To err is to be human, so they say. If you didn’t already know, it means that as humans, it’s only natural that we will make mistakes. Some people may make more mistakes than others, but the fact remains that no one is perfect. This can be attributed to the fact that humans are very emotional and expressive creatures.
Emotions are something that makes us unique. It influences everything, from the way we think to our overall mood throughout the day. When you feel happy, you will likely feel other positive feelings like confidence and boosts to your productivity, but on your bad days, you’ll feel many negative emotions which can really ruin your entire day. Emotions are unique, and they are powerful.
It’s normal to feel both positive and negative emotions. However, there will be certain days when you’ll need to be at your best, yet for some reason or other, you’re feeling quite down. This is why learning how to control your emotions can be a valuable skill to pick up. Not only can it change your whole mood, but it will help you become mentally stronger as well.
Here are four steps you can take that can help you to control your emotions.
Think About The Situation
Before you go through any motion or activity, think ahead of time first. For example, if you’re going to work in the morning, and you know you’ll get angry when people get in your way (especially when you’re in a hurry), tell yourself to leave the house a little earlier than you usually do so you can avoid the morning rush-hour crowd, thus eliminating the reason for you to get angry.
When you are aware of the situation, it can enable you to avoid any foreseeable circumstances that might be a trigger to negative emotions. Other examples could be if you have an important meeting tomorrow and you know you will be flustered and anxious if you are not prepared, then maybe it’s not a good idea to go out and party with your friends tonight.
Do note that this method of controlling the situation can only work effectively if you are able to predict the circumstances surrounding it, and the negative emotions that you will feel due to it.
Know Your Limits
This tip applies to everyone, but more so for the people who tend to be overachievers and perfectionists. If you’re the type of person who constantly sets big targets, it can be quite disheartening when those goals aren’t achieved, which only leads to you feeling a whole slew of negative emotions.
There’s nothing wrong with having high expectations, but at the same time, you need to be prepared for what might happen if those expectations are not met lest you start on a downward spiral. It might be difficult, but if you lower your expectations — either for yourself or other people — you have a lower chance of being disappointed.
For example, you’re hoping to cook a nice meal for family and friends, but you decide to cook something that you’re not particularly good at, just to prove to yourself that you can do it. If you pull it off, you will feel a great sense of self-satisfaction, but what if you don’t? Will you risk your guests being hungry because of your failure? Being practical and choosing to cook something you’re good at will drastically reduce the chances of failure, which means you won’t be disappointed and feel sad.
If You Think It, You Will Feel It
You might have heard or read that when you’re feeling sad, if you force yourself to smile, soon enough your mood will be lifted and you’ll feel better. This is mostly true and scientifically proven to be quite accurate. In psychology, this is known as cognitive reappraisal, which is a process where a person replaces negative and unhappy thoughts with happy thoughts that can lead to contentment and joy.
Our emotions are sometimes influenced by our own beliefs. For example, if you were to receive an email from your boss asking you to work on a new project by yourself, how would you react? Some people will grumble and feel angry about it as they’re being assigned more work to do and it could mean putting in more hours. On the other hand, some might see it as a good thing, that the boss sees them as a capable asset to the company and think they are responsible enough to handle important assignments. It all depends on the way you look at things, so try to see the good side rather than the negatives.
Boost Your Mood
Everyone has specific activities that bring them joy. Whether you’re spending quality time with loved ones, reading a book, or even working out, these actions make us feel good and can stave off negative feelings. Whenever you’re in a bad mood, make time for yourself to do something that makes you feel good.
If that doesn’t help, try going to sleep. Many studies have shown that your mood and the quality of your sleep are closely connected, and when you have sufficient rest, you are more likely to feel better overall. Good rest has plenty of other benefits too — it boosts your immune system, reduces the risk of chronic illnesses, and even prevents unattractive shadows under your eyes. If you’re in a bad mood, sleeping can also be a way to escape the way you’re feeling — a temporary respite, but a respite nonetheless.