MASTER YOUR EMOTIONS
We all had situations where our emotions got the best of us, whether we’re sitting in traffic, dealing with a difficult coworker or arguing with a loved one. Often it’s because we didn’t realize what was happening until we were too far down the “emotional train” to change it. We say things we don’t mean and that we’ll later regret, because we haven’t cultivated emotional mastery. And when you don’t master your emotions, you’re not able to identify and handle them until it’s too late.
Love, hate, anger, joy, sadness: Human emotion is our greatest gift. You don’t want to get rid of emotions – without them, life is meaningless. But learning how to master your emotions and use them, instead of letting them use you, is key to achieving your dreams in every aspect of your life.
WHAT IS AN EMOTION?
Emotions are complex states involving both physical and psychological changes that, in turn, influence our mood and behavior. An emotion is sparked by a particular event or object, which causes a physiological response in the body – both happiness and sadness can make us cry, fear makes our heart race, anger makes us feel hot. Then we change our behavior in accordance with the emotion. We might hug someone, run away or yell and fight. The behavior stage is the point at which emotional mastery plays a role. When you know how to master your emotions, you can catch them before they affect your behavior.
This is the straightforward answer to the question, “What is an emotion?” Beyond this definition, there are many theories of what causes emotion and why we respond to certain experiences the way we do. One thing is certain: Human emotion is a powerful force to be reckoned with.
HOW TO MASTER YOUR EMOTIONS IN SIX STEPS
The best time to handle an emotion is when you first begin to feel and experience it fully. That way it won’t keep popping up time and time again. By following these six straightforward steps, you’ll learn how to master your emotions and take control of your life.
1. IDENTIFY WHAT YOU’RE REALLY FEELING
The first step in learning how to master your emotions is identifying what your feelings are. To take that step toward emotional mastery, ask yourself:
What am I really feeling right now?
Am I really feeling…?
Is it something else?
2. ACKNOWLEDGE AND APPRECIATE YOUR EMOTIONS, KNOWING THEY SUPPORT YOU
Emotional mastery does not mean shutting down or denying your feelings. Instead, learning how to master your emotions means appreciating them as part of yourself.
You never want to make your emotions wrong.
The idea that anything you feel is “wrong” is a great way to destroy honest communication with yourself as well as with others.
3. GET CURIOUS ABOUT THE MESSAGE THIS EMOTION SUGGESTS TO YOU
Emotional mastery means approaching your feelings with a sense of curiosity. Your feelings will teach you a lot about yourself if you let them. Getting curious helps you:
Interrupt your current emotional pattern.
Solve the challenge.
Prevent the same problem from occurring in the future.
4. GET CONFIDENT
The quickest and most powerful route to emotional mastery over any feeling is to remember a time when you felt a similar emotion and handled it successfully. Since you managed the emotion in the past, surely you can handle it today.
5. GET CERTAIN YOU CAN HANDLE THIS NOT ONLY TODAY, BUT IN THE FUTURE AS WELL
To master your emotions, build confidence by rehearsing handling situations where this emotion might come up in the future. See, hear and feel yourself handling the situation. This is the equivalent of lifting emotional weights, so you’ll build the “muscle” you need to handle your feelings successfully.
6. GET EXCITED AND TAKE ACTION
Now that you’ve learned how to master your emotions, it’s time to get excited about the fact that you can:
Easily handle this emotion.
Take some action right away.
Prove that you’ve handled it.
Emotional mastery is one of the most powerful skills you can learn to create a life that’s authentic and fulfilling. Get the support you need to take control of your feelings with Dr. Myrna Saadeh.