If you don’t know how to control your emotions,you run the risk of letting your emotions control you.
How many times have you been let down by unnecessary inappropriate emotions? Most of us have faced those times when you laugh at the wrong moment for no reason. When I was fourteen I was at a friend’s mother’s funeral when i suddenly felt overcome with emotion. But instead of crying or doing something else that would be appropriate, I laughed out loud. Not a good day for me. And the old lady next to me glared at me in disgust.
“Your ability to regulate emotions affects how you’re perceived by the people around you,” says Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D, professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts, writing for Psychology Today. “Laughing during a meeting will lead to resentment. Reacting with rage to bad drivers will provoke the wrong kind of attention.”
The key to learning how to control your emotions is to develop self awareness. Once you are aware of the workings of your mind, you’re more able to change those inner workings.
“Our mind deploys self-awareness to keep everything we do on track. In the mind’s design, self-awareness is built into regulating our own emotions, as well as sensing what others feel.” says Daniel Goleman Ph.D in his superb book ,Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence. Goleman is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science so he ought to know.
- Try using these 3 self awareness exercises. They’ll do you wonders.
- If you want to control your emotions start by being more self aware
- To learn how to control your emotions better, try this simple mindfulness exercise
- Practice this meditation and you will be more aware of your feelings and more in control of your emotions.
- Why I personally used meditation for emotional balance
- I’d like to share with you a simple meditation for emotional balance. I recommend you try it right now.
- A Meditation For Emotional Balance
If you want to control your emotions start by being more self aware
Thankfully there is a very easy way to improve your self awareness: simply name your emotions. That’s all. That one little cognitive function of ascribing a name to your emotions will significantly boost your self awareness levels.
Brain scans have shown that when we associate negative emotions with words we calm the emotional centre of the brain. This is cited as being one of the main reasons why meditation is of psychological benefit, because when we sit and focus our minds we become better able to observe our emotions and thus to name them. One of the best ways to do this is by practicing Vipassana meditation and naming your emotions when they come up.
Research by UCLA psychologist Matthew Lieberman showed that naming emotions caused the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex region—an area associated with thinking in words about emotional experiences— to become more active, while activity in the amygdala becomes calmer. So what does that mean? It means that when you name your emotions you learn to think about your emotions more rationally.
To learn how to control your emotions better, try this simple mindfulness exercise
Now, I know that you guys, my Zen-sational readers, already practice mindfulness meditation. So, you already have heightened awareness of your feelings and emotions. But of course some of you guys will be new readers. So you might like to know where to start. Thankfully, it’s easy to start practicing.
Simply find a twenty minute period in the day when you can relax by yourself (for this reason, you may wish to bookmark this page for later by pressing CTRL + D on your keyboard, so you can return to this exercise later).
Then, once you’ve got twenty minutes to spare, simply follow this step by step guide.
Practice this meditation and you will be more aware of your feelings and more in control of your emotions.
- Find a quiet spot where you can sit or stand comfortably with your eyes closed.
- Set a timer for twenty minutes. I’ve created a free online meditation timer to help you out.
- Adopt a position which is relaxing but in which you also feel ready or alert (for instance, you may kneel down or sit crossed legged).
- Focus on your breath. Simply allow your mind to settle on your breath coming and going in and out of your nose.
- You are now doing a basic meditation. Continue to focus on your breath and notice any thoughts or emotions that occur.
- When you feel an emotion, don not fight it or indulge in it but simply observe the emotion. Notice how it feels. Observe the pure energy that is emotion.
- Name the emotion.
- Let the emotion go and return to focusing on your breath.
This is a simple version of a mindfulness meditation.
This exercise is extremely effective at relaxing your mind and allowing you to control your emotions. It will help to relieve stress. You will find that it boosts both your mental and phycial well-being.
Why I personally used meditation for emotional balance
A few years ago I went through an extremely emotional time. I broke up with my girlfriend and didn’t have anywhere to stay (I had left my home in England to live with my girlfriend in Canada, and then we broke up, leaving me nowhere to stay and without the money needed to get home, i.e. I was homeless). This was an extremely stressful and emotional time of my life and a time when I needed meditation more than ever (I also used these tricks to remain positive at a negative time).
It can be hard to balance your emotions when things like that happen. At such times, you need to rely on every strength you have. One strength I have always had is meditation, which I’ve practiced for many many years. For instance, when I am afraid of a big upcoming moment in my life, I will use Buddhist meditations for fear. That will remove the fear so I can go ahead in succeed in whatever it is I have to do.
By meditating I achieved three things:
1 ) I gave my brain and my mind the breathing space to relax, which helped to balance my brain chemistry.
2) I gave myself the power to accept what had happened (the breakup) and to not be so emotionally sensitive to my current reality.
3) I completely silenced my thoughts. I’d been thinking things like “I’ve ruined my life” and “I’ll never have a good relationship,” and “Now I’m homeless and have nowhere to go, I’ll probably starve”. Obviously these were extremely painful thoughts. They made me very emotional. But through meditation I was able to silence these thoughts and get a grip on my emotions.
I also used meditation to overcome grief when my dad died. In fact, the majority of times when I have needed help with my emotions, meditation has been my go-to.
Perhaps you’re going through a difficult time. Heck, I’m sure there are literally billions of people on Earth right now who could use a bit of a pick-me-up. If so, in my honest opinion the very best thing you can do right now to help yourself is to start meditating.
Here’s how it’s going to help you.
It’s going to silence your thoughts, it’s going to give you the mental breathing space you need to step away from your current situation and find relaxation. When you are relaxed you will then naturally find the answers or solutions you’re looking for.
Meditation does that: you meditate for ten minutes and you find yourself looking at things from a different perspective and with more understanding. That’s especially true of insight meditation.
A Meditation For Emotional Balance
1) As with all meditations, find somewhere relaxing, or at least somewhat quiet. You might like to read my guide to creating a meditation space. The more relaxing an environment you can create for yourself the more you’ll enjoy the meditation experience. It will help you to go deeper in meditation and it will have a therpeutic affect. So, you’ll definitely want to take a look at that link.
2) Take a few deep breaths through your nose. Do this repeatedly until you find your body relaxing. There should be a noticeable moment when you say to yourself, “I feel a little better.” So, breathe through your nose until you get to that moment. Go ahead and read that now before continuing.
3) There are two different ways in which you can do the next step. The first way is through reciting a mantra. Do this if you’re alone (or if you don’t mind other people hearing you reciting a mantra). If you don’t want to use a mantra, precede to step 5.
4) The best mantra for emotional balance is the primordial sound “Om.” Take a deep breath in through your nose, then breathe out slowly, making the sound “Om” (pronounced AUM). Continue for ten minutes.
5) If you don’t want to use the mantra, try to bring to mind an image of a relaxing blue sea. Focus on this image, seeing the waves, hearing the sea, and especially focussing on the colour blue (which is relaxing). Continue for ten minutes.
Done? Now notice how you are beginning to feel relaxed. You might not be completely relaxed if you’re going through a difficult time, but you should feel noticeably better.
This is just one of the many powerful meditations for emotional balance. On the next page you can discover my complete guide to all the most powerful meditation techniques in the world.
You might also like to try mindfulness. Scientific research has proven that mindfulness actually changes negative emotions into positive ones.
Thanks for reading.