“Respond, do not react”. Perhaps we’ve heard this saying before, in truth this brief quote describes our very own and personal life struggles. World has thrown so many dilemmas in our side that it became difficult to see the beauty of life. But actually, the negativities we encountered aren’t really that disadvantageous to us. It only depends on how we will react to every situation we might face. It should be you who controls your emotion, and reaction.
As imperfect human being, it is our personal tendencies to react negatively on things that happen to us. Truth to be told, every day we face enormous of situations in which these circumstances squeeze us to the point of bursting out. It might be simple things such as, “I couldn’t find my socks! Things are lost when I needed them the most” or “My earphones are tangled, better to throw them away”. Simple things but burn us out. During these moments, our emotions kick in. So, why act irrationally when actually we can make the best out of it? Emotions can quickly kick in. It can be anger, frustration, hopelessness or rage. Unlike written position papers, we couldn’t plan on how we will react. It’s not “Okay so my first emotion would be calm to look more upright then if I am left alone I will let go of this rage.” It isn’t like that at all. Why so? Because everything depends on our habits, environment, influences and characteristics. But don’t lose hope! Why? It is not too late to turn the table. We may be stuck, but not left with no hope at all. How can we do so?
Become a Master over Your Emotion
Every reaction we make is based on our emotion, therefore mastering this innate gift is a must if we don’t want to be a slave over it. Here are some tips on how we can make sure that we control it rather that it controlling us:
1. Identify what you are feeling
In most cases, unstable emotion is caused by confusion. So, order to take over yourself, know what you feel. It is a good suggestion to make sure whenever feeling a certain kind of emotion, you are sure that is it what it should be. Pain should be pain, and anger should be anger. By doing so, you won’t come into a point where you will feel instability.
2. Acknowledge your emotion
If you already named your feeling, acknowledging it is the second step. Recognizing that this kind of emotion is deep within you, will make yourself more connected to your soul, thus honesty is built from within. You didn’t want to lie to yourself to appear more responsible or better than the others right? So, through acknowledging that this one is present, will help you control it with more ease.
3. Practice self-evaluation
From time to time ask yourself, “Is this kind of personality I project, is the very thing that I want my self to be?” In such way, you will know in which aspect you should cultivate more to grow.
Emotions are natural, they indeed a divine gift. Controlling them are challenging at times, but by doing so, we will be able to avoid unnecessary dramas, chaos, and stress that will take away our soul’s energy, love and even self-peace. Now that we’ve mastered how to control our emotions, the next thing to do to wholly obtain emotional intelligence is by controlling on how to react.
Control How You Will React
Above all, this one perhaps is the most difficult to master. Why? It was mentioned earlier that people tend to act according to how they feel at the moment. But we can do better! We have all the capabilities to control our reaction in every situation. Easier said than done? Yes, but it isn’t impossible. Here are some ways on how to control our reactions in every challenging situation we may face:
1. Take a Deep Breath
Studies suggest that there is an undeniable connection between emotional state and breathing. It is common that when facing tough times, we tend to breathe faster, as it is due to tension, stress, anxiety and fear. On the other hand, breathing deeply, and in the most accurate manner helps one to become more relaxed, contain himself and regain his peace of mind, according to Dr. Martin Paulus, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California San Diego professor, writes in a 2013 manuscript in the journal Depression and Anxiety. How much more if we will do so in the most accurate manner? Breathing through your nose or the so-called “nasal breathing” will not just improve our mood, but will bring you the health benefits our body deserves. Try the 4-7-8 technique. Inhale from your nose for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds and exhale for 8 seconds. Do the cycle until you feel calmer.
2. Give it sometime before reacting
This may seem challenging but very helpful. It was proven and tested that delaying reaction or responses will help us think better, act better, and decide better. Give ourselves sometime to clear our minds, in that way we will be able to think of the consequences before our tongue or heart betray us. Or at least, not that much.
3. Do the grounding technique
Grounding technique is a tool used to relieve stress and pressure build-up, think of 5 things you can touch, think of 5 think you are grateful and 5 things that makes you happy. Through this psychological process, we will be able to compose ourselves and put back that peaceful soul within us.
Controlling emotions and our reactions are very hard, because it is not a battle against external factors, rather it is a battle between us and ourselves. But the effort will not be in vain, as it will bring us a calm soul, peaceful mind, warm heart and avoid unnecessary dramas. Mastering emotion can be done in 3 ways, identify what you are feeling, acknowledge your emotions and practice self-evaluation. Along with this, we should also control our reaction through taking a deep breathe, give sometime before reacting and doing the grounding technique. If we will allow ourselves to take over us, we will be able to live a more peaceful life, healthy body, grateful heart and a mind that sees everything in a good way. Every day is a chance to change perspective. Always keep in mind that our thoughts control our reaction and our reactions create choices and choices shapes our lives.