I am, admittedly, a very emotional person. I can make more faces in a single conversation than the entire emoji keyboard. For the most part, it’s something that makes me a decent person to hang around (so I’ve heard). It helps me to express myself fully, love people deeply, and write both intuitively and genuinely.
But managing all my emotions. Oh Dear God. That can be somewhat of a bitch.
The bad stuff, like hurt or anger, gone unchecked, can bury itself in my psyche for months. And any mistake I make, either large or small, can spark a crash to the system, indefinitely. And if you piss me off in just the right way, I’ll shut it all down and you won’t even know me anymore.
Worth The Effort
But that’s the thing about emotions—given too much credit, good or bad, they can greatly exaggerate a situation. One good kiss does not a future boyfriend make, nor does one shitty mistake define your entire career. And because emotions create thoughts and thoughts create your future, to really have the lives we want, it’s important that we keep all our emotions in some sort of healthy check.
Luckily, just like you can choose to binge watch a Kardashian season or not, you can also decide whether to let an emotion simply exist or make it your North Star. Because that is the power you have in every situation. You can always choose how an emotion affects you, for how long it will affect you and what you are going to do about it. And if you practice the three tips below (and I mean really, really practice them), you might be able to find a way to let your emotions both exist and guide you at the same time.
1. See Things Exactly As They Are
I mean exactly as they are. Not how you want them to be or how you think they can be. If your lover drinks espresso every single night after dinner, that is their THING. Don’t be under any illusions about changing that part of them—it could happen, but probably not without some resentment towards you. However, when you settle your emotions down and just focus on the reality of the situation, you can connect to the power you have to actually change it.
For instance, if you hate the smell of the lingering espresso breath crawling up your nostrils every night, but you know you don’t want to leave your partner over it, then you have the power to just accept it. Invest in breath mints and choose not to create a road block in your relationship. This doesn’t ACTUALLY have to be a problem for you. In the same light, if you see this as something you will never like, then you can reach an end to the situation with confidence. Let them blow their stank coffee breath in someone else’s face forever! And it no longer has to be a problem for you. When we don’t deal in facts, we just swim in the murk of our emotions and exhaust ourselves needlessly and make more problems. It’s a waste of time.
2. Put It on a Timeline
When a big emotion comes up and is sticking with you for some reason (good or bad), try asking yourself how long you want it to last. Again, this simple question puts the power back in your hands. If you added an extra mile to your workout and you are loving how accomplished you feel, then you can choose to do it again and again, every day, and feel that great all the time. Same if something bad happened. Decide how long you REALLY want to experience the emotions that came up, set that timeline and own it. Own how long you need to feel what you feel, and then own the responsibility of moving yourself forward. It can take a little bit of elbow grease, but it’s a job that no one else is qualified to do but you.
3. Take Full Responsibility for Your Actions
This is a big one. Often we don’t want to admit that how we got somewhere was our own doing. Like when your girlfriend can’t see that the reason he still cheats on her is because she honestly has decided to put up with it. However, if you come to terms with your power in your situation, i.e. you are too scared to leave your man, then you can begin to understand everything is happening because you have willed it to be so. You realize you are doing the best you can do with what you have at this moment in time. And when you’ve had enough and you want to change any of it, you know you will do just that. But if you never take responsibility for your involvement, you’ll never be able to identify your power in changing it.
Andrew Carnegie once famously said “A man who acquires the ability to take full possession of his own mind may take possession of anything else to which he is justly entitled.” And it’s kinda true. Keeping your head clear is the key to finding happiness in even the most mundane and darkest of situations. All you really have to do is remember you are in control of how it affects you, even if it doesn’t feel like it at all.
Cover Image Story source
A lion tamer at Bertram Mills Touring Circus, Ascot, famous for it’s Christmas shows at Olympia in West London. They were well known by all of London in the 1920s by both households and royalty alike. They even allowed orphans to see the show for free. You can read more about the legacy of Bertram Mills and how he transformed British Circus Theatre in his bio on Circopedia .