For a long time I felt like my emotions were controlling me and my life. They decided how my day went, how my relationships worked, if I reached my goals. Everything depended on how I felt, on which emotions visited me that day. It felt horrible and I did not really know how I could end this, I never even thought that I could change something about this. I just thought this is normal – but it is not.
First of all it is important to realize that you are not your emotions, you are not even your thoughts – you are the awareness behind those. You – the awareness – just observes them. When you really understand that you are not your emotions – you realize that there is no sense in letting them control your life and how you feel, just as there would be no point in letting another human being take control over your life and how you feel.
But just because you realize this – it won’t really stop how you feel. If your emotion is bad you will still struggle with having a nice day, no matter how deep your understanding goes. Really implementing this knowledge and changing your behavior takes a lot of time and practice. This is not something that will happen over night.
This is a strategy which will help you to stop giving emotions control over you:
- Start being aware. Always feel inside you, hear inside yourself. Are there any negative thoughts/emotions? What are they, what do they tell you? This is the first step, just being aware and recognizing emotions and thoughts as what they are.
- Find the root. When you start managing the tip above you can start searching for the root of those emotions/thoughts, positive as negative ones. Find out what happened that started those, what is their trigger.
- Get conscious about the procedure in which emotions are created. We often think that emotions just pop up out of the blue. Suddenly you feel happy or sad. Another way is that you think you are happy/sad/angry because of an event that happened before the emotion came up. You became a good grade – happy. It is raining all day so you can’t go to the beach – sad. But between the event and the emotion is another, very important, step – your thoughts.
- Realize the importance of your thoughts. No matter what event happens, you have control over the emotion which comes out of it by simply navigating your thoughts into the right direction. So when something bad happens, instantly become aware of the thoughts arising. If you spot negative ones, stop them and try to create positive ones. I know this sounds difficult and you may think that you are faking something. But over time you will get better at doing this and you will find out the impact this has on the following emotions.
- Change the emotion. But still you won’t always be able to do this, especially at the beginning. But even after the bad emotion came up you can still change it. By creating more positive thoughts, by doing things that make you happy, or by just relaxing and becoming present in the moment right now.
I hope those tips are/were helpful for you! They already changed a lot for me and I’m definitely at the beginning when it comes to implementing this strategy into my daily life.
Sending Love and Happiness you way, Sarah.
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