How To Master Your Emotions – Successful Self-Regulation Of Emotions
How to master your emotions? And is self-regulation of emotions and feelings even possible?
The short answer: Yes and it’s totally worth it! Knowing how to control your mind and master your feelings and emotions provides a firm foundation for satisfaction in life
Emotions and feelings make our lives exciting and are part an essential part of being human. They determine our actions, decisions, and relationships.
We experience feelings and emotions completely differently. Some can upset us, stress us and overwhelm us. Others can motivate, inspire, relax and delight us. Our emotions can paralyze us or lead us to unplanned actions, but they can also lead us to take action and achieve our goals intentionally.
Many people are not aware of their emotions and are often even controlled by them. However, if we manage to understand our emotions better and start mindfully dealing with them, then they become a tremendously valuable resource. The ultimate goal is to master our emotions and not to be mastered by them.
What Are Emotions? And What’s The Difference Between Feelings And Emotions?
Emotions are a subjective feeling-response to something observed or experienced. Thoughts, memories, smells, tastes, the behaviors or words of others, or observation of objective events or circumstances may elicit feelings of attraction, aversion, fear, insecurity, sadness, loneliness, desire, confidence, happiness, security, well-being, compassion, or other emotional responses.
In short: Emotions are the expression of our feelings. Emotional stability and maturity provide a firm foundation for satisfaction in life as well as personal development and spiritual growth.
What is Self-Regulation Of Emotions? (Definition)
The term self-regulation of emotions is used to describe all processes in which people try to influence the nature, intensity, or duration of their emotions in a particular direction. The basis for this is to consciously perceive and experience one’s own feelings and emotions. Only then we are able to influence the duration and intensity of the emotions. Self-regulation of emotions strengthens emotional intelligence and resilience.
Emotional Mastery: What Does It Mean To Master Your Emotions And Feelings?
Are you the master of your emotions? Or are you mastered by your emotions?
People who are in control of their emotions and feelings use them as valuable resources to make decisions and take action. They are aware of the message an emotion wants to tell them. In addition, they use their emotions to accomplish their goals.
Every emotion and every feeling contains a message for us, which is why we should try not to exclude or suppress any of them. It is the variety of emotions that makes life interesting. Once we manage to allow and accept all our feelings and emotions and understand what they want to tell us, we can use their full potential as a valuable resource.
Self-Regulation of Emotions – The First Step Towards Emotional Mastery
Therefore, the first step to self-regulate your emotions is to accept and mindfully decide that all emotions have their purpose.
We all know supposedly helpful phrases like “Don’t be sad” or “Don’t be afraid”. Many of them have made their way into our subconscious mind (beliefs). The result is that we think that certain feelings and emotions are simply not allowed to be part of ourselves. Many people are consciously or unconsciously suppressing, avoiding, or numbing certain emotions and feelings.
However, it is much more helpful to allow all of our emotions and thus also the unpleasant ones.
We get to know ourselves better by being mindful of them and becoming aware of what we are feeling at any given moment and what concrete effects this has on us. From shock and fear, our breath stops and we begin to tremble. From the joy we experience from a surprise visit we get excited and laugh or maybe even get nervous. A great way to increase awareness of your emotions is journaling. The „Master Your Emotions“ Toolkit includes a great exercise with journal prompts.
How To Master Your Emotions – What’s The Trigger?
Every emotion and every feeling has a specific trigger. This trigger can be small and supposedly insignificant, such as hearing certain news and stories, or significant, like breaking up with your partner or the passing away of a close person. The trigger may be internal, like a thought, memory, or mental image. External triggers can be certain people, places, events, situations, or even just a single word from another person. Even certain smells and tastes can trigger feelings and emotions.
The trigger initiates some kind of chain reaction: It leads from a feeling to a belief and ultimately to an emotion (reaction). The emotion can therefore be seen as the expression of the feeling.
Let’s assume you see a missed call from your boss on the display. You immediately think you have forgotten something or made a mistake. “I must have forgotten sending an important e-mail again!“ (belief). You’re becoming nervous and insecure. Just one moment ago you were completely relaxed and planned to end your day reading your favorite book. But all of a sudden, this trigger (missed call) made you feel distressed. You take your computer and open your emails to see if everything is okay.
The initial trigger is always followed by a reaction by us. This can be an action, avoidance behavior, or an unhelpful escape method. This in turn brings short-term and long-term consequences. For example, avoidance behavior in case of negative emotions is a quick solution to take the emotional pain away, but long-term often reinforces the problem.
Why Is It So Important And Beneficial To Master And Self Regulate Emotions And Feelings?
People who are unconsciously guided by their emotions often act like on autopilot. Like a bull that is presented with a red cloth, they react and run blindly toward certain triggers and are mostly driven by their emotions and feelings.
In order not to be blindly guided by experiences we’ve once made and that trigger certain emotions, we have to control them. Once we mastered our emotions they can serve as a great tool for gaining knowledge about ourselves and we can consciously and mindfully shape our future. The tools and exercises included in the „Master Your Emotions Toolkit“ will facilitate this journey!