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3 Steps to Gain More Control Over Emotions

Have you ever found yourself mentally kicking yourself for saying something stupid at a family gathering? Or for losing your cool? If not, go do something else! This post is not for you.

If, however, you’ve ever felt a bit out of control of your emotions, here are three steps you can use to gain more control over your emotions.

1- Accept negative emotions.

Negative emotions can save our lives. If our home caught on fire, we would not coach ourselves by saying, “Stop feeling these terrible emotions.”

We would run!

Our negative emotions may be an indication that we need to act. It is also important to note that when we feel intense emotions, we cannot think as clearly. This is why we often make poor choices when we are flooded with emotions.

So we want to accept our negative emotions, but then we evaluate and determine HOW we should act. We can accept anger but reject the idea to hit, yell, or use sarcasm to express ourselves. But if we reject anger altogether, we do not address what is really going on. Without accepting our anger, we cannot truly identify its cause and establish a plan to make things right.

2- Become an excellent observer.

What can you learn from your emotions?

Our strongest emotions reveal our deepest values. If we see our emotions as teachers, they will reveal helpful information that will guide us physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

We can also learn to note what types of situations cause us to feel most vulnerable to losing control. A well-known acronym in the addiction community is HALT.

Don’t get too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. Why? Because when we do, we are more susceptible to regrettable actions.

If we want to experience more joy throughout the holiday season, we must take care of ourselves. We can accept that we have more negative emotions this year, but let’s also learn from our emotions. They are gifts. They are teachers.

3- Learn to be “current” with emotions.