Sitting in the office of a therapist at age 17 was not an easy thing. I had humiliated myself on my job – uncontrollably breaking down in tears in front of my boss – who handled the situation more graciously than I ever could have expected. Instead of him telling me to get it together now, he waited patiently while I cried and then told me he was going to call his wife, who immediately left her job to come talk to me. They then scheduled an appointment for me to see a therapist (something I had never heard of at that time); and, after my initial session, the realization that I had control over my life and my emotions changed me forever. I wish I could say it was changed immediately, but that was not the case. It was just the beginning of my journey to wholeness.
As human beings, we are quite a bizarre mixture of logic and emotion. We have many complex emotions that make for an interesting life. Our emotions add depth to our existence; without them, we would be like animals that rely solely on instinct. However, we are much higher than that – our emotions give us the ability to think and make choices based on what we feel. All emotions serve us – if we master them. Too often, we don’t and the results can be catastrophic.
When emotions take over, they affect us physically and psychologically. They seek to create a habit within us that makes space for that emotion to return to. Then, when something happens later that reminds us of that past situation, the emotions can come rushing to the forefront, uninvited to stir up old feelings. We react impulsively, perhaps with negative results.
So, what can you do to put your emotions in their place? The first step in managing your emotions is to recognize what emotion you are feeling. You need to pause for a few moments and spend that time analysing which emotion is trying to overtake you if you expect to do anything about it. Judging yourself for your engagement in unwanted emotional reactions only makes the situation worse. So regardless of the mood you have difficulty coping with, always first remove self-blame from the equation and then start the thinking process.
Why? Because your emotions thrive on your focus. And not giving them freedom to roam as they want to helps you remain in control. Emotions like to disguise themselves to prevent you understanding what you need to do to eliminate them, and sometimes we disguise them ourselves, either intentionally or unintentionally. For example, if a particular emotion carries a negative stigma, we probably won’t admit to ourselves that we are feeling that emotion. So we will lie and tell ourselves it’s something else, or put the blame on others.
You determine the outcome of a situation based on the circumstances and, right or wrong, your emotions are usually not the appropriate ones to have. Why? Because they’re based on an interpretation of events that may be incorrect or missing an important piece of the puzzle. And like a toothache, you will find that the more you focus on the pain, the worse it gets.
That’s why it crucial to stop and think before reacting emotionally. Wait until you get all the facts before jumping to any conclusions. If you learn to do this – and you can learn to do this – your life will be so much better. You will be in control of your life and your emotions.
And, guess what? Once you do, you will be on your way to living the highest life!
To help you STOP, please read my free ebook, Take Back Your Power! for great tips on this very subject.
I believe in you – you can keep your emotions where they belong.