Author, speaker, ENTREPRENEUR, Coach, and Consultant
All of us as human beings are driven by emotions. Emotions compel humans to take measures that they had prior thought they would never be able to adopt. Emotions such as sadness, happiness, love, hatred, and much more control our actions extensively.
Emotions dictate our actions, thoughts, and influence our intentions. Emotion can profoundly impact our life therefore rather than being a slave to your emotions, it is essential that you take control of them and be the master of your emotions. Not learning how to harness your emotions can inflict major harm not only to yourself, but to the people close to you. If you have ever had a blow up because you lost your temper, then you know how impactful that can be on your spouse, children, other family members, even employees and co-workers. No one is safe from someone who can’t control their emotions.
Crimes such as murder and theft often take place because people succumb to their negative emotions. At the same time all your major successes in life can be traced back to harnessing your emotions and leveraging your energy to produce superior results. Myself personally, having grown up with a hot temper, I had to learn to balance my emotions so as not to eat myself up. At the same time, to accomplish the things I really wanted to in life, would require me to be the most effective leader, and that is not possible if you can’t control your emotions.
In a world where you can’t avoid reading or hearing something about reducing stress at home or in the work place. How stress is eating people up from the inside and it is associated with hundreds if not thousands of ailments. Even your susceptibility to the common cold is greatly increased by too much stress, let alone, high blood pressure and heart risk. It seems only sensible that we should strive to get a handle on our emotions.
With that in mind, I decided to provide a quick list on how to gain mastery over the emotions. These following steps should be adopted so that you can save yourself from getting caught up in a moment of frustration or anguish and instead, learn to shift and utilize those emotions to drive you to new successes.
If things are working against you, or at least it seems that way, remember the circumstances you have found yourself in are reflective of a world you created in your mind when you set out to task. Meaning, you set out with some expectation of how things should be, now things are not measuring up to those expectations. What you are upset about is that things are not going how you intended, and you are convinced the world conspiring against you.
However, conversely, the world likely didn’t even know what your expectations were. For example, are you mad because your employees are doing what you want? Did you sit them down and explain what your intentions were and how what they did impacted your goals? Did you include them in the goals you created, or did you unilaterally dictate what you want?
Remember this works at home just as much as at work. Are you upset with your spouse because she made plans to attend some wedding for someone you don’t even know on a day when you had other plans? Did you tell her in advance? If you didn’t tell her you had other aspirations for the day, how could she possibly know what your intentions were? You see, all too often, our frustrations are brought about by setting poor expectations. This initial sense of frustration can easily turn into an argument, then to an all-out fight about “not caring about what I want,” and could likely have been avoided by setting clear expectations in the beginning.
2. YOUR REACTION
How you react when things don’t go to your liking is far more important than things going how you intended. Your reaction to these less than desirable events is determined by the shortfall in your intentions. Remembering again, not everyone knows your intentions, and that red light couldn’t possibly have known you were running late for work and changed just to make you and additional 23 seconds later than you already are.
Rather than prolonging the circumstance and giving it negative energy, realize that you control how you respond when things don’t go to your liking and no one really wants to see or hear you have an adult temper tantrum. Seriously, what good comes from shouting obscenities, punching the steering wheel, or flipping off the person who cut you off. You are allowing them to determine your mindset and giving them your energy. There is no value in any of this. Worse yet, you look like a moron.
Lastly, when someone we love falls short of our expectations, what is likely to happen if we don’t stop and consider what we want to say? Right, we will blurt out something that we will wish we had not said. Telling our child, they are stupid for not taking out the trash, because now the dog got into it and drug it all through the house and yard, and you are even more late for work. Won’t do any good and does little to help your child or the dog for that matter understand why you are frustrated. Because the real reason you are late for work is that you over-slept and didn’t want to get up.
Once your emotions are successfully harnessed, they need to be channeled. Harnessing the emotion does not mean that it has faded away in the background. So, to completely get it out of your system the best way is to go to someone you can trust and share these frustrations. Bottling up emotions not only creates problems for your mental health, but this will weigh on you more and cause even more elevated issues of frustration.
Another fantastic way to manage emotions is having a physical outlet for relieving stress. Whether it is working out, dancing, playing sports, etc. This release of physical exertion is a great reliever of stress and bottled up emotions. Just allowing yourself to get physical for 30 minutes to an hour per day, will allow you to balance your frustrations and learn to be more mellow. This type of release has been key to my success, by far and away, I am at my best both as a tempered leader and as an effective problem solver and thinker, when I am working out 4 to 5 times per week.
4. REPLACEMENT OF THOUGHTS
Negative emotions have the power that is equivalent to thousands of sturdy men. Recurring negative thoughts can and will likely lead to long-term damage both mentally as well as physically. Therefore, thought replacement can be a useful resource. Rather than focusing on what you are upset about, take your mind off whatever you are fixated on, and replace it with something better. Think about how you feel when you are with someone you enjoy being around. Your spouse, children, family, a good friend, maybe even give them a call and just talk about something else.
I used to get very frustrated while driving and that was a large part of my job. For some reason, the worst in me comes out when I am driving and often because people are not doing what I expect. So rather than harboring on what I am frustrated about, I will listen to comedy radio or an audio program that forces me to think and consider my thoughts. This immediately removes my focus from how long it took the person in front of me to realize that the light turned green to “wow, maybe I’ll wait in the car for 5 more minutes to hear this section.”
5. CONSIDER THE CONSEQUENCES
Any step you take in your life you need to evaluate and then re-evaluate the consequences it might have on you, those important to you, those you lead, and your loved ones. Therefore, analysis of your emotions is essential and their impacts on the social circle that you have. You must learn to use your cognitive skills as a human and recognize how your irrational reactions to frustration, fear, anger, etc. will all have a tremendously negative impact on you and what you are trying to accomplish, while potentially having a damaging effect on those around you.
Well, I’m sure you found some value in today’s blog and hopefully, I have provided you some tips to help you manage through your emotions and learn to keep them in check. Use them in a positive way and get the most from learning to manage your emotions and achieve your goals.
Eric Whitmoyer: Entrepreneur, Consultant, Speaker, Coach and Author
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