Being a coach and deep diving into human psychology, I know you have probably gone through every emotion there is to have in the book. I am not going to list them all but the basic ones are anger, fear, anxious, hurt, embarrassed, happy, joyful, excited, and the list goes on.
Some emotions are clearly more enjoyable than others, yet in life we cannot always promise how we will feel about having these emotions.
I know often times we often hear the saying that we get to choose how we feel about something, yet I have to challenge that belief. While I do believe perception of a situation is important, there is also an amount of training that goes into learning how to control your emotions.
It is the same thing as taking a person who can only do 25 push-ups at one time. If I told them hey it is all in your head you can do more than that. It would probably propel you to do more maybe even closer to 35 more, but you would not be able to all of a sudden do 75 or 80 reps on belief alone. That is where proper training and work towards your goal comes in. I will be using this metaphor again explaining emotion training.
Control Your Emotions or They Will Control You
Having an emotional response to the things we do, and the life we live are important. They help us to create the life that we want to live. They also help us when it comes to avoiding or understanding when we are in a dangerous situation.
Controlling your emotions does not mean to become emotionless, but to know when to tailor your emotions to the situation.
An example would be if you get in a fight with your significant other. You both are yelling at each other, and neither side is feeling heard in the situation. Leading to hurt things being said about one another. At the end of it all both sides are hurt and angry. There are also things that have been said to the person you love that you can no longer take back. In a case like this that is the definition of not having emotional control.
Let’s take that same situation and see what individuals with proper control would do. Both sides are upset with one another. They realize their frustration, and are able to express their frustrations and agree to speak about the disagreement when heads are cool. No hurt feelings, just knowing that you cannot express yourself or even listen to another when you are angry like that.
It truly is empowering for you and for those around you when you can have proper control of your emotions.
Understand Your Dark Side
I love people and the capabilities that we have. We are each unique to what we are individually. Each one of us handling stress differently from the other. I will say that the hardest time for one to handle their emotions properly is during times of intense stress. That is the time when are the darkest sides can come out.
First and for most it is important to accept that you have a dark side to you. Usually pretending it is not there can lead to a very problematic situation for you. The dark side is not bad if controlled and also understood. Knowing and understanding what brings it out is important and you should be honest with yourself about it.
The dark side can be when someone says or does something that absolutely annoys you, or a persons beliefs that anger you. It can come out in several ways and is usually the worse under very stressful times in your life. The example of the couple fighting is the dark side coming out in both of you. Leading to a clash where neither side wins. Darkness does not get rid of darkness, it just builds up.
Remember to accept yourself for where you are starting. Like the example with the push-ups, if you can only do 25 push-ups that is ok. You just have to train yourself to be able to do more. The same is true for emotional control. This is not an overnight process. With proper training and time you will get better though.
Stress Is what sends our emotions out of control. So it is controlled stress that we have to do in order to practice controlling emotions. Of course talk to your doctor or physician before deciding to take on any type of program.
The good thing about stress is the mind cannot always tell the difference from one stress to another. An example would be doing a cold shower, will make you respond with elevated heart rate, hyperventilating, and wanting to jump out of the shower. Anger can hold similar traits. Elevated heart rate, shallow breathing, and wanting to yell your way out of a fight.
So taking on stressful situations in a controlled setting will build your tolerance to handle the situation. As you get better at dealing with the stressors you put on yourself, you can start imagining how you would handle stressful situations differently this time around. (If you feel unready for handling external stress, you can even start with a non stressful situation with imagining the situation or person that stresses you out. This is a process, and each person is different. So learn what works best for you.)
For example taking a cold shower and imagine yourself with your significant other and both being angry. See yourself handling the situation in a calmer manner. Practicing two stressors together can be great work for emotional training. Practicing calming your breathing down and being able to take in the situation in a relaxed state. A calm breath, leads to a calm heart, which leads to a calm response.
The ability to use imagery and external stressors are incredibly powerful. You are strengthening your mind muscle to handle stress and your emotions more efficiently. Just like doing more push-ups you have to take the action and practice the movements. Let the muscles adapt. Let your mind muscle adapt to handling stressful situations in a better manner.
The list is truly limitless on what stressors you can create for yourself, and everyone is different so different things work for different people. A couple of examples are sprinting, playing a challenging game, swimming intensely, public speaking, competing in something challenging, and the list goes on.
Challenge your mind, body, and spirit, so that you have control over your emotions and they will not have control over you.
Being a life coach, I have been given the opportunity to help many clients learn to control their emotions safely. If you ever need help with controlling your emotions or moving in the right direction to get started, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org