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Anger, one of the most energetically charged emotions perceivable by human beings.
Growing up, this was the emotion I struggled with most. Sure I experienced every other emotion under the sun, but they all seemed manageable. But anger, it never sat well with me. I despised it, and when it reared its ugly head in my life I also despised myself. I don’t wish to illusion you with the belief that I had anger management problems, because I was far from it. My hatred for the emotion stemmed from its ability to take control of my actions and words. When anger arose, it made me its little bitch.
While anger may not be your kryptonite. All of us are weak in face of certain emotions, some more than others. Fortunately, as time has gone by, I have discovered a method to master emotion. I do not claim to have absolute control yet, whether that is an unrealistic expectation, I am yet find out. However I have noticed a dramatic transition in the way my emotions affect me.
The emotional component of self is an incredibly vast topic that I would like to cover in much more depth over time. Today I would like to leave you with a couple of key tips that you may integrate in order to begin your journey to emotional mastery
Stop judging emotions as good or bad.
The majority of the population has fallen into the trap of labelling emotions as “good” or “bad”, when in reality they are simply an experience. Some of them make you feel horrible and some of them make you feel great. However, each emotion plays a vital role in creating balance in your life. Both “good” and “bad” emotions are messengers that tell us about our self. By analysing the emotions you experience in certain situations, you can begin to understand a lot more about yourself. Enhancing your self-awareness in a way that nothing else can.
Emotions also accentuate each other. The dog Poo plays the role of making the rose smell wonderful, just as sadness makes happiness the shining light that it is. Every emotion serves a purpose. The problem we face upon judging our emotions is that we soon find ourselves seeking the positive ones, and running from the negative ones. Running from emotions is the causation of the pain they inflict. Which leads me to my next tip…
Accept every emotion. Feel into them, don’t repress them.
Once you stop judging your emotions for good or bad, a strange thing occurs. Gradually, you discover that the most painful part of negative emotions is created by the fear we associate them with. Next time you feel an intense negative emotion, stop for a second. Now, feel into your body. Let the emotion course through you. Rather than tightening up and trying to reject it. Tell yourself how it feels, in your head, in your toes and throughout your whole body.
Only once you begin to feel into emotions rather than trying to repress them will you begin to realise how harmless they truly are. Nothing more than a sensation. This then leads to the realisation that these emotions don’t have power on there own. We give them power by trying to resist them.
Don’t get me wrong, sadness feels miserable. Shame feels like blunt trauma. Anger feels like a flame seething down your neck. But these are just temporary experiences that polarise each other. Feel into them, bask in the experience. Do not shame yourself for having them. But I warn you, do not run from them or repress them. because it is then, and only then that they become your master, the controller of your actions, the dictator of decisions.
If you don’t quite understand this idea, that is ok. It took first hand experience for me to truly grasp the full meaning of feeling into your emotions. However, once i did, there was no turning back. On that note, don’t beat yourself up for failing to integrate this skill. Do so whenever you remember, and over time it will become a natural process. I frequently find myself, post intense emotion, beating myself up over my failure to rise above them. But that in itself will only lead to further defeat.
Start journaling your most emotionally triggered experience each day.
This is the practical step. Each night before you go to bed, write about the most intense emotion you felt that day. What brought it on? what did it feel like? how did you react? did you feel into it or reject it? how did it impact the situation? Keep the practice short or your consistency will suffer. By journaling about your emotions you will acquire several benefits.
- Increased awareness – each time you identify and examine an emotional experience, you are programming your brain to actively seek out and identify your strong emotional experiences. Eventually, you will reach a place where you can identify these experiences as they are happening. From then on, you can control your words and actions in order to create an outcome that is conducive to what it is you’re trying to achieve. Rather than reacting in a way that you later come to regret.
- Deeper understanding – The more you journal about your emotions, the more you will begin to understand their nature. You may even begin to see patterns in your emotional behaviour. The deeper your understanding of the emotions you experience, the less control they have over you.
Anyway, this post is getting a little too long so i’ll end it here, for now. The emotional component of the human experience is incredibly vast and deep. There is so much to discuss and so much to discover. I believe I am only just scraping the surface of this complex realm. However, as a go deeper and learn more, I will be sure to share every step of it with you.
Until then my friend.
“I think there is something beautiful in reveling in sadness. The proof is how beautiful sad songs can be. So I don’t think being sad is to be avoided. It’s apathy and boredom you want to avoid. But feeling anything is good, I think. Maybe that’s sadistic of me.” – Joseph Gordon-Levitt