Do you wish you could:
handle every emotional situation with grace all the time and not overreact?
live your life without the emotional rollercoasters and feel only happy all the time?
Do you wish you always had high energy all the time and never felt lows, sadness, anger or discouragement?
Recently, one of my readers asked me: “Inès, how do I take control over my emotions, how do I efficiently manage the lows, those depressed emotional states that often come after the high emotional states? “
Then on another occasion, another reader told me that she was working on gaining more emotional stability.
If you too find yourself challenged by your emotions, I got you, I’ve been there too. And this blog post is for you.
There are 3 simple steps that you can use to deal with your unwanted emotions, no matter what they are.
1. Embrace The Way You Feel in This Moment
A long time ago, I wrote a blog post sharing 10 ways to Renew Inspiration and Deal with Discouragement and I believe it is truly a beautiful way to get us start on this conversation.
Today we’ll take another approach: instead of fighting the emotions and wishing things were different, why not Embrace the situation as it is.
No matter what has happened, acknowledge the situation and the way you feel about it, embrace it. It is what it is.
There is always a reason why things happen the way they happen. That’s why it is wise to embrace whatever happens.
I admit it can be difficult to do it spontaneously, or to do it all the time. Nevertheless, you can progressively train yourself to do it, and I do too.
For example: Look at your life and find moments where you’ve thought: ” I now understand why this event happened in this way at that time”.
Looking in the past, it is easy to witness the Divine Intelligence in action: Everything that happened makes sense and we can connect the dots.
Be wise and trust NOW. Do not wait to gain wisdom with time. Embrace Life as it happens, in the Now!
So next time you feel low, angry, resentful, frustrated, overwhelm or any other emotion we like to label as “bad” or unwanted, embrace it and feel it for a while.
You don’t have to stay there forever nor do you have to react to you anger for example or any unwanted feelings. Just take some time first to be present and feel it. You might even want to be alone for a little moment to be able to do this.
Here is a practice that can help you be present: Take several deep breaths. Inspire slowly, your stomach goes slowly out and then expire slowly, so that your stomach goes back in.
Slowly Deep breathing will help you calm your mind.
Now that you are calmer and aware of your feelings, you can choose the response you want to give to this feeling and the next steps will assist you with that.
2. Balance Your Mind, Become an Emotions Detective
Ask the Right Questions.
Ask yourself What exactly is it I’m feeling now and why? Explore the way you feel to find out the hidden reasons that make you feel those emotions.
For example: What do you feel discouraged or depressed or angry about? etc. And why? Sometimes the source of dissatisfaction is unrealistic expectations, other times it is lack of gratitude, tiredness or feeling overwhelm. Or may be you are judging and condemning yourself or another person?
Don’t spend too much time at this stage please. In my experience, this can sometimes keep you in the low state even longer or you can spiral down even deeper. Instead go to the next set of questions.
Ask yourself: What can I learn from this? Are there hidden benefits to this?
Let’s say you feel tired and got sick, because you were overworking and were sleep deprived. The hidden benefits might be that you finally get to rest now and and take care of yourself, you learn not to trade your needed sleep hours for work anymore.
The hidden benefits of being in a low mood: it allows you to self-reflect and may be take some time off to do something fun. Often you come out of such periods with new creative ideas.
Here are some of the things I love to do in such situations: go for a run, do a 10 minutes workout, paint or play the guitar. I’m sure you have your own list of fun things you love to do. Remember to use it next time you feel any unwanted emotion.
Now let’s consider the situation where you are angry for example because someone did something to you or at least that’s what you think. What can be the hidden benefits and the lessons to learn?
Hidden benefits: You might get to know yourself better, in terms of what pushes your button and why. You wouldn’t be angry if there were no trigger in yourself.
You’re humbled because you now understand that what you see in them is already in yourself, since others are a reflection of who you are. Lesson learned: As the saying goes,
“The seer, the seeing and the seen are all the same.”
Express gratitude for the hidden benefits that your unwanted emotions bring you and you will quickly feel a relief from them. Feel grateful for all those emotions.
Ask yourself: What would be the drawbacks if what I expected from my situation or from my life was actually a reality.
You’ll discover that every event and circumstance always have both sides. Another way to say it is that every event and circumstance is neutral in nature, until your perception-filters start labelling some event as good and others as bad.
For every event, it is possible to find as much benefits as drawbacks.
Thinking about the benefits and drawbacks will definitely help you balance your mind and be grateful for the situation as it is, and thus help you neutralize and master your emotions.
I first learned about this concept from Dr. John Demartini, a polymath and human behavioral specialist who studies the laws of the universe. I encourage you to check him out, his teachings are indeed very powerful.
Now moving on to our last step:
3. Choose your Response: Decide and Execute
Now it is time to take action.
Ask yourself: What do I want to do about this? What is the one single thing I can do right now to turn things around? How do I want to respond to this? Then take ACTION.
Actions create momentum and momentum by definition changes your state.
Exercise brings you out of low emotions. For example you can decide to do some jumping jacks, and start right there. Physical activity elevates your heart rate and changes the low state you were experiencing.
For example when I’m cooking and I have to wait for something to simmer, I sometimes like to hop around instead of just staying there still. This is so much fun and you always want to add as much fun in your life as possible. Right? Our kids love it.
After that first immediate action step, think long term.
Decide on one thing that you will do that will impact your emotional state in the long run: mindfulness, prayer, meditation, regular exercising routine, better communication etc.
Think about creating a new winning habit that will help you execute the decision you just made. Start very simple and easy, we want you to win in whatever you choose to act upon.
For example you can decide to start meditating for at least 3 minutes everyday for the next 21 days and start right now – or at least calm your mind through slow deep breathing everyday.
If you succeed on a chosen day to do your habit, and you enjoy it, your chances to continue and be consistent and persistent are higher than if you lose.
Therefore your habit shouldn’t be a too big goal or too many goals at the same time.
Once the habit is established, you can add to it and go to the next level. For example now go from 3 to 10 minutes of daily meditation or go from 21 days to 31 days.
Bonus: “Après la pluie vient le beau temps”
As a bonus, I want you to remember this next time you face a low:
“Après la pluie vient le beau temps“. In case you are wondering what it means: After the rain comes beautiful weather. So after a phase of low energy will come a phase of high energy.
There you have it. Think about the steps I shared with you above as your Mastering-Emotions Muscles:
The more you train your Mastering Emotions Muscles, the stronger they’ll become and you’ll experience higher emotions such as gratitude and unconditional love more and more often.
To sum up, you just learned the following three steps to manage your unwanted emotions
Embracing the present moment,
Balancing your mind as well as
Taking action long and short term in the form of Fun, Exercise and Meditation
Incorporated these steps in your daily life and you’ll definitely master your emotions a little more everyday.
Great Job! Now you know the 3 simple steps to manage your unwanted emotions. Which one is your favorite and why? Leave a comment below and let me know.
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