How To Regulate Our Emotions?

How To Regulate Our Emotions?

Sometimes we become so ignorant of things or so blind that the reality is right in front of us and we are not able to see it. Humans are very much driven by emotions, which is a good thing because it helps us in many ways. But sometimes they become the source of our problem and this happens when we are blinded by emotions. Let that emotion be love or anger or sadness or happiness. Anything in excess is damaging and so are good things. Like eating too much causes vomiting. Extreme happiness and euphoria can be a part of mental illness. The key solution here is “controlling emotions” or an even better term “regulating emotions”. This all comes under the concept of emotional intelligence which is as much important as any other form of intelligence.  We are never explicitly taught about emotional regulation and it’s believed that it comes with age as does wisdom. We spend our lives without knowing that how much weightage we are supposed to give to our emotions, and when it’s the time to use our reason and logic and stop following the track of emotions. We don’t recognise it but many things go wrong because of low emotional intelligence. Sometimes we burst out at wrong places and sometimes we don’t show any emotions where it is needed. Sometimes we misinterpret someone or are unable to understand them. Sometimes we don’t even understand ourselves. Sometimes we are unable to show empathy. Inappropriate emotional regulation also affects our interpersonal relations. We don’t really know how much emotions are appropriate in any situation because we are never taught this and conventionally it is not considered to be important. In reality without this intelligence life can get really messy.

The ultimate key- consciousness:

The first thing to understand is that emotions are a product of environment and brain activities. But with your mind you can have total control over your emotions. You just need to realize that they are in your control only and with conscious effort you can totally have a hold on them. By being totally present in the situation, by being aware of the bodily changes which are occurring and understanding why those changes are happening. Now that you are aware of whatever is happening, you’ll be aware of whatever will happen next. You will feel a control over ourselves and the situation which is going on. Consciousness gives us the control. For example when we are under the influence of drugs, we lose this consciousness therefore we lose the control and we often make mistakes out of our awareness and usually cannot recall them. But by being conscious you are being aware and by being aware you can gain control. Now it’s clear that you are in control of our emotions and you regulate them. How much to express them, is a bit tricky and complex. As this depends from situation to situation so a thorough analysis or securitizing every aspect and factors of a situation will give certain cues about how much to express and what to express. A very important factor – you being in total control of what you are saying and how.      

Emotions effecting relationships:

We often hear that a relationship ended because one of the person was ‘emotionally dead’ or better way to put it- deprived of emotions. But emotional over-involvement, over-investment in a relationship can end up being a problem for a relationship too. Nothing is good in deprived state and neither in excess. What’s best is the optimum level. Most of the time in a relationship it’s our emotions that are dominant which is not a bad thing, bad is the total absence of logic. We are always acting and reacting on emotion but we must know the point where to discontinue this or else most probably it will destroy the relationship. So knowing where to stop the dominance of emotions and let the logic and reason dominate is very important. As it helps in making sound decisions by analysing the situation in totality and being fair and unbiased. Sounds difficult but once you become totally conscious and an aware individual, this comes naturally and effortlessly. At first it might feel over exhausting and a draining process but with time and practice, it will be effortless. You will naturally become a very conscious person.

Being conscious leads to being in control:

  1. You become conscious.
  2. You know how you feel, how the situation is (you have analysed the situation and yourself).
  3. Logic and reason is embedded in us, it’s always there but earlier it was blinded by our emotions but this time it’s not.
  4. Now you know what’s the right thing to do or say (you are totally conscious of whatever you are doing so you will be in control of expressing yourself)
  5. Emotions will be in control.

“I don’t know why I did what I did?”

If you think about it, it makes total sense. Like have you ever said “I don’t know why I did what I did”. It’s because you actually didn’t know why you did it, you were not aware of what you were doing and you just did without thinking about its repercussions. If you ever go out of control then don’t deny it and accept it, because sometimes we do make mistakes. Just go back in that time (mentally) and understand what all you did and how did that happen, it will help you being in control in future. If you deny it, it means that you never give yourself a chance to understand ‘why does it happen to you and how does it happen’. Mistakes gives us an opportunity for learning, for growth and for betterment. They are our constructive criticism, do not think of this as failures. Perceive them positively and learn whatever you can out of them so that you don’t make the same mistake over and over again.

Do not take me wrong:

All of this doesn’t mean that you need to deprive yourself of emotions and not feel a thing and let the logic deal with the situation. It’s a total misinterpretation. Controlling emotions doesn’t mean that you need not feel any. Feeling every emotion is a vital part of our existence. They are very important for our mental health. Feeling sad, angry, disgusted in short any negative emotions are very important because whenever a situation generates these emotions- a kind of energy is generated and we need to dispose that energy or it’s going on sit on our back for lifelong. It means metaphorically we’ll be carrying a bag full unexpressed/unprocessed emotions lifelong. This bag will eventually get heavy carrying the weight of cumulative emotions. Carrying a heavy bag on back would be a tough way to live our life. And we don’t want to live like this which is why feeling every emotion is very important. Don’t be embarrassed of crying, it a very healthy expression of being sad. After crying you feel light, like a weight is being lifted. It’s that energy you just disposed, now it will not bother you again. And if not processed or expressed, you will be easily annoyed or irritated.

About the Author

Garima Sharma

Greeting everyone,

I am Garima Sharma, I am currently pursuing Masters in Clinical Psychology from Amity University. My keen interest in hu

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