My Journey Towards Emotional Mastery

Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash

Have you ever had plans for the day, but for some reason outside of your control, you grew unhappy, ruined your plans, and instead sat around and mindlessly browsed social media?

That has happened to me countless times. It largely affects my productivity. Many times, I feel as though I have given everyone the authority to annoy me and thwart my plans for the day because I am so easily offended.

Such situations arise for me because I am dominated by my negative emotions and subsequent feelings, and at the end of the day, I discover that I have accomplished nothing.

But now I have decided that I want to come out of this vicious cycle. Hence, I’ve made the decision to discover the science behind underlying emotions and feelings and how to control them skillfully in order to maintain my happiness and make sure that those around me are not negatively impacted by my actions. I want to share my experiences with emotions and feelings with you all as I set out on my quest to understand more about them.

I made the decision to read extensively about emotions as part of this journey, and I then try to apply the proposed solutions one at a time. This article outlines what I learned about them.

Emotions have a strong influence on our daily lives. Depending on our emotions — happiness, rage, sadness, boredom, or frustration — we make choices in life. We choose activities and hobbies based on the emotions they incite. Understanding emotions can help us navigate life with greater ease and stability.[1]

Most emotions are impacted by outside factors that are beyond our control. We let other people manage our feelings. If we hear good news from someone, we are happy. We become enraged when someone wrongs us. As a result, our successes are frequently hampered by our moods. In a nutshell, controlling our emotions becomes essential if we want to accomplish our goals and live the lifestyles we have always imagined.

In this piece, we will understand the following topics.

  1. What are emotions?
  2. Type of emotions
  3. How becoming aware and able to manage them can help us thrive?

What are emotions?

Three unique elements make up the complex psychological state of emotion: a personal experience, a bodily reaction, and a corresponding behavioral or expressive reaction.
In layman’s terms, emotions are simply experiences that trigger a brain response and cause that response to manifest itself in our actions

According to the collins dictionary:

“An emotion is a feeling such as happiness, love, fear, anger, or hatred, which can be caused by the situation that you are in or the people you are with.”

Emotions are not subject to ostensive definition but they can be identified in conjunction with two criteria. Like Language, Emotions are crucial regulators of social and interpersonal behavior. Like cognition, emotions regulate the flow of information and the selection of response processes.

Type of emotions

  • In 1972, psychologist Paul Ekman suggested that there are six basic emotions that are universal throughout human cultures: fear, disgust, anger, surprise, happiness, and sadness.
  • In the 1980s, Robert Plutchik introduced another emotion classification system known as the “wheel of emotions.” This model demonstrated how different emotions can be combined or mixed together, much like the way an artist mixes primary colors to create other colors.
  • In 1999, Ekman expanded his list to include a number of other basic emotions, including embarrassment, excitement, contempt, shame, pride, satisfaction, and amusement.

We also don’t always experience pure forms of each emotion. Mixed emotions over different events or situations in our lives are common. When faced with starting a new job, you might feel both excited and nervous. Getting married or having a child might be marked by a wide variety of emotions ranging from joy to anxiety. These emotions might occur simultaneously, or you might feel them one after another.

How becoming aware and able to manage them can help us thrive?

No one is defined by their emotions. Still, we frequently link our identity to our feelings. Most of our feelings are a result of our individual experiences and how we view the world. We must be aware that emotions change with time. Emotions are unpredictable even if we have some influence over them. We are undoubtedly headed down the path of self-destruction if we attempt to address every one of our feelings. The way we interpret emotions as well as the blame game we engage in creates suffering.

To start taking control of emotions we first need to acknowledge that they are transient. We must learn to let them pass without feeling the need to identify strongly with them. There is a vicious cycle between thinking and emotions: they feed each other. Thinking pattern boosts the ego by feeding the mind negative emotions. I’ve tried taking baby steps in my life to improve my response to emotions. You might want to use them as well.

  • I used to get easily annoyed since I had made up my own imaginary universe where everything was meant to be out of a fairy tale. I used to become anxious whenever anything did not go as planned. But, I’ve gradually come to the realization that the only person I can influence is myself. Hence, I shouldn’t stress over people or circumstances that are beyond my control.
  • People are by nature illogical. You’ll be most disappointed if you anticipate logical action from them.
  • You can not change anyone. A failed deal would be losing your peace of mind in the process.
  • Try to refrain from speaking when you’re furious. You’ll always say something in that circumstance that you’ll afterward regret. Sit back and wait for the storm to pass. Try taking a walk, sipping some water, or practicing deep breathing. Try to evaluate the circumstance after you feel at ease to determine what brought on your emotions. For example, if someone made you angry, what is that you can do from your side to avoid such circumstances in the future?
  • Maintain a journal. This has helped me to put my thoughts at rest and help me understand exactly what is bothering me.
  • Don’t ignore your emotions altogether, they might be trying to tell you to do something about your current situation. Perhaps you need to let go of some toxic people, quit your job and remove a disempowering story that creates suffering in your life.

Your emotional state can drastically affect your outlook on life, leading you to act and behave differently. When you are in a positive state, you have more energy available. This energy gives you more confidence in everything you do. When you are in a negative state of mind, you have less energy available giving you a lack of confidence in everything you do. [2]

I have to admit that my emotions have a way of tricking me. Despite the fact that I am not my emotions, I continue to overvalue them and fail to recognize that they are merely passing by. I lose sight of the fact that they are not me. I feel foolish for taking my feelings so seriously after the emotional storm has gone. But I have made the decision to start my road toward emotional mastery, and I am confident that I will be successful in it eventually.

Remember Your mental stability is of utmost importance. Keep it safe at all costs.

If you are interested in getting more ideas on mastering emotions, I would recommend a beautiful read that is mentioned as my 2nd reference.

References

  1. https://www.verywellmind.com/what-are-emotions-2795178
  2. Book: Master your emotions — Thibaut Meurisee

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Madhuri Jain

I help working women to find strength and confidence to thrive at work and home . Sharing my learning while I am on path to become best version of myself.