Emotions are the natural instinctive state of mind created internally as a reaction to your circumstances, derived from your mood, or arise based on interactions in relationships with friends, family, or strangers. These are feelings and different from logic, thinking, or knowledge. Emotions are messengers to your nervous system on how to react to a situation. Emotions can trigger a fight or flight response and energize you to take action or flee from the circumstance.

How can I train myself to control my emotions?

Human experience is a combination of awareness, thoughts, emotions, and ego. Emotions arise due to many things. Emotions can arise due to your boundaries being violated, your feelings being hurt, a fight response to defend yourself or beliefs, and a flight response can be activated due to fear. Emotions are the interpretation of the environment, words, actions, or circumstances you find yourself in.

Emotions can also be internally created due to thinking and thoughts. Thinking is the active process of trying to solve a problem or make a decision, this process can cause feelings. Thoughts that arise on their own can come from anxiety, the subconscious, or the mind processing the environment.

The more aware you can stay in the present moment the less emotions will arise due to reactions to thoughts. Most thoughts are replays of the past using memories that can be connected to emotions. They serve little to no purpose after the past events are processes and lessons are learned. Stop replaying negative past memories, stop talking about them, and change the channel to positive past events that at least create positive emotions. The emotion of anxiety is mostly created by imagining a negative future with no evidence.

The majority of negative emotions arise through mental time travelling into the past or future and experiencing bad memories again or imagining bad experiences that never happened. Stop doing this and you master these self inflicted emotions by not having them at all. It’s not difficult most of the time to deal with your current emotions if you can direct all your focus on your present moment awareness. Managing only your current situation is easier when worry and negative imagination is not present. Master your mind with a focus on right now to better control your emotional impulses.

What does mastering your emotions mean?

Mastering your emotions doesn’t mean not having them, it means being aware of them as they arise and retaining the ability to think clearly and make the right decisions. Emotions are messengers that are trying to protect you from danger or alert you to opportunities. There are both energizing and de-energizing emotions that both serve to help or protect you. They key to emotional mastery is staying mindful of how you feel and listening to what your emotions are trying to communicate with you physiologically.

You must create a space between the emotions and your actions based on how you feel. Emotions should be messengers communicating with you, not your masters controlling your behavior. Someone who has mastered their emotions will have thoughts about their emotions.

Here is an example.

“I feel angry, that made me mad when he didn’t show up on time.”

“Being on time is important to me as I feel like I am being disrespected when someone is late to a meeting.” “It makes me feel like they don’t value my time and don’t care about wasting it.”

“However, he probably doesn’t think it’s a big deal from his perspective and he may have had issues with traffic.”

“I don’t think it would be constructive to even bring it up this time so I am deciding to just move on with the meeting.”

If you can feel emotions, identify them in real time by staying mindful, and decide what you want to do about them through reasoning, then you have mastered that emotion.

There are at least 27 different types of emotions: admiration, adoration, aesthetic appreciation, amusement, anger, anxiety, awe, awkwardness, boredom, calmness, confusion, craving, disgust, empathic pain, entrancement, excitement, fear, horror, interest, joy, nostalgia, relief, romance, sadness, satisfaction, sexual desire, and surprise. [1]

Knowing about all the different types of emotions is half the battle, and mastering them through mindfulness in real time is the other half.

What are the 5 elements of emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is being smart enough to identify, understand, and also manage emotions. This ability means you’re smart about feelings and can recognize them as they arise, interpret their meaning, and regulate your emotions. Being emotionally intelligent also means you can see emotions arise in others. EQ is different from IQ and many of the smartest people are not aware of their own feelings or how they affect the emotions of others.[2]

Here are what determine emotional intelligence.

1. Internal motivation

People with a high EQ are driven more based on their own internal goals, passions, and drives than external things. People with a high EQ have a strong internal compass and are not easily manipulated. They don’t succumb to peer pressure and are not driven by greed for material things or power. They enjoy intellectual activities and find satisfaction in reaching their own goals. They have strong internal principles and morals so they are usually successful in life.

2. Self-regulation

Self-regulation means you have mastered your emotions by being aware of them and managing them appropriately. Emotional reactions are controlled and don’t send your behavior out of control.

3. Self-awareness

Self-awareness is being both aware of how your emotions affect you and also the impact they have on other people when you express them.

4. Empathy

Empathy enables you to both identify the likely emotional state of others and also act appropriately toward them based on how they feel. It’s the ability consider the feelings of others in your decisions.

5. Social awareness.

Emotional intelligence makes you aware of how you can interact, work with, or manage people  based on their own feelings and emotions. EQ can make you socially intelligent when interacting with other people.

The higher your emotional intelligence the greater your odds of success in life.

How To Master Your Emotions (Emotional Intelligence)
Image Created by Holly Burns