I wasn’t a very emotional person. I wouldn’t cry at movies or give spontaneous declarations of affection to my friends. I wouldn’t say when I was angry or sad or anxious. It just wasn’t my thing. My feelings were kept to myself, tightly sealed to be dealt with when I had the time.
I was 15. My mother took me to see the doctor about headaches I had been having (due to all the stuff I was keeping inside ). At some point, the doctor told me “You have to take care of yourself.” There was nothing profound about that statement but I broke down and cried for a good half hour. My mother was pretty sure I had lost my mind. I was pretty sure I had lost my mind as well because I had no idea why I was crying and I had no clue how to stop.
Since then I learned that there is an upside to emotion. Which is, emotion is fine as long as you can control it.
Here are 5 things that help me control my emotions.
1.Know that it’s okay to feel what you feel
Feeling angry, feeling lonely, feeling sad, feeling happy are all part of life and it’s fine if you’re feeling whatever you feel. It’s natural to have an emotional reaction to the things that happen in your life and anyone who says they don’t would be lying.
2. It’s healthy to express how you feel
Emotions like anger, fear and frustration when kept inside tend to mutate into horrendous things like rage,phobia and resentment, which make it hard for you to live your life. Even positive emotions like love, approval and gratefulness towards someone else, when kept to yourself can have a negative effect on your relationship with that person. So go ahead, say the words, write them down, put them in a song or poem. Just get them out, your mind was not meant to be a safe for your emotions.
3. You can have emotion without being overemotional.
I am sure we have all met that person who cries too much, laughs too much, worries too much, gets angry too quickly or is just too sensitive for their own good. Some of us are that person. We don’t have to blow our feelings out of proportion. There is nothing wrong with having emotion but there is something wrong with being overemotional. When we insist on being melodramatic about how you feel, it’s selfish because everyone is forced to pay attention to whatever tantrum, fit, rage or crocodile breakdown we’re going through. It’s a waste of time and no one likes being inconvenienced.
4. Know when it’s okay to talk about how you feel.
This is harder than it sounds. I know; I am the queen of inconvenient expression of emotions, thoughts and opinions. I am learning. though. It is important to know when to say how you feel especially if it is to a large group of people. It is never wise to rub a whole crowd the wrong way just because you were having feelings. Although, sometimes this is unavoidable and in this case you would just have to deal with the consequences. In such cases we just have to ask ourselves: ” Is saying how I really feel worth it and beneficial?”
5. Sometimes you need to get over yourself.
Once I was really angry with a friend of mine for nothing big, when I shared it with someone, the person looked at me in disbelief and said… “Well, that’s trivial” I never spoke of it again. We don’t always have to express what we feel or even act on what we feel. It’s also totally okay to suck it up and get over yourself because sometimes it’s never that serious.
I’m still not a very emotional person but now I know that what I feel matters and I’m learning when to do or say something about it and when to let it go.