Emotions Are Data, Use Them Wisely! Positive Vibes Series

Do you feel every emotion that slithers, left, and right in your brain’s hemispheres? Do you understand them? Do you even recognize them?
Every day, you go through different emotions; sometimes, you are mindful and, other times, impulsive. You express your feelings based on expectations, history, your yearning desires, anxieties, or virtues. However, the issue arises when you are oblivious or ignore the specific emotion; hence your response to remedy the unsettling disposition or the activity you engage in is polluted and possibly destructive.

Emotion is data that you should identify, interpret, and use as an asset. 

Being sensitive towards your emotional response does not always indicate that you process your feelings accurately, nor toxically reacting confirms your assumptions. However, if you take the time to probe into your subconscious, astonishingly, you can manage your reactions by sifting through your beliefs. Most people do not dare to take on a task as it will take them to a sad place where they come to face the undesired parts of their psyche. Neglected emotions or merely having difficulty to label them is dispiriting and harmful. Since ignored emotions amount to negative interpretations that reinforce distressful behaviour patterns. A chain reaction that can be set right by untangling the mess in our minds.

Art by Mikoo Raima

So how to unravel your emotions?

  • Acknowledge that emotions are part of life; they are part of being human
  • Emotions do not last forever
  • Emotions teach you different aspects of yourself and things
  • Learn to describe and label your emotions
  • Keep a diary of your thoughts

How to navigate your emotions?

Albert Ellis, a rational-emotive psychologist, believed that our unrealistic interpretation of events creates an irrational belief system that will encourage negative emotional responses. Once you verify your negative emotions through journalling, re-examine your assumptions:

  • Make a conscious decision to identify and evaluate your mental representation of the world around you.
  • Re-consider your information processing based on the possibility that your way of thinking might be faulty.
  • Write your assumptions with the aid of the ABC Technique of Irrational Beliefs.

Draw three columns: A – B – C

A – Activating event: In this column, record the situation that leads to dysfunctional thinking or reaction

B – Belief: In the second column, write the negative thoughts

C – Consequences: The third column describes the emotions and the negative thoughts prompted by (A)

For instance: (A) You have failed an exam (B) You must have good grades, or you are worthless (C) You are depressed.

Once you discern the irrational belief, challenge the negative thoughts by reframing them. In the above example, the absurd notion leading to self-contempt caused by not getting a good grade should be re-interpreted by adopting a positive attitude to manage the negative emotion sensibly. Your focus should be on finding solutions to improve your grades, for instance, tweak your study strategy, improve on your time management, and many more productive ideas so that you consciously erase mistaken assumptions and misconceptions about yourself.

Art by Mikko Raima

Occasionally, we settle with our habitual beliefs and negative biases. If you do not manage your unfounded assumptions, your well-being will go through disruption and not in the right way.
The key to processing your emotions requires honesty with yourself. Emotional transparency, whether through self-help or reaching out to a therapist, will reveal your patterns and tendencies. With careful self-examination, the clear-sighted premises will serve you to process your emotions effectively.

Art by Mikko Raima

How To Control Yourself When Your Emotions Get The Best Of You!

Have you recently sat down and unpacked your thoughts and asked yourself: what are the things you repeatedly do that keep you from reaching your potential?

Why this question? Because how you live your life matters. How you deal with your emotions matter. For most of your life, you acquire knowledge to have a point, to set goals, and lead a meaningful life. You probe into your conscious and allow your intelligence to guide you constructively. You tap into skills & capabilities nested in you due to your education, experience, and privileges in life with its triumph and setbacks.

If your perspective is that the world is in progress, you are a firm believer in growth and advancement. Indeed, this point of view starts with self-progress. A mindset that understands positive thinking is about emotional agility and not avoidance. We all hear disturbing news, and every day there is a painful event happening in one part of the world. However, the reality is that evolutionary progress is taking place, and we are moving forward.

So, next time your enthusiasm is ebbing away, or you feel stressed, sit down to investigate your inner feelings and thoughts. Make sure to remind yourself of the dynamic of your emotions and your ability to wean off the habit of instant gratification with mindfulness techniques. (You can refer to the mindfulness series to learn about the foundations of practice).

Few points to think about:

  • Recognize the emotions you are facing
  • Label them – Upset, fear, anger…
  • Understand that you can step out of the unpleasant situation to gain control and re-energize
  • Negotiate with yourself on how to express your feelings, whether is anger or worry, at the right time and in what dosage
  • Re-orient yourself. This process entails deciding to act in a way that is in harmony with your rational self & values.
  • Align your behavior with your goal and detach your intention from ego
  • Use your imagination for the best outcome.

It is crucial to control your emotions before taking any initiative as your best judgment is unavailable when you are boiling with anger or scared.

Remember that you choose a path of stagnation that will lead to depression or the sweet sake of manifesting yourself congruently with your potentials and powerful, capable self.

 

Featured image by Rodney Smith.