How To Deal With Your Emotions Effectively
Emotions are the drama of your life. Without emotions, life would be dull and boring like an empty canvass. The Star Trek character Spock may have many good qualities, but it is doubtful if he would ever be an ideal life partner, unless the other person is equally unemotional. Emotions are at the heart of both good and bad relationships. They bring people together and also tear them apart.
People express their opinions about emotions, but know little about them and much less how to deal with them, live with them and keep them under control. When we are under their influence, it is as if we are different people, living in a different world. We have stories of gods and goddesses and saints and seers becoming emotional and making mistakes.
Many people would not like to admit that they have difficulty in coping with their emotions. But emotions keep surfacing in our lives and cause mental high and lows. It is necessary that we understand our emotions and know how to live with them, without destroying our zest for life and without impairing our inner peace and mental stability. The following suggestions are helpful to deal with your emotions and gain some control over them.
1. Appreciate your emotions
Not all emotions are bad. There are positive emotions, like joy, happiness and love that are very essential for your well being. They keep you in a positive state of mind and remind you that you are alive. They increase your zest for life and keep you from losing hope through trials and tribulations. They keep you healthy and energetic and make you feel good about yourself.
Even negative emotions like fear and anger have their benefits. Fear keeps you within bounds and saves you from possible harm. Anxiety keeps you alert during some critical tasks, such as driving or preparing for exams. Your anger tells others how they can relate to you and to what extent they can take liberties with you. Besides it helps you to protect yourself from the meanness of others.
So appreciate your emotions. Express your positive emotions like love and joy as frequently as possible. Make it a habit to laugh and smile, if necessary even deliberately. Appreciate all the blessings in your life and live with a sense of gratitude. The more you indulge in positive emotions, the greater will be your ability to cope with the difficulties in your life and accept them as a part of your life.
2. Accept your emotions
Emotions are an integral and important aspect of your personality. You cannot do without them. You cannot suppress them totally. They are essential for your survival and serve a definite purpose in your life by giving you advance warning signals and alerting you to different situations.
So acknowledge your emotions, by paying them adequate attention. By acknowledging your emotions you give yourself an opportunity to recognize them and take suitable action to channel them in the right direction.
People, who go through severe traumas, often refuse to acknowledge their emotions. They live with their pent up emotions for years together, without even knowing that they are hurting themselves inside. They become hard and indifferent from outside, while internally they remain defensive insecure and deeply suspicious of other people and their motives. This leads to unhappy consequences because by refusing to acknowledge their emotions they deny themselves an opportunity to resolve their suffering and find peace in their hearts and minds.
3. Experience your emotions fully
Intense emotions like anger and rage are real killers. If you are not careful, they can cause great harm to you and others. If you direct them towards others, those for whom it is intended will feel hurt and if you keep them to yourself, you will feel hurt inside.
Therefore, it is always better to find an appropriate outlet for your emotions, without hurting yourself or others, and keep the steam in you under control.
Find ways and means to express your emotions, without hurting or causing inconvenience to others. If you are really upset, stay alone and let the emotions subside or find a lonely place, where you can express your emotions without embarrassing yourself.
When you are overwhelmed with emotions, feel them mindfully and express them in your own ingenious ways, without looking crazy, in the comforts of your own privacy, such as punching a bag, letting out a sigh or crying alone.
By expressing your emotions you lighten up. You take out their energy and reduce their ability and intensity to hurt you or anyone else. Emotions contain intense energy. They are actually outbursts of powerful mental energy. If you hold them inside you for long, they can damage you both physically and mentally. So it is better to bring them out and reduce their impact. By venting your emotions you prevent or reduce the possibility of suffering from psychosomatic disorders, which are usually caused by negative and harmful emotions.
Many people are not comfortable with their emotions. So they try to suppress them, or ignore them or distance themselves from them. But emotions just do not go away, unless you pay them adequate attention and remedy the underlying cause.
Experience your emotions here and now, as they arise, paying full attention to the bodily parts where they leave their footprints.
4. Keep yourself in good health
It is now a well established fact that the mind and body are interconnected and that emotions happen simultaneously both in the mind and the body. What happens in one may impact the other. Your physical health depends upon your emotional health and vice versa.
When you experience strong negative emotions, your body suffers too. Many psychosomatic disorders, such as high blood pressures, back pain, chest pain, stress, headaches, indigestion, weight gain and insomnia, are caused by negative emotions. Frequent recurrence of negative emotions weakens the immune system and exposes the body to various problems, by releasing several chemicals into the blood stream.
A healthy body withstands the impact of negative emotions better than an unhealthy body. As you feel better about yourself, you will experience positive emotions more frequently. Exercise regularly. It provides a good outlet for the negative emotions and the toxins that accumulate in the body due to them. Make health your priority. A healthy body is a great asset in improving your emotional health. Regular exercise, relaxation and proper diet contribute positively to your emotional well being.
5. Stay in the present, here and now
As most of us know, life is what happens to us with or without our involvement, as we keep worrying about our past and feel anxious about our future. Our preoccupation with past and future keep us mostly in a state of emotional turmoil.
If you remain focused on the present, you get an opportunity to experience your emotions consciously, acknowledge them and allow them to dissipate slowly so that they cease to be harmful. You become aware of the habitual thought processes, which lead to negative emotions and learn to deal with them appropriately.
You can stay with the present moment, by practicing mindfulness or learning to be where you are. Focus what is happening around you right now. Focus your attention on the various activities you perform, such as walking, eating, bathing, cleaning and breathing. Pay attention to your thoughts, your body, the feelings and sensations you are experiencing right now. Stay with the moment when you are in the company of people. Be attentive to what they say, what you say, their expressions and body language. Learn to appreciate things as if you have never seen them before, without preconceived notions and judgment. Live as if today matters and live your life fully. When you stay in the present you will relax and experience equanimity. You will also be able to think and act when you are confronted with situations which usually give rise to emotional disturbances.
Source: Reproduced partially from the article, "Becoming Aware of Yourself" from the book Think Success by Jayaram V. You may purchase this book from our online store
Suggestions for Further Reading
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- The Experience of Happiness
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About Think Success: In 44 well written articles presented in this books, you are introduced to a treasure trove of transformational wisdom. By following the suggestions given in this book, you can achieve success and happiness and live. It is written by Jayaram V, author of several books and hundreds of essays about Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism, Spirituality and Self-help. This book is currently available at our Online Store (for residents of USA, Canada, UK and some other countries only).
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