Mastering your emotions is a powerful skill that can improve every aspect of your life. Being able to choose whether or not to engage with a certain emotion gives you the freedom to live a more fulfilled life.
I want to start off this article with one of my favorite quotes by Brian Tracy:95 % of your emotions are determined by how you interpret events to yourself. Click To Tweet
If you’re on the go, listen to the audio version of this blog post:
Emotions vs Feelings
Emotions are lower level responses that create biochemical and electrical reactions in the body that alter its physical state – technically speaking, emotions are neurological reactions to an emotional trigger.
Feelings are mental interpretations of your emotions, they are shaped by personal experiences, beliefs, memories, and thoughts linked to these emotions.
So, to make it even easier to understand: you always have a choice when it comes to experiencing a certain emotion – you can choose to resist it, try to rationalize it, reframe it, or simply let it be.
While I obviously recommend experiencing your emotions without any judgment or mental chatter, it’s unrealistic to put such high expectations on yourself.
But, for the most part, there are some effective ways to master your emotions. Here’s the first one:
1. Be Aware of Your Emotions
I want you to learn how to detach yourself from your emotions. If you haven’t watched my video on how to become more self-aware, here’s a link to it:
But, to give you the gist of it: self-awareness is about looking at yourself from a third-person perspective and observing your emotions objectively and non-judgementally.
Here’s a little exercise that I want you to practice every day:
Every time you notice a change in your body (a feeling of expansion, joy, love, a build-up of fear or anger), try to name it. It’s important NOT to say ‘I am angry’ because you’re giving it more power and you’re making it a part of your identity, which is exactly the opposite of detachment.
Try saying ‘This is anger’ instead. Or if you feel that warm, fuzzy feeling inside, label it objectively by saying ‘This is joy’.
What you’ll notice in time is that you will not only acknowledge your emotions, but you will also have the power to choose whether or not to engage in a mental interpretation of them.
2. Understand the Emotional Triad
This is a concept I learned from Tony Robbins. The emotional triad consists of three things that determine your state of being at any given moment: your physiology, focus, and language.
These three things control your emotions. Let’s take a closer look at each one of them.
First, let’s talk about your physiology.
Your emotions are dictated by your movement. How you use your body affects how you feel mentally and emotionally.You always have the power to change your state. Click To Tweet
Next time you experience sadness, take a look at your posture. Stand up, breathe deeply and try to do a Superman power pose.
Now, let’s explore the second element of the triad: focus.
When you focus on the negative things that happen in your life or you constantly find yourself worrying about the future, your predominant emotion will probably be fear.
Mastering your emotions is not only about being aware of them, but also making a conscious choice to change your focus and have more enjoyable emotions as a result.
And the last one of the emotional triad is your language.
How you talk to yourself every day in your head is extremely important. Notice what happens in your mind at all times. Be the silent observer of that nasty inner critic.
I’ll be uploading a new video on how to master your inner critic next week, so make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel.
Once you become aware of your negative thought patterns and start reframing them, you will see a significant change in your emotional state and you will improve your emotional intelligence.
3. Remember That ‘This, Too, Shall Pass’
One of the most common reasons we get into these never-ending negativity loops is because we experience the same emotions, followed up by the same mental interpretations, and that leads to having the same negative feelings as a result.
To break the pattern, we need to remember at all times that everything is temporary. By reminding yourself of this little mantra ‘This, too, shall pass’ you will ground yourself in reality and not give too much unnecessary attention to your bodily sensations.
At the end of the day, your emotions are just reactions that are triggered by events that may or may not happen at the present moment. Some emotions are automatic reactions to previous trauma, some emotions are directly linked to what’s happening right here, right now.
The one thing all emotions have in common is that they all pass. And the more you’re aware of their fleeting nature, the easier it will be to master your emotions.
Let me know in the comments below:
What emotion are you experiencing right now or perhaps, what emotion bothers you the most?
I’ll go first.
Right now, I feel excitement. And my least favorite emotion and the one I have the hardest time dealing with is fear. Sometimes I catch myself being too overwhelmed by future-related thoughts and not grounded enough in the present moment.
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