It’s human nature to feel negative emotions. However, the way we handle them can be a huge determinant of the quality of our lives. Handling them effectively will significantly reduce the amount of stress in your life. If you are unable to do so problems will spiral out of control. In this article, I am listing 5 genius methods you can use to master your emotions.
Create a radical shift in your physiology.
Tony Robbins talks about this all the time. This is the most effective technique I know. So if you are feeling upset get up and go for a run, play a sport, do something that will radically shift your physiology and you’ll feel better instantly.
A radical shift in your physiology will cause hormones such as oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin to release. These hormones result in a better mood, stress reduction and prevent depression.
Name it to tame it
Dr. Dan Siegel, a neuro-psychiatrist and bestselling author, introduced this technique in his book.
In this technique, as soon as you feel emotional, you try to name the emotion your feeling.
For example, you can say “I am feeling sad”, “I am feeling depressed”, “I am feeling overwhelmed” etc. Notice the use of the phrase I am feeling instead of I am.
when you say I am feeling sad you are not only the experiencer of the emotion but also the observer of that emotion. This gives you a sense of control and helps you not to get caught up with the emotion and let it pass.
Count Backward to Master Your Emotions
This is a very popular technique for controlling anger, but it works for any emotion.
A very primitive part of our brain called the amygdala controls our emotions. The prefrontal cortex is the part of our brain that makes rational choices. It was developed later in the evolution.
When we are emotional, our primitive brain is in control. The moment you start counting back the primitive brain hands over the control to the rational part decreasing its strength enabling you to master your emotions.
There is a reason why you have to count backward and not forward. We have a lot of practice counting forward and we can do it without using much brain power.
However, counting backward uses more brain power, so it’s really difficult to be emotional and count backward at the same time.
Master Your Emotions by Taking slow Deep breaths
Sometimes when you are very sad or depressed or even lazy you can’t find the willpower to make a radical shift in your physiology. Going for a jog or playing a sport is unthinkable. This technique is very useful in such situations. You are going to be breathing anyway So why not take a deeper and a slower breath.
Taking these slow, deep breaths will increase the oxygen concentration in your blood. As a result, your brain will get more oxygen and you will be able to think better enabling you to find more rational solutions.
I have noticed that making your exhale a little slower than your inhale will help you relax even faster.
Think about the times when you felt extremely happy or elated.
This breaks your thinking pattern and gets you to think in a more positive direction. However, for this to work you have to think of a powerful emotion, not just simple happiness, but real elation.
Tony Robbins goes as far as to recommend you to close your eyes, go back to the past and re-experience a really great orgasm you had. Works like magic.