Photo of woman's face with multiple emojis around her head to depict emotions

Emotions are just a message about how we are interpreting events and situations in the world around us. They flow out of our expectations and world view as to how things ought to be and are subjective internal mental reactions to an external objective situation. It helps us to understand and process our emotions when we realize that someone from a different culture, religion or background would see it, feel it, and react differently.

To live a good life, it is vital to learn emotional self-regulation, including impulse control and anger management. Learn to stand apart from your emotions, visualize yourself on a balcony, look down upon what is happening as if you are a spectator. Think of yourself as a movie director or script writer with the ability to direct the action below in many different creative directions, not just following a rote, unimaginative, reflexive plot line!

Honor your emotions by fully acknowledging their existence (out and out denial of anything strong rarely works), thank them for trying to inform or protect you and then firmly let them know YOU are in charge. You may dismiss them or simply invite them to sit on the periphery and slowly fade away into irrelevance. If it helps, you may seek to understand the source of the emotion, perhaps a past triggering event or painful episode. You may reframe it in a more positive or helpful way or sense all memories are really re-creations, re-tell the story with a different, more useful message. Or you could release it by repeating an affirmation such as “The past is over, it cannot hurt me now” or “The past is a place of reference, not of residence.” It may take a few repetitions over time if the emotion surfaces again but each time you release it, it will grow weaker.

Closing Quotes:

“Feel the feel and grab the wheel.” – Oprah Winfrey

“People are disturbed not by things but by the view they take of them.” – Frederick Buechner, 1926-2022, philosopher

“Between the stimulus and the response is our greatest power—we have the freedom to choose our response.– Stephen R. Covey, 1932-2012, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier