I don’t like to brag, really. I feel like a stuffy, pompous, fill in the blank when I brag. But today, I feel different. Today I want to brag about my ability to control my emotions. And I want to tell you why controlling your emotions is one of the smartest things you can ever do for yourself.
When we become overwhelmed with emotion, for some reason most of us feel the world needs to know that an injustice has been done to us. If we’re mad at someone, we have to tell them what a jerk they are. If someone has hurt our feelings, they must know how they have bruised us.
Why does anyone have to know what we are feeling? When someone treats us wrong or does something we disagree with, it is our perception of what has happened that hurts us. We react so quickly to the perceived pain or hurt that we do not give ourselves time to understand it and look at it for whatever it is.
Feelings Aren’t Facts
A friend of mine was going through a break up about a year ago. She told me how she felt abandoned and how her ex boyfriend was a jerk for leaving her and blah blah blah. Like dice from a cup, the words, “Feelings aren’t facts and facts aren’t feelings” spilled out of my mouth.
You can’t change the facts, but you can change the way you react to the facts. Dr. Phil said, “change the way you think and you’ll change the way you feel.”
Look up at a wall in whatever room you are sitting in. That wall is there. That is a fact. How you feel about that wall being there does not change the fact that the wall is there. You can feel angry about the wall being there which hurts you, but how you feel does not change the fact that the wall is still there.
Only We Have Control Over Our Emotions
When someone hurts us or something happens that brings us pain, we have the power to control our emotions. Of course we do not let others walk all over us. In the book, “You Can’t Make Me Angry”, Paul O. says, “-we get on with our lives. We don’t sit around letting the situation decide our emotional state.”
People wind up sitting around brooding over injustices and how they were pained by others actions. Worse still, some of these people hold it in until the tiniest situation arises and then they are screaming and throwing things with no justification. What kind of solution is that?
Sometimes we really just need to get the feelings out. It is healthy to get all that bad stuff out. If you feel like you need a physical release, punch your pillow or go to the driving range. If you belong to a gym, find the heavy bag and beat it to a pulp. Never put your hands on another human being or any other living creature.
We have to get on with our lives. We have to learn to say, “I have a choice today. I can choose to stay angry and ruin my day. Or, I can choose to let it go, if only for a while, and come back to it later.”
The bottom line is when we are dealing with emotions we have to rule them. We cannot let our emotions rule us. We are the creator and destroyer of our emotions.