“You have to train your mind to be stronger than your emotions, or else you will lose, every single time.”
If there’s anything that I’ve learnt in my few years on this earth, it’s that life is unfair. Bad things will happen to you and people will treat you badly. You will go through extremely low lows, and you’ll have to survive through every single one of them. That’s just how it is. If you are affected by every small thing and allow it to get to you, it really will get to you. This is why you must learn to train your mind to see the bigger picture, think with your mind and not with your heart.
‘Here’s something that’s weird but true: we don’t actually know what a positive or negative experience is. Some of the most difficult and stressful moments of our lives also end up being the most formative and motivating. Some of the most gratifying experiences of our lives are also the most distracting and demotivating. Don’t trust your conception of positive/negative experiences. All that we know for certain is what hurts in the moment and what doesn’t, and that’s not worth much!” Mark Manson in The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck.
I have a theory that men manage their emotions much better than women. Having two brothers, I have experienced this first hand. There were times when we all did something wrong and when we were yelled at, I would cry for hours. My brothers, on the other hand, went on with their lives as though everything was normal. They would be happily playing video games while I was still crying. I’ve always been extremely emotional. It’s something that I’m trying to work on, but for the longest time I would be affected by words and harsh language, so much to the point that if anyone did me dirty I would isolate myself and cry. However, growing up has taught me that not everyone is kind and not everyone will treat me right. The realization that the way people treat you has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them will allow you to let things pass. You need to have a tough skin if you are to survive in this cold cruel world.
Here are a few ways to manage your emotions,
- Learn to be proactive and not reactive
I learnt this lesson from Steve Covey’s book, The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People. He says that people spend a lot of time reacting to what has been said or done to them and forget what needs to be done. For example, if your boss is yelling at you because something went wrong in the workplace, redirect your energy. Understand what needs to be done and do it. Don’t spend too much of your time dwelling on the harshness of his tone or how loud he spoke or how embarrassed you were. Take time to fix things and make them right. That way, by the time you are done you won’t be as angry, and your boss might even end up commending you for your crisis management skills. Manage your emotions, before they manage you. If you let them manage you, you will be the loser every single time.
- Do not give in to negative thinking
I am a victim of overthinking, and I’m pretty sure that there’s thousands of people out there who suffer from the same. The problem is that overthinking is almost always in a negative light. The trick to turning this situation around is to monitor your thoughts. Always make sure that your subconscious is creating positive thoughts and ideas. Eventually, your mind will do this naturally.
I know of someone who is ever complaining or yelling at people. Her energy is just off. The problem is that the more you train your mind to be negative, the more it will be. The law of attraction states that when you think negative thoughts, you create negative opportunities. Learn to see the best situation in everything, and you will see the benefits in the long run.
If you had 86,400 shillings and you lost 60 shillings, you would not throw away all the money. In the same light, you have 86,400 seconds in one day, don’t let 60 bad seconds lead you into thinking that it’s a bad day. Learn to see the bigger picture.
One of the reasons why we don’t manage our emotions is because we are ungrateful. This ties in with positive thinking. If one bad thing happens to you, you almost forget all the blessings and opportunities that you have been granted, and that is where you go wrong.
Stop focusing on all the things that have gone wrong in your life. Even when your lecturer yells at you, be thankful for the opportunity to learn. When your boss yells at you, be thankful that you even have a job in the first place. Learn to be grateful, and you will be able to control your emotions and direct your energy in the correct direction.
- Acknowledge what you are feeling
The backwards law concept by Allan Watts states that the more you pursue feeling better all the time, the less satisfied you will be because you will only focus on what you lack. The desire for a more positive experience is, in fact, a negative experience. Paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is, in fact, a positive experience. If pursuing the positive is negative, then pursuing the negative is a positive.
Therefore, rather than run from what you’re feeling, learn to acknowledge its presence. In doing so you will know how to reverse the situation and turn it around for the better.
- Redirect your thoughts
If you focus on something too much you only make it worse. Think about it. Every time you’re crying or in a sour mood and someone asks what’s wrong, it’s like all the tears in you are summoned to come out and start pouring.
If you focus on the bad, the bad things multiply. This is one of the things that I learnt from the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. When you feel yourself being consumed by negative thoughts then you must learn to refocus on something else, something that is more productive.
Read about the Habits That Are Harmful To Your Brain