Emotions govern our lives. How we feel contributes to every decision, act, interaction, and outcome. Experiences are more complex than merely positive or negative. The game changer: we all possess emotive choice and research indicates those choices greatly affect physical health.
During any given day a smorgasbord of uplifting emotional possibilities abound: Joy, desire, adoration, love, affection, triumph, pleasure, pride, serenity, optimism, gratitude, curiosity, hope, amusement, or excitement just to name a few. Likewise, possibilities for diminishing emotions are abundant: Anger, embarrassment, hurt, sadness, doubt, despair, envy, shame, fear, frustration, annoyance, disgust, irritation, guilt, remorse, stress, or worry. During any involvement, our brain sends signals to the body releasing an assortment of hormones and chemicals based on sensations and emotions experienced.
Varying research theories exist regarding a human’s ability to control emotions. However, science is in complete agreement that the brain signals the body to secrete hormones and chemicals based specifically on how one feels. Intuitive emotions, for example fear’s fight/flight/freeze reaction to the onset of acute stress, may exist to protect us from danger. Our nervous system reacts to this stress by producing Adrenaline, Cortisol, Norepinephrine. When stress is chronic, depression, hypertension, and cardiac issues emerge. Fact!
Conversely, Serotonin, Endorphins, and Dopamine-the happy hormones-are released when uplifting emotions such as joy, triumph, and pleasure are felt (also when bodies are exposed to nature’s sunlight, by the way).
So… how does one control feelings when emotions do not best serve the circumstances? Times when we worry about things out of our control, become quickly annoyed, irritated unnecessarily, or experience hurt delivered unintentionally by someone we love: we control our reaction!
According to the Huffington Post, the following are six servings of worthy advice:
Don’t react right away. Reacting immediately to emotional triggers can be an immense mistake. It is guaranteed you’ll say or do something you’ll later regret. Before refuting the trigger with your emotional argument, take a deep breath and stabilize the overwhelming impulse. Continue to breathe deeply… feeling as your muscles [relax] and your heart rate returns to normal. As you become calmer, affirm to yourself that this is only temporary.
Ask for divine guidance. Faith is our saving grace in darkest moments. No matter your creed, developing a healthy relationship with the divine world will help you surmount your obstacles more easily. When you believe in a higher force, you also believe in the power of divine intervention to show you what you must do, teach you why something is happening, or even save you from a certain unwanted situation. When burdened with emotion, close your eyes, envision a positive solution to your problem, and ask the universe to illuminate the best path forward.
Find a healthy outlet. Now that you’ve managed your emotion, you’ll need to release it in a healthy way. Emotions should never be bottled up. Call or see someone you trust and recount to them what happened. Hearing an opinion other than your own broadens awareness. Keep a journal and transfer your emotions from your inner self onto the paper. Many people find it helpful to engage in aggressive exercises, such as kickboxing or martial arts, to discharge their feelings. Others meditate and chant to return to a tranquil state of being. Perform whatever activity is best-suited to you in order to liberate your being from pent-up sentiments.
See the bigger picture. Every happening of our lives, whether good or bad, serves a higher purpose. Wisdom means being able to see past the moment and discern the greater meaning of any given situation. You may not understand in the beginning, but as time [passes], you’ll begin to see the bigger picture falling into perfect order. Even in the midst of emotionally upsetting moments, trust that there exists an ultimate purpose which you will come to comprehend soon.
Replace your thoughts. Negative emotions bind us to recurring negative thoughts, creating cycles of negative patterns. When you are confronted with an emotion making you feel or think something bad, force it out of your mind and replace it with a different thought. Imagine the ideal resolution to your problem playing out, think about someone who makes you happy, or [recall] an event that makes you smile.
Forgive your emotional triggers. Your emotional triggers may be [ignited by] your best friend, your family members, yourself or all of the above. You may feel a sudden wave of anger when your friend “does that thing she does,” or a stab of self-loathing when you remember something you could have done differently. But when you forgive, you detach. You detach from the resentment, jealousy or fury lingering within you. You allow people to be who they are without the need for escalating emotions. As you forgive, you will find yourself disassociating from the harsh feelings attached to your being.
A constant reminder of our ardent nature: emotions surge through us at every second of the day. But we often take wrong actions when wrong feelings filter through our mind without restraint. To avoid the burn of acting out during an emotional upsurge, take a few simple steps to calm your heightened spirit and quiet your uneasy mind. When the moment has passed (in hindsight), you’ll be grateful you were able to be the master of your emotions.
“Best advice in two lines:
Silence is the best answer for all questions.
Smiling is the best reaction in all situations.”