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Control emotions and always keep a cool head

Reading time 8 minutes
Control emotions and always keep a cool head

Hardly anything influences us as strongly as our emotions. Emotions have an enormous power that we are often not even aware of. Feelings of happiness let us float on cloud nine and nothing and no one can spoil our mood. We are completely happy and relaxed.

But then there's anger, sadness, fear, Disappointment and all their minions. They can really ruin our day and throw us completely off track. Right at a time like this, I'm sure you've wondered why you have to go through these stupid feelings in the first place. Can't you just push them aside?

Yes, as a matter of fact, you can. But it's not the best solution. Basically, you have a choice: Either you suppress your emotions or you learn to control them. Let's take a closer look at what exactly this is all about.

Control emotions or suppress them? Which is the better way and why?

It would be so nice if you could just turn off feelings sometimes, don't you think? Basically, this is possible, because we are all able to suppress emotions and to banish them completely from the "tangible". Sooner or later, however, this can become quite dangerous. Why? Because you eat them up inside yourself and don't work them out.

This may work for a short period of time, but in the long run, you're not doing yourself any favors. Suppressing emotions is a defense mechanism that we all use from time to time to protect ourselves. However, it's important to bring them back out and work through them. But if you stay in your old pattern and only eat more and more into yourself, you can expect a big breakthrough at some point - in the negative sense: Sooner or later the feelings will burst out of you like a fountain and overwhelm you.

All the repressed emotions flood you at once and dealing with this concentrated force is anything but easy. Psychological studies show that suppressing emotions can lead to aggressive and anxious behavior. So more and more emotions are added, which you then suppress again as well, and the bomb ticks faster and faster. All this can according to studies even have a negative effect on your health and cause high blood pressure, among other things.

Control vs. Suppression - Candidate 1 wins!

One thing is clear: controlling emotions is clearly the healthier option. You are no longer helplessly at their mercy, but you also don't close yourself off from them and become a block of ice. After all, our feelings are what make us human, aren't they? But what distinguishes controlling emotions from suppressing them?

Controlling emotions means allowing them to some extent. You become aware of your feelings, perceive them, and accept them as a part of you. But how intense you feel them and how long they last is up to you. In professional circles, this is called "emotion regulation".

Control or suppress emotions

How does this emotion control thing work?

You can control your emotions, at least up to a point - modern psychology is convinced of that. Why is that possible? Because you can specifically train and reshape the areas of your brain that are responsible for this control. Emotion regulation is an important self-control skill. Whenever emotional outbursts are simply not appropriate, for example because you are in an important meeting, you take the reins and can control your emotions.

But don't worry, that doesn't make you an emotionless robot. You simply decide for yourself which feelings you let get the better of you and which ones you don't. If it's just inappropriate, you give in to your emotions at another time and then reflect on them.

The so-called "ABC of feelings" is important here. The "A" stands for the situation in which you find yourself. The "B" marks how you evaluate it and the "C" the feeling that spreads through you. It is not only the situation that is responsible for your feelings. It is also how you classify what is happening that plays a very important role in this.

The Emotions ABC gives you the chance to intervene

"B", the evaluation of the situation, is the crucial point, because here you can intervene. How you evaluate a situation is entirely up to you. Let's make this more understandable with an example of emotional control. Imagine your partner is meeting friends at a bar in the evening and you are staying home. It's now past midnight and you still haven't received a reply to the message you sent over an hour ago - that's the situation.

Now it's up to you to evaluate it. Do you tell yourself that your better half is busy flirting with someone else, or do you assume that he or she is just having a good time with friends, engrossed in conversation, and simply didn't see your message? The version you choose will greatly affect the emotions that develop. Will it be anger, jealousy, and sadness, or will you remain completely calm because you know your loved one is faithful to you?

So the "ABC of emotions" is a very important tool for controlling your emotions. That sounds way too simple to be true? It is. But sometimes it's not that easy. As is often the case in life..: "Practice makes perfect." Because of course, older experiences that shape you to this day play a prominent role in this moment. But first, let's take a look at the benefits it all delivers to you.

The advantages of controlling emotions

Those who master controlling emotions are always able to stop emotional outbursts when the situation just doesn't allow them. Handy, isn't it? But that's not the only benefit you'll reap. Read for yourself!

1. you are less susceptible to stress and keep a cool head even in confusing situations.

2. you are more in control of your own actions, because it is easier for you, Make decisions rationally.

3. you can better control yourself in conflict discussions and do not say rash things that you may later regret.

4. your appearance becomes more self-confident, because you can also control fears in a certain way.

5. Du verlierst dich nicht mehr in negativen Emotionen und wirst gelassener und glücklicher.

Control emotions tips

8 helpful tips on how to control your emotions

Finally, it's time to get down to business. We'll show you how to keep your emotions in check, even if it's incredibly difficult for you right now.

1. be aware of your emotions

Give yourself over to your feelings for a short moment and feel what they do to you. Where do they arise? Do they give you a headache, an uneasy feeling in your stomach or do they perhaps even stab you in the heart? Only if you really notice emotions, you don't eat them up inside yourself. How long and how intensively you do this is up to you. Sometimes it helps to close your eyes for a short moment. Take three deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Say to yourself: Everything that is there, may be there!

2. you alone are responsible for your feelings

You decide about your emotions and no one else. It is entirely up to you how you evaluate a situation and what feelings result from it. And that's exactly why only you can bring your emotional world to rest.

So don't blame others involved in the situation for possible emotional outbursts, blame yourself first. You are the person who is in control. Analyzing the triggers is a different kettle of fish.

3. reflect on your thoughts

Take time to think about what thoughts were going through your mind before certain emotions occurred. It will certainly help you to review the situation. What was the situation that started it all? How did you evaluate it?

Since your thoughts have a special influence on your emotions, it is very revealing to look at them again in retrospect. In this way, you will gain important insights that will help you to better control your emotions next time. 

4. change your thoughts first, then your feelings

If thoughts influence feelings, it's only logical to start with the thoughts, right? After you've reflected on them and figured out what you could have done better, it's time to implement them. What you think is entirely up to you. With this you can transform every emotion, at least in parts.

A person has disappointed you? Of course, it's not nice, but try to put yourself in their position. What reasons did she have for acting the way she did? Would you even have done the same thing? Even if this doesn't make your disappointment completely disappear into thin air, it will turn into understanding, at least in parts. And what had you so enraged just a few minutes ago may slowly fizzle out.

5. focus on what is good for you

Imagine the following scenario. You go to the gym regularly and see other people who are fitter than you, and you let that drag you down. Why do you make it so easy for negative feelings? Take care of yourself. Stay with yourself, stay with your goals, and realize what you've already accomplished! Even the fittest of the fit started out like you did - and the thought is much more motivating, isn't it?

6. interrupt your inner monologue

We all know it, that inner voice that keeps reminding us of unpleasant situations and doesn't let us forget this morning's anger. How often do you go through all the reasons with it why you were justified in getting angry? By doing this, however, you are unnecessarily dragging out the emotion and putting yourself into a negative energy that blocks you. But if you manage to get rid of this to interrupt the inner monologue and look at your feelings more objectively, you've won.

7. just let go

Yes, it's easier said than done. But small breathing exercises can help you to symbolically push away excessive emotions. This also has an effect on your mind. So breathe deeply into your belly and consciously follow the path of your breath.

Visualize how it collects all the emotions you want to be more in control of as it moves through your body. Then exhale for as long as you can. With the air, all the turmoil in your body will leave you and your emotions will go down a bit.

8. become active

Exercise is always good for us, especially in the fresh air. Here you can let your thoughts run free, analyze your emotions and clear your head again. So, how about a walk through the city park again? Exercise has been shown to contribute to mental health, which in turn helps you to better process and control your emotions.

That may get in the way of controlling your emotions

You just don't want to succeed in controlling your emotions, no matter how hard you try? Maybe that's the problem: you're putting too much pressure on yourself. Take time to gradually gain control over your emotions. It won't happen overnight. The whole process is one in which you also learn a lot about yourself.

The insights you gain every day about yourself, your thoughts and the feelings they trigger will always move you forward. No one is born a professional, no matter what it's about, remember that. Pressure is not the way to go. Neither is habit, for that matter. You thought you had the hang of it at first, but over time you lose control again?

Habits and patterns are a good thing in themselves, because they keep you grounded and help you overcome challenges with flying colors. But you're evolving with each passing day, so your habits can use a little adjustment from time to time, or they'll get in the way. Our coaching training for example, helps you to make exactly these adjustments. 

You will learn helpful methods to get your emotions under better control, to define your goals exactly, to keep a cool head in conflict situations and much more. You will get to know yourself and your personality in a completely new way and will also be able to support others on their way. Our wish for you is that you experience clarity and peace in as many areas of life as possible in order to bring your vision into life!

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Reviewed by Dr. med. Stefan Frädrich

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