Oh, emotions, how you complicate our lives, make us feel alive, and make us wish we were dead! How many times a day are your emotions making decisions for you? How many times have you known in your head that you were unnecessarily sad, agitated, angry, frustrated, or upset about something in your life? This happens to me on a regular basis, and it takes practice to learn to stop it before it starts.
Emotions are a very powerful part of our life for both good and not so good reasons. There are times when the feeling of being loved, or the feeling of happiness, sheer joy and gratitude fill us up and spill over our edges. There are also other times when guilt, sadness, frustration, and irritation seem so overwhelming that we can barely hold them inside. Is there something wrong with us, or are we just human…?
The good news is we are all human and prone to emotional overflow at times. Children are great examples of this in life – they just don’t know how to deal with everything they’re feeling and it starts spilling over or explodes in a messy, tear-filled, indignant tantrum. As we grow older we learn to hedge against these things and find our emotional balance – also known as growing up. But sometimes our emotional age doesn’t match our intellectual or physical age.
There are examples of this all around us, people who fly off the handle at the slightest stressor, or those who lash out and pout when things don’t go their way. Sometimes I’m amazed at how many people out there don’t see how they’re acting, don’t identify how much they complicate their lives through lack of self control. One thing that is definitely discouraging for those who want to change is when they don’t know how to change.
It takes time and practice to be able to control yourself or decode what your feeling, and if you’re in your 20s or 30s and have never done it, it can seem impossible. One thing that helps me are not taking things personally. I’m prone to taking things the wrong way – this does not cultivate a simple life. Often I find taking a deep breath is one of the easiest ways to give myself a little time to let my emotions peak and let the mercury start fall to a normal level. Again, this takes practice, and doesn’t happen overnight, but with time it does get easier.