a result, we have a tendency to get angry, defensive, and blame others for our own life circumstances. This is especially common when we have underlying insecurities, and we are battling with our own self-confidence levels. I will discuss below how to control your emotions in an easy and effective way.
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The big illusion you can face when you don’t know how to control your emotions is your tendency to want to ACT on these emotions. We want to engage in an argument or we feel that if we blame somebody else, it will help us feel better internally. However, all this does is pour fuel on the fire. We are fuelling the problem at hand instead of calming the problem down.
While emotions can be positive and euphoric, they can also be very detrimental. If we choose to act on negative emotions instead of viewing them in a logical way, then it can ruin a lot of our relationships. You see this especially in marriage and other romantic relationships.
EXAMPLES OF DETRIMENTAL EMOTION
As an example, someone might say: “I don’t like my job. The people who work here are so STUPID. How can they sell their lives away for a job like this?”
Or they might say this: “I don’t have a girlfriend. Can’t life GIVE ME A BREAK? Life owes me one. That guy who gets all the girls already has enough good things in his life”
Or this one (which I have experienced recently): “My friend hasn’t asked me to hang out and he’s hanging out with another group. I MUST be boring. He must like them better and he doesn’t care”
After experiencing the situation above, I have found a way to deal with these angry emotions more effectively than I would previously. What I would do in the past is I would be at work, and I would get a text from my friend. He would say that he’s hanging out with someone else, and I would suddenly get tense and uptight, becoming filled with feelings of anger. Then, I would message him right away saying something that is toxic to our friendship, like “Man, I honestly don’t think you’ve been a good friend lately”. However, because I am thinking with my emotions instead of my logic, this is an UNFAIR statement.
Here are a few steps I use to deal with my harmful emotions in a better way, and to help you learn how to control your emotions more effectively:
1. STEP BACK, LET THE EMOTION SIT AND DISTRACT YOURSELF WITH ANOTHER ACTIVITY
It sounds like a cliche, but the first thing you need to do is CALM DOWN. Let the emotion sit, and choose to not get absorbed by it. Sit with the emotion for 30 seconds, and then find something to distract yourself with. Go on the computer, or social media if you really want to. Read an article online (I recommend this article 🙂 ), or watch a TV show. You want to do something stimulating enough to distract you from your anger and ease back into a normal state in order to know how to control your emotions.
Right now I am reading How To Stop Worrying And Start Living by Dale Carnegie, and to demonstrate that distracting yourself can get rid of anxiety, he tells you to try thinking of the Statue of Liberty and what you plan to do tomorrow morning at the same time. You will notice that it is not possible. The same applies to our negative emotions. When we distract ourselves, it does not allow us to think about what is bothering us.
2. DRINK A GLASS OF WATER/EAT SOME FRUIT OR VEGETABLES
Oftentimes, when I get into negative emotional states, it is in the morning or mid-afternoon. These are times when I am dehydrated and don’t have nutrition in my body. I have been mindful of the fact that these are the times it is the most difficult to know how to control your emotions. I get angry and experience other negative emotions, and I let them do the talking.
So if you are feeling like this, I challenge you to grab a tall glass of water and chug it down. Then in 10 minutes, see how you feel. I guarantee that you will feel better than you did before.
3. RETURN TO THE PROBLEM THAT WAS CAUSING THE NEGATIVE EMOTIONS IN 20 MINS.
When you return to your negative emotions in 20 mins., there is a high probability that they will be gone, and maybe even the problem that was causing it as well. If the problem that was causing it is not gone, what you need to do is make sure you are fully calm. Only when you are fully calm will you be able to act on the problem in a LOGICAL way.
Maybe there IS a legitimate problem that is making you feel negative. Maybe your friend actually isn’t treating you the way you want to be treated, which isn’t fair. What you need to do in this case, is instead of speaking with your anger, take a step back, calm down, and then talk to your friend in person or even message them. Think about it fair and logically, and avoid being accusatory. Talk about it in a reasonable way so that you understand your friend’s arguments and vice versa. This is the key to avoiding arguments and actually making progress on the problem you are dealing with.
DO YOU KNOW HOW TO CONTROL YOUR EMOTIONS?
I encourage you to head to the COMMENTS section below and let me know what struggles YOU HAVE with your emotions. Do you give in to your angry emotions? Are you constantly getting into arguments? Do you have a lot of fights and drama with your friends? This is something that high school students struggle with a lot, especially girls.
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