Emotion management is an essential skill that we all need to have in order to survive in this world. Why? Because emotions can easily control our behaviors and make us do something that we normally wouldn’t do. We don’t want to do anything that we’ll regret later, however, when a strong emotion overtakes us, we simply cannot control ourselves effectively and probably make bad decisions and terrible mistakes. So how can we manage our emotions?
Of course, there is no simple answer to it. But managing our emotions is not really about management, instead, it is all about our emotions. What does that mean? We should carefully think about where our emotions come from. We have discussed in the previous posts that our emotions are closely related to how we view the world, which in turn is based on our past experience. Emotions usually come to us when what we see is similar to what we have experienced before. For the most part, our past experience determines how we feel at the moment. Therefore, if we keep reminding ourselves that our emotion is just a reflection of our past experience, and our past experience is irrelevant to the situation we are facing right now, we are more likely to bring our cool mind back.
What bothers us most is usually strong emotions. Strong emotions almost never come out of the blue. Instead, it is our way of interacting with the world that gradually builds up our strong emotions. If you think thoroughly and deeply, there is always some kind of “trigger” to your strong emotions. The triggers can be your kids, your partner, your pets, your job, your company, something you devote yourself to, and so on. What all these have in common is that we think they really matter to our lives, or perhaps we even view them as part of our life. However, that’s precisely where the rub is. When we attach ourselves so tightly to someone or something outside ourselves, we will inevitably allow our emotions to go through ups and downs because of them. No matter how adept our emotional management is, we can hardly have control over them. We really cannot do anything about them. As a result, we are likely to become emotionally vulnerable.
To truly be able to manage our emotions effectively, we have to find the root causes of our emotions. In most cases, emotions represent the choices we made to ourselves. If these choices do not serve as well, make us miserable, unhappy, too worried, it is absolutely necessary to change our life’s choices. To live a free, peaceful, and happy life, we need to learn how to make better life choices. This is absolutely more important than only learning to manage our emotions without changing anything else.
(To be continued)