It’s one of the most frequent questions in emotional intelligence workshops worldwide.
How can I get better at controlling my feelings?
The language of this question reveals a bias that there are bad emotions requiring control – which means exerting power to subdue. Here’s a simply radical shift in perspective: How can I get better at harnessing my feelings? We call it Navigating Emotions.
In under 5 minutes, Dr. Barbara Fatum offers practical tips for all of us do a better job with feelings, including ideas on how to teach this invaluable skill to children — here’s the video. Below are several more resources.
Easy Tips for Controlling Emotions
1. Change your perspective.
Emotions, even challenging ones like anger, fear and jealousy, are there for a reason! They’re messages from you to you — there’s wisdom. Instead of “controlling” the emotions, control your behavior (hitting, shouting, hurting, running are all behaviors).
2. Create emotions strategies.
Consider: What do you want to happen next? Based on that: What feelings will help make that happen? Do you have any of those feelings? Chances are, in any situation you have multiple feelings — call on the ones that will help you move forward.
3. Charge your compassion batteries.
It’s tough to make emotionally wise choices when you’re feeling of compassion is hiding. Interestingly: Actively practicing to care about others increases your compassion — which increases your own inner peace.
What’s your favorite tip for handling emotions? Add it in the comments below!