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Have you ever felt like your emotions are taking you for a ride when you really, really don’t need them to do that right now? Well, you’re in luck. There are ways of controlling your emotions (or, at the very least, your reactions to those emotions) whether you’re sad or too excitable or if you are really hurt and feel like falling to pieces. Read on.
Method 1 of 3: The Doing
1 Control your breathing.Some people assume that emotions are “all in your head,” whereas actually all emotions are just plain ol’ physical responses. You are running on Human version 2.013. In all of us, anger pushes heart rate and blood pressure up (which is why having an angry temperament is a predictor of heart disease); as a result, our breathing changes. Anger and anxiety can only “work” if match the breathing pattern — taking quicker, more shallow breaths. So stop it. Take time to:
2Keep your head up.Literally. If you were told there was a depressed person in the next room, what would you imagine? Are they sitting in the corner, slumped over, with a lost look on their face? Are they not moving much? Probably. Moods manifest physically — change your physicality, change your mood.
3 Go for a walk.Alright, that’s sort of metaphorical. But what that means is to control an emotion, control your environment. Get out and do something else. If you feel yourself festering, get up and surround yourself with different stimuli. You’re literally forcing your brain to take in distractions.
4 Meditate. For a long time, meditation has been known to quiet the outside world and calm the senses. It clears your mind and helps attention and focus even when you’re not meditating. But it also quiets negative thoughts and centers you externally, not internally.
5 Start the day in a positive way. Nobody wakes up and thinks, “Today I’m going to have a really awful day.” Most people wake up and don’t even think about the day ahead. Try this: “Today is going to be a good day!” This way, you start the day having a positive outlook on life.
6Talk about how you feel. The best way to solve something that’s upsetting you is talking to someone, even if it’s your dog. Talking about things helps to make things clearer and tends to help your brain sort out situations.
Method 2 of 3: The Thinking
1 Look ahead. Often, when we’re emotional, we’ve become ungrounded. We’ve lost a sense of reality and we’re entirely consumed by the moment. Because of that, we forget that the future exists and we forget that we know the future will be different. So ask yourself, “Where will my anger be tomorrow? In a week? In a month?” It’ll help you realize just how ephemeral your emotions truly are.
2 Change the story. That is to say, think about your perception. You are in a situation that you’ve interpreted; all you have to do is interpret it differently. Tell yourself a different story (after all, it’s all in your head) and you’ll automatically generate a different emotional response. “Reality” is malleable. Change that to change your response.
3Put your emotions into a “box.” This theory states that whenever you get sad or angry, etc., make an imaginary box and visualize your emotions going into it and the lid being closed. The emotions then are not accessible.
4 Feed the other tiger. More metaphors, obviously. Take in this story: “Once there lived an old man who kept all different kinds of animals. But his grandson was particularly intrigued by two tigers that lived together in one cage. The tigers had different temperaments; one was calm and self-controlled whilst the other was unpredictable, aggressive, violent, and vicious. “Do they ever fight, Grandfather?” asked the young boy. “Occasionally, yes they do,” admitted the old man. “And which one wins?” “Well, that depends on which one I feed the most.
Method 3 of 3: The Background Knowledge
1 Know that it’s possible. Let’s get this sorted first thing: emotional control exists. Just ask the staff at University College London. In a recent study, an area of the brain that used to be thought of as designated for control of movement is now regarded as a center for control of emotional responses.
2 Get to know yourself. It may sound a bit silly or even ridiculous, but remove yourself from you. Notice the patterns your emotions take; try to be cognizant of what sets you off. You’ll find a sense of self-honesty that can answer a lot of your questions.
3 Think about your emotional health. Everybody is human — frankly put, emotions are inevitable; in fact, they’re healthy. For thousands of years, they’ve kept us alive and, to a point, they do still. We all have needs and for us to be happy, they need to be met. If you are discontent currently, why? To be emotionally healthy, every person has to have a few basic necessities met.
activities could you pick up to change your emotional routine?
4 Consider accepting your emotions. Alright, if they are doing you no good and you just wind up exhausted, frustrated, and crying, then yes — look into controlling them. But if you’re simply uncomfortable with them, they’re not necessarily a bad thing — in fact, they may be there for a reason.