As human beings, we experience a wide range of feelings every day and it is okay to get
overwhelmed by emotions from time to time. But it is important to understand that we cannot let
these emotions control us. If you are having a hard time managing your emotions, you should
know that you are not alone; there are a lot of people struggling with this as well. However,
getting a grip on your emotions should be something you are actively working on. Here are
three tips to help you control your emotions so they don’t control you.
1. Understand Your Triggers. Having a better understanding of what triggers your
emotions is the first step in managing them. You can do this by looking back at each time you
have lashed out with emotion. Try to remember what caused these outbursts and how you
reacted. Once you have identified these triggers, you can start finding ways to avoid them or
work around them.
2. Be mindful. In most cases, we get upset over things that we actually don’t have any
control over. When this happens, it is important to be mindful of these external factors and
accept what we cannot control. Shifting your perspective to be fully aware of what is going on
will help ease your emotions. Once begin to accept this, you can focus on the things that you
can control; for instance, instead of getting upset at your assistant for coming late to work and
ruining your morning. Take the time to ask them why they keep coming late and how it impacts
you and if there’s anything you can do to help. A lot of times, we are on auto-pilot and we forget
we can actually decide how to approach a situation. When we lead from a place of mindfulness
and awareness, we can better manage our emotions.
3. Don’t Suppress your Emotions, Express Them Calmly. While we can’t control how
we feel, we can control we express ourselves. We can always choose to express our feelings
calmly and in a composed manner. Controlling your emotions such as sadness, frustration and
anger begins with knowing that they are not the enemy. They are simply indicators of what is
going on in your world. Like our sense of smell warns us about dangers in our environment, our
emotions warn us of dangers in our relationships. Find a way to channel these emotions and
express them in a way that others will understand is much more intimate than burying them.
Remember, we are all emotional beings. It is okay to feel extreme emotions and we can
choose how to express them. When we ignore our emotions, they don’t resolve. Unresolved
emotions lead to resentment which can seep out (or explode) in unexpected situations. In other
words, if you don’t take control of your emotions they end up controlling you. Start the year by
getting those unwanted emotions resolved!
To your emotional health,
Dr. Laura Dabney