What if I told you that if you could master one skill, you could have rock hard abs, make more money, achieve your dreams, and have the most fulfilling relationships you’ve ever had? You’d probably want to know what it was. In this article, I’m going to teach it to you. But first, we need to talk about what’s standing in your way.
Are Your Emotions The Boss Of You?
What has the power to make you eat an entire pint of Ben and Jerry’s, waste an hour of your life scrolling through Instagram every night, make you second-guess yourself, and yell at your partner when you’ve had an awful day?
It’s your emotions. As much as we don’t like to admit it, for most of us, our emotions are actually in the driver’s seat of our lives, completely controlling where we go.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. In this article, you will learn how to become the boss of your emotions so you can reclaim your life and reach your full potential.
Emotional Intelligence Is A Skill That Needs To Be Learned
If you’re not in control of your emotions (yet), it’s okay! I’ve been there too. Emotional intelligence is a skill that needs to be learned. I’ve learned how to do this because I’ve studied this and taught it to a bunch of people as a psychotherapist, coach, mindfulness teacher, and personal development educator.
The truth is that unless we have role models, teachers, friends, and parents who model the best emotional behavior, we never learn how to handle emotions and end up clueless. We learn that eating 5 cookies, vegging out on Netflix, and cursing out cars that cut us off is the best way to cope.
But this stuff sets you back, wastes your time, and burns up the energy you could be using for other things that matter to you.
Out Of 3 Ways To Handle Emotions, Only One Is Best
- Suppress, deny, or avoid: This is when you bottle up or run away from emotions. This never works long-term because you waste time running away (cue Netflix and takeout binges) and the emotions ALWAYS come back – sometimes stronger than before.
- Get overwhelmed and act out: This is when you act out your emotions, like snapping at your best friend or drinking your way into a hangover the next morning to put out the emotional fire. In this way, emotions run your life.
- Accept them as part of life: By accepting them, they’re less intense and pass more quickly. Actually, emotions are unavoidable and make life worth living, because they also include joy and love! (One of the things I teach my clients is that uncomfortable emotions are actually important messages from your body, and how to use them to your advantage!)
The Best Way To Handle Emotions
The best way to handle emotions is by accepting them. Emotions come and go quickly unless we inflate them with our thoughts, which is essentially like putting more logs on the emotional fire. If you can learn to accept them, you will become the boss of your emotions, instead of letting them become the boss of you.
How To Become The Boss Of Your Emotions In 3 Steps
- Recognize what emotion you are feeling and name it. Instead of saying “I’m angry,” recognize the emotion is impermanent and not “you.” Instead, say “I am experiencing anger right now.”
- Focus on where you feel the emotion in your body. Even though it’s uncomfortable, let it be just as it is. If you notice yourself tensing up, release the tension in your body as you breathe out. Don’t put more logs on the fire by launching into thoughts like “this is so unfair” or “it’s all her fault.” Think of the emotion as a cloud passing through the sky: there one minute, gone the next.
- Love yourself through it: treat yourself like a small child or animal who is upset. Say something kind to yourself, such as “it’s okay to be angry sometimes,” or “it must be difficult to feel this way right now.” Keep doing this until the emotion passes. Because being the boss of your emotions isn’t about bullying them into submission, it’s about relating to them with kindness.
This is one of the many things I teach people to do. If you liked this article, click the links in my bio to download my free guides so you can learn how to reach your highest potential and have sustainable success through inner harmony. (P.S., if you want me to make these 3 steps as a meditation you can take with you, just ask!)
*Special thanks to the wisdom of Tara Brach, Kristin Neff, and Susan David, whose teachings helped me write this article.