12 Ways to Gain Control of Your Emotions

by Ron Haynes

With the economy in a miserable state, it can be easy to allow your emotions to dictate your responses to everyone from your spouse and children to your boss and coworkers. But responding emotionally can sometimes make a bad situation worse. While it does takes practice, you can control your emotions. Every negative emotion you have begins with a thought, so learn to control your mind and you’ll gain control of your emotions by default. Take every thought captive before it sinks its teeth into you! Give it a shot by following these tips:

Use affirmations: “I can do my job better than anyone,” “I can do a great job on that account,” “I can handle that advanced class.” Politicians are renown for saying only what they want to hear and repeating the same mantra over and over. They “stay on message.” Craft YOUR message and stay on it.

Consciously relax all your muscles. Imagine that you’re being slowly dipped into warm water. Start with your feet and work up to the top of your head then out through your fingertips. Concentrate on keeping all muscles relaxed as you move up your body. Imagine that your forehead is cool to the touch.

Breath deeply. Take several slow, deep breaths and concentrate on feeling calm and relaxed. Use those affirmations while you breathe.

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Take a walk. Exercise of any sort will help you relieve stress and clear your mind. A clear mind is better able to control emotions.

Go outside. Get some fresh air and a little sunshine on your face. Getting out into nature can have a wonderful effect on our emotions. You are part of nature so getting out in it is just a natural act.

Visualize yourself remaining calm, succeeding and remaining in control. Imagine that you are able to handle this stressful situation just like the calmest person you know. Visualization is a strong tool that can help you achieve your goal of remaining composed and in control.

Phone a friend. Talking with a supportive friend will help you see things from a more neutral perspective. Everything is going to be okay.

Focus on right NOW. Don’t let a negative emotional reaction affect the outcome. Purpose to NOT allow that to happen.

Use distraction tactics. Think of something that gives you pleasure. Re-live a wonderful time in your life where you could do no wrong and everything was right.

Take a hot shower or relax in a hot bath. Sometimes just being still and quiet can help you reduce stress. Practice your positive affirmations while soaking.

Read something funny or watch a humorous TV show. Humor can make things seem more bearable.

Remember that there are always alternate outcomes. Over 90 percent of what you worry about never happens anyway and 9 of the other 10 percent of the time, things aren’t as bad as you imagined. Refuse to worry about when something is going to happen, instead decide on your course of action if it happens.

Discover your capacity to cope, and impress yourself with your ability. See, you can handle more than you ever thought possible!

Take positive action steps, no matter how small, and you can control your emotions.

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 988 articles on The Wisdom Journal.

The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.