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Why am I so Emotional? Three Ways to Control your Feelings

All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them - Walt Disney

Are you a chronic crier? Do you cry a lot during funerals, graduations, when your child tells you something nice or even in an argument? Do you cry when you are sad and depressed or when you are just too happy about something?  If you are the kind of person who tears up at even the most inopportune moments, you might feel that your emotions end up controlling you too much

Crying is not bad. Once in a while, it is good to let it out when something traumatic happens. But crying at the slightest trigger can be a sign of being too emotional.

People who are too emotional sometimes are not taken seriously particularly in pressurised environments that require strength and control. It is even worse when you not only reacts emotionally but also think emotionally, which could mean you make decisions based on irrational emotions rather than logic.

Unfortunately, being a highly sensitive person may stand in your way of achieving success in life.  If you are the kind of person who reacts to situations with intense feeling and emotions, then you will need to master the art of conscious control and develop good emotional intelligence.

Good emotional intelligence means clearly understanding your moods at all times and developing effective strategies to influence how you feel about certain things. A good strategy will take you from the emotional rollercoaster into calmer seas where you are in control and where you determine how you are going to react to a particular event.

Some people are born with this quality but some need to take time to master it. You need to have a cool and clear detachment from the happenings in life, whether good or bad. This will enable you to develop a perspective on issues. Instead of sudden outbursts of joy or laughter, you will be handling such events coolly and winning the admiration of everyone around you.

Here are three easy tips to help you develop emotional intelligence.

Control your emotions by putting things into perspective

Intense emotions tend to blind us to other possibilities. It makes us think that the present is all we have. To control your emotions effectively, however, you need to develop a perspective on events. What will happen tomorrow, next week, next month or even next year if you react too emotionally to an event or person?  When you are about to be dictated to by your emotions during a spur of the moment incident, try to think about what happens next after your emotional outburst.

For example, if you are about to do something stupid because you are too angry and excited, say to yourself: “What will I do and feel tomorrow after I do this?” Whenever you put things into perspective before you do something because of your emotions, it will be possible for you to take a more rational approach. No matter your emotional state, what you do when you are overly emotional is a conscious decision that you make. It should therefore be possible for you to take a similar conscious decision to hold back from a spur of the moment action when you are faced with certain situations.

Know yourself

When you are trying to improve your emotional intelligence to become happier , one of the first steps to take is to understand yourself. When you have achieved that knowledge and clearly know yourself and your emotional tolerance levels, it should be possible for you to know when you are being too emotional and why.

If something is eliciting a very strong emotional response from you, step back and ask yourself why that is the case.  Do not try to suppress your emotions. Accept them and feel them to the fullest. Self honesty is a very important part of controlling your emotions.  When you are completely honest with yourself about what you feel, whether anger, joy, jealousy or envy, you will not have to rationalise your feelings.

Rationalising is often a form of escapism. When you are not rationalising your feelings and emotions about something or someone, you perhaps are admitting the truth to yourself and that is always the first step to solving a problem.

Make a deliberate effort to change your mood

Many of us often assume that moods are like the weather. They just occur to us and we have no power to influence or change them. But moods are quite different. You can change your mood through conscious and deliberate effort . Some people tend to drink alcohol or use drugs in order to change their moods but there are healthier and safer ways through which you can alter your mood for the better without resorting to a “booster”.

By building capacity to manage and even shift your mood into a desirable state, you will be able to achieve good emotional health, happiness and emotional maturity.

If you are feeling bored and uninspired and perhaps watching an uninteresting TV show, the best way to change your mood would be switching off the TV and doing something else such as taking a walk. If you are feeling particularly sad about a situation, focus on the things in your life which are good and positive. If you are feeling particularly anxious, use the power of your mind to simply imagine that whatever you are so anxious about is smaller or further away and your anxiety will subside.

Changing your mood simply entails doing and thinking something different. It will have a very powerful effect on your emotions. Take proactive steps in order to steer your emotions in a particular direction instead of simply letting yourself get carried away by them.

Frances Masters

Frances Masters is a BACP accredited psychotherapist with over 30,000 client hours of experience. Follow her @fusioncoachuk, or visit The Integrated Coaching Academy for details about up coming training.