4 tricks to take control of your emotions
Emotions drive humans in our experiences – it can be the difference between finding joy and happiness, to frustration and anger in a situation.
Yet most people let emotion dictate their lives reacting on impulses to anger and being quick to tell themselves negative thoughts.
Want to take greater control of your emotions? Follow these four tricks to take control of your emotions now.
Breath, recalibrate and deliver
Imagine running the biggest event of your life and something goes wrong?
How about if someone does something to anger you that you want to blow up?
This is a technique to take control of your emotions in a situation.
- Breath: to take a pause, so you don’t lose control and overreact.
- Recalibrate: think through the options, reject the impulsive aggression.
- Deliver: carry out the reframed approach to completing the action.
Essentially what you are doing is taking time to pause so that you don’t act on the impulse of the first emotion that comes to mind and makes you think how you can handle the problem in a rational manner.
I discuss this in further detail in the post Handling pressure: Lessons from the SAS.
“Does it matter in a year” technique
Life throws up problems all the time.
You have a disagreement at work with a colleague over a deadline.
You meet a really obnoxious guy on a training course who is annoying.
You get stood up by a “friend” a month before you plan to go travelling together.
All have happened to me and at the time they all angered and hurt me.
Yet, in the context of these situations, not one of them had any impact on my life a year after the event, being totally insignificant, but caused me a lot of stress in the short term.
When you encounter scenarios that cause problems and stress, simply ask the question:
“Will this matter to me in a year?”
Most of the things in life will produce the answer no.
Therefore forget it and move on, there is no point dwelling on these situations as it just hurts you and don’t be quick to anger as it’s probably not worthwhile making the effort to be confrontational.
Reframe your self-talk
I’ll be the first to admit I’m not the best at DIY – most of what I know is through YouTube videos and trial and error.
And when it comes to error I’ve had my fair share of disasters.
This has resulted in little voices in my head saying
“God you’re so stupid, you can’t do simple DIY tasks.”
This was a pretty normal mindset for me, where in the event of failure I was full on negative thoughts – I was my biggest critic, my worst enemy.
Because I was being critical in my self-talk, these became more real in what I was saying – in the DIY example I believed I was useless and no good at DIY, which generally stopped my ability to develop as I found all excuses to develop.
Therefore I needed to reframe my self-talk.
When I started telling myself it was okay to make mistakes as it was part of the learning process I found myself getting better.
A recent experience of drilling into the wall was exceptionally positive – not only did I do a good job, my self-talk was positive as I told myself
“Well done, you’ve got a lot better at that!”
So simply – control how you talk to yourself, love yourself and appreciate your efforts (even in failure).
Big thanks to Dom Fennell for this tip – if you have Twitter I recommend giving him a follow.
Join a gym
Finally a great way to get control of your emotions is to join a gym.
Not only does a gym keep you fit and in shape, but it’s a great way of burning off tension and being able to think to get clarity on a difficult situation.
I always say that the gym is my therapist and has always been there to keep me functioning – just by going I have probably saved the economy thousands of pounds in money by not needing drugs, mental health support and taking sick leave!
If you want an outlet to control your emotions join a gym (and when I say
Having the ability to controlling emotions is a powerful trait to have in all areas of life. How you react to a situation is your choice – if you can be aware of your thoughts you will be empowered to handle any situation.
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Thank you for reading!
3 thoughts on “4 tricks to take control of your emotions”
Great post, it’s very important to control our emotions.
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I use the second one all of the time, but six months in lieu of a year… and obviously, sub a bike for the gym. Nice post, man.
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Yes when writing the examples I did think all the examples don’t even matter in a month! Applying long term perspective does help put a lot of things in context.
And of course 😄
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