facebook 5 Facts About Emotions to Help You Take Back Control of Y... - Vigyaa
Close

Delete Collection?

Are you sure you want to delete this collection permanently?

Close

Delete Collection?

Are you sure you want to delete this collection permanently?

Everyone has a Story to Tell and an Experience to Share!

Let’s Start Writing
96009157-fdf6-4e34-a207-0ea90714b78f

18824 views

5 Facts About Emotions to Help You Take Back Control of Your Life.

Most people have it backwards. They think they need to control their emotions to master their lives. The truth is that when you master your emotions, you gain control of your life. Here are some "facts" to help you master your emotions.

Two Important questions:

1. Do you, or someone you know, get angry and do things you later regret?

2. Do you, or someone you know, get anxious and avoid doing something you later wish you had done?

For many people, the answer to both of these questions is YES.

Because of how emotions work, it often feels like emotions such as anger and anxiety control us and cause us to act, or not to act, in ways we might later regret.

This can leave us with a sense that we are not in control of our lives.

The reality, however, is that we are in control of our lives and emotions help us maintain this control.

Here are 5 facts about emotions which will help you take back control of your life.

Fact #1: Emotions are Tools you can learn to master.

If you have ever purchased a new “smart” tool such as a computer, cell phone, TV, car, or sewing machine, you know that these “tools” often involve a learning curve. For example, if you want to get the most out of your new phone, you will need to acquire some new skills.

Mastering your new tools greatly enhance their usefulness.

Mastering your emotions as tools could make your life more meaningful, improve your relationships, and give you back control over situations in which you find yourself.

By the way, the words emotions and feelings are basically the same (unless you are a scientist doing a study or writing technical books) and the words can be used interchangeably.

Fact#2: Your emotions alert you to and prepare you to effectively interact with your surroundings.

Most people believe that their feelings both control and happen to them. While this is partially true, it is also misleading.

Indeed, there is a subconscious element of emotions which you do not control. However, there is also a conscious element which gives you a great deal of control.

Here is how the emotional process works.

The subconscious element:

All of us constantly scan our surroundings for threat. This process is hard-wired in us and helped us survive as a species when our early ancestors lived in caves.

This subconscious element functions the same today as it did millennia ago.

When you perceive a threat (physical or psychological), your brain sends a message to the Thalamus which puts your body on alert. This is called fight or flight. It is your initial reaction to an emotional situation.

The conscious element:

At the same time, the thinking part of your brain gets a wake-up call to begin the process of thinking about the threat you have subconsciously noticed. This element of emotions allows you to assess your situation and empowers you to decide how you will react. This choice helps you improve both your own life and your relationships with others.

The process of assessing your situation and choosing a response is called emotional mastery.

You don’t control your initial reaction but you can learn to master your response to the perceived threat.

Fact #3: Each emotion informs you about how you perceive your surroundings. You can use this information to choose how you will respond to what happens to you.

5 Facts About Emotions to Help You Take Back Control of Your Life.

Two examples of “information” and choice:

1) your gas gauge informs you about the fuel in your tank so you can decide whether you need to stop and fill up

2) a thermometer tells you how your body is reacting to an internal “disease” process so you can decide whether you need to consult a doctor, your emotions tell you how you perceive what is happening to you and allow you to decide what you might need to do about it.

Each emotion communicates to you a different message based on your initial reaction to an event.

Here are the messages of the some basic emotions.

Anger: You perceive a threat that you believe you can eliminate if you throw enough force at it.

Anger (or mad) prepares you for battle.

Sad: You are facing a loss which may require you to step back, wind down and come to grips with an altered future.

Sadness prepares you for reflection.

Glad: You are facing a situation which looks encouraging and which you want more of.

Glad (or happy) prepares you to engage and increase your level of involvement.

Fear: You are facing a situation which will kill you.

Fear prepares you to escape.

Disgust: You are facing a situation which “leaves a bad taste” in your mouth.

You are prepared to get away from this bad situation, person, or object.

Surprise: You are facing a situation which is different from what you expected. If the surprise is pleasant as in winning the office pool, you may want more of what is going on. If the surprise is unpleasant as in your car not starting, you might wish the incident had never taken place.

Anxiety: You are facing an uncertain future. Another word for anxiety is worry. Anxiety is not the same as fear although people use the words interchangeably.

Anxiety can lead to action or inaction.

The issue with anxiety is that the future MAY or MAY Not take place. If you act as if the future will definitely occur and will result in negative consequences, you may do nothing or avoid that about which you are worried. This is anxiety as distress. On the other hand, if you, like my students, use the energy of your anxiety to prepare yourself for your future, then you will take effective action to prevent the future about which you are worried. This is anxiety as eustress. These are the two sides of anxiety: same emotion, different interpretations and different responses.

Fact#4: Mastering your emotions gives you more control over your own life as well as increased influence in your interactions with others.

Definition of emotional mastery: You master an emotion when you understand its message, take a moment to assess the validity of the message as it reflects upon what is actually happening, and choose a response that adaptively deals with the situation you are facing

Mastery and self-control: When you use your emotions as tools, you are now in a position to effectively respond to your surroundings. You are in control of you and you can choose responses which improve your life by effectively moving you forward toward and motivating you regarding goals that you set.

Mastery and interpersonal influence: You can master the emotions of others and deescalate an interaction by observing emotions in others, understanding how they perceive what is going on (the message of the emotion) and choosing a response which validates (does not approve) their perception and helps them to reevaluate their interactions with you.

Fact#5: There are a ton of free resources to help you learn about and master your emotions.

My blogcovers all aspects of emotions. To help you access over 100 posts by topic, I have included a tab in the top right hand corner of my homepage which will take you to a PDF of my posts by 5 topic areas: Using Emotions as Tools, Anger, Other Emotions, Relationships and Emotions, and Words and Emotion. You can also download the first two chapters of both of my Amazon Best Selling Books.

About the author:

Ed Daube, Ph.D. is an Amazon best-selling author of two books:


He retired after 32 years with the California Youth Authority, is a college professor and hosts an informative blog (TheEmotionsDoctor.com) which educates readers about their emotions and other relevant psychological topics.



Related Articles

America, today, is portrayed as a divided society. In the news, we read “hate” groups and “hate” crimes on a regular basis.

So, let’s look at the emotion of hate.

The Emotions as Tools Model notes that each emotion informs you about how you perceive your surroundings. This is the message of the emotion. I discuss the Emotions as Tools Model in my book Emotions as Tools: Control Your Life not Your Feelings.

The message of hate is that you perceive a situation or person as extremely negative, or even demonic. Hate is a very strong emotion that is usually reserved for people whose actions you view as totally unacceptable, evil, or reprehensible. Presumably, you would want nothing to do with this person because he, she, or it is extremely toxic, negative or hurtful.

Logically, you’d think that your emotional reaction to hate would be to cut ties with or avoid the person or situation you view with such disdain. This is not, however, what frequently happens.

I need to say something about how we use the word “hate”.

While we may say “I hate Brussels sprouts.”, the word “hate” is the same as used in the word “hate” crime but the intent expressed is different. To be accurate here, while you might say that you “hate” Brussels sprouts, in reality, you just dislike them. If you really do not like Brussels sprouts, you wouldn’t order them in a restaurant.

And, while you might dislike them a whole lot, you probably are not emotionally attached to them.

With the emotion of hate, however, what you tend to do emotionally is exactly the opposite of what you would expect. Instead of moving away from the object of your hate, emotionally, you bind yourself to the person or situation just as powerfully as if you were in love with them.

Let me show you what I mean.

Imagine that you are facing a person and you are firmly holding both of their hands in yours. Everywhere they go, you go. And vice versa.

Think of this as love. You are emotionally connected to the person you love and they are with you all the time.

Now, let’s look at hate. You can visualize the emotion of hate by standing back to back with your partner and then firmly taking both of their hands in yours. As you can see, you are now opposite them in the sense that many people consider hate to be the opposite of love.

But, and this is the important part, you are just as securely connected to them as you are with love. Where they go, you go. And, they are with you all the time.

If you truly hate someone, you will realize that you can be consumed by your hate. Just as you can be consumed by your love.

This may be okay with love. It isn’t okay with hate.

When you truly hate someone, you might find yourself engaging more deeply with them perhaps to get revenge on or to hurt them in some way. When this happens, you are most likely also experiencing anger. The message of anger is that you perceive a threat to your values or sense of right and wrong and you believe you can “eliminate” the threat by throwing enough force at it. Hence, you are motivated to take forceful action against the person (or people) you perceive as a threat.

To mix anger and hate together can be very dangerous. The hate emotionally binds you to the person (or object of your hate) and the anger emotionally energizes you to take destructive action. Under these circumstances, logic and thinking about consequences often get eliminated. Think about hate groups, hate crimes, extreme discrimination, and so forth.

This is why you might want to avoid hating another person.

“Huh”, you say, “what does that mean?”

Well, as I said above, hate is a very strong emotion. When you are under the influence of hate, you tend not to take the next step in mastering an emotion which is to assess the validity of the message the emotion is communicating to you. Thus, with hate, you should assess both whether the object of your hate is, indeed, demonic AND whether the actions you are about to engage in (moving toward rather than away from that which you hate) will, improve the situation in which you find yourself.

So, what are your options?

If someone or something is, indeed, terrible, reprehensible, or demonic, you can decide to feel disgust toward them. The message of disgust is that you need to avoid or dispel the disgusting object. Think of Brussels sprouts as disgusting. If you find the actions of this despicable person as reprehensible and as a threat to your values or safety, you can use the energy of your valid anger to develop and execute a plan to neutralize this individual. You are now engaged with, but not necessarily irrevocably emotionally bound to, the person or situation.

I discuss anger and the anger cycle in depth both in my book Beyond Anger Management: Master Your Anger as a Strategic Tool.

For more information on mastering different emotions, click on over to my blog TheEmotionsDoctor.com and check out the Index tab in the upper right hand corner of the home page. This will give you a listing of all of my posts by category, title and date.

All of us are concerned about feelings, mainly our own. Sad to say, we give little thought to other people and their feelings and, as I said, we are rather egregiously and absolutely concerned with our own typical human self-involvement and egotism. This little essay will concern itself with analyzing feelings.

The first thing that must be said is that feelings are very inexact indicators of truth. Our feelings may be affected when someone chooses not to talk to us, or declines, or is indifferent to that issue. In reality, that person may be simply living their life without reference to our feelings at all, or to ourselves at all. We interpret their indifference or lack of attention to us as a stab at our feelings and personhood, At times, our feelings are affected when someone speaks to us in what we perceive as an overly harsh, cutting, and mean spirited fashion. That may be the way that person speaks to everyone and that particular behavior may be and is not directed to us or our feelings.

Thus as we see by these examples our feelings interpret things and twist them, misleading us, and so it may be said that feelings are not very exact indicators of truth. Second, in the present state of society, feelings do not occupy a very great role. An example would be the ideal of romantic love, which governed western culture for some 1900 years up to the present time when lust has taken over. lf we chance to view the movies or listen to the Broadway shows of the 1930s and 1940s, we see romantic love featured men and women approach each other gingerly and barely touch.

At that time in society, love was paramount, not lust. The films of that era depicted men and women as falling in love and getting married. The films of today portray them as jumping into bed, to wit the James Bond films. The popular music of our day is crude and its lyrics at times offensive, featuring animal passion as opposed to the love songs of South Pacific, one of the great Broadway shows of the 1940s, including "Some Enchanted Evening". If we have not grown up from love, we perhaps have grown away from it and so feelings are nulled and hidden and not really featured.

The delicacy of romantic love and the love songs of the Broadway stage have been overcome by crude, loud, blaring cacophony, featuring grotesquely offensive lyrics.

One may speculate that the reason for this is the decline of the Christian worldview which promoted love leading to marriage. That worldview has been slowly eroded and in some cases eliminated depending on who you are talking to.

A final point in this little literary byway about feelings is that feelings and emotions differ between child and adult. The child is concerned, if not twisted and obsessed with, his own feelings and being loved or better put being the recipient of love from his parents, teachers and other adults that he or she looks up to. Adult feelings are different. Compassion, kindness, and charity are adult emotions and feelings. They

concern themselves not with the feelings of our persons in our self but concern consideration and humanity as respects others. Only a mature adult can realize and express these feelings. What then can we say of feelings? What with cell phones, emails, computers DVDs, television, and movies feelings and relationships are distant and removed and so love is distant and removed. This is another reason why feelings are on the decline in our present society. We are more and more separated by technology and electronics and the opportunity to form giving, concerned, compassionate humanitarian relationships is becoming and has become more and more difficult if not unreachable.

One may hope that human relationships will make a comeback from the forces of darkness that assault us men and women A world without feelings between persons is a gray, boring world and is unforgiving and without growth and dynamism. One may hope that there will be a return to the romantic humanitarian ideal, which is the only way to true growth.

A number of months ago, I heard someone say that they couldn’t live without their partner. Now, this wasn’t because this person was disabled and therefore, needed this person in order to be able to handle life.

No, this was someone who was perfectly capable of handling life by themselves. However, although this was the case, this person created the impression that they needed their partner.

A Deeper Look

Based on what they came out with, it could be said that their survival was attached to their partner. So even though they were a capable human being, a big part of them didn’t feel that way.

It then didn’t matter how healthy their physical body was or how developed their intellect was, as their emotional self was undermining them. This part of them cancelled out the other parts of them.

Emotionally Undeveloped

At an emotional level, there is a strong chance that they felt like a needy child; not a strong adult who could support themselves. Their physical age was then radically different to their emotional age.

Ultimately, they were not emotionally interdependent; they were emotionally dependent. As a result of this, they may have had the tendency to neglect their own needs and to do what they could to fulfil their partner’s needs.

The Priority

Experiencing life in this is unlikely to have been very fulfilling for them, but it likely to have been something that just happened. Neglecting their own needs would have been seen as a being better than the alternative – being abandoned.

Even if they were not aware of this fear, it would still have had a lot of control over their life. To the emotional part of their being, being left would have been seen as something that would bring their life to an end.

Two Parts

Along with this, they may have believed that there was something inherently wrong with them. Consequently, this would have caused them to believe that their needs were not important, and it would have been seen as the reason why another person would leave them.

Hiding who they are and doing what they can to please their partner is going to be vital. The question is: why would someone not feel comfortable in their own skin and have a fear of being abandoned?

Early Years

What this may show is that their formative years were a time when they didn’t receive the right care. Perhaps this was a time when they were neglected and abused, which would have stopped them from being able to develop in the right way.

Instead of going through the developmental stages, they would have stayed in a dependent state. Not only this, the shame that they experienced would have disconnected them from their inherent worth.

Final Thoughts

If someone can relate to this, and they want to emotionally grow up, they may need to reach out for external support. This can take place with the assistance of a therapist or a healer.

​With external support, one can start to work through their inner wounds, and by doing this they can become a more integrated human being. This is likely to be something that takes patience and persistence. 

Reference Image
Close