Some human emotions can be intoxicating and detrimental to our wellbeing. When we are overcome with anger, it may feel good, like being high on a drug, and it can be addictive. On the other hand, our emotions can also be supportive, liberating and life-enhancing. The affect depends on which ones we choose to immerse ourselves in. I use the word “choose” because, even though it may not feel like we have a choice when we are overcome with a negative emotion, we do; we have the ability to make a conscious decision to embrace a life-enhancing, positive emotion instead.
I first started working on effective methods to manage my emotions quite a few years back. I remember a time, about 16 years ago, when my teenage stepson blew up and started yelling while we were standing in the kitchen. I don’t even recollect what we were arguing about, but I do remember that I allowed myself to get caught up in the argument, enabling him to take me down that road, rather than taking a few moments to center myself before responding and guiding us down a different path. I remember thinking how good it felt to be angry, even though I was not enjoying arguing with my stepson. It was stimulating, intoxicating, and frustrating at the same time!
Through experience I have found that the more I practice managing my emotions the easier it becomes to shift from a negative sensation like fear, to the positive emotion of love. I find that, for me, the key is not reacting immediately. First I give myself a moment or two to regain balance, because if I do not hesitate before acting I can easily get caught up in the emotion, enabling the other person to influence my reaction; when I let that happen it is much more difficult return to center and a positive state of mind.
For instance, during the episode with my stepson mentioned above, I could have hesitated and taken a few breaths, centering myself, before responding to his rant. I might have changed my countenance from a frown to a smile, looking at him, feeling love and appreciation for a few moments before talking. I know that sounds effortless, but it’s not that easy to do during a heated interaction.
Many of us feel like we have to reply immediately after another person says something – we don’t. In many ways silence during a moment or two of hesitation speaks much louder than anything we could say.
- Stop, Breathe & Center
- Feel something positive about the other person or situation
Below are some emotions to ponder.
Emotions that lower our vibration:
- Fear – Feeling fearful – aversion
- Anger – Hostility, ranging from mild irritation to intense fury and rage
- Jealousy – The perception that a valued relationship is being threatened by a rival
- Self-pity – Dwelling on one’s own sorrows or misfortunes
- Envy – Resentment of a perceived advantage enjoyed by another person(. )
- Frustration – A dissatisfaction from unresolved problems or unfulfilled needs
- Worry – Anxiousness over perceived present or future difficulties
- Apprehension – Being anxious or fearful about the future, uneasy, feeling off-center
Emotions that raise our vibration:
- Love – A strong affection
- Appreciation – Gratitude, thankful recognition, admiration
- Joy – Feelings of great happiness
- Hope – A feeling that something one desires is likely to happen
- Confidence – Belief in oneself, someone else, a cause or course of action – being certain about someone or something
- Gratitude – Being grateful, thankful, or appreciative about someone or something
- Trust – Firm belief in reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something
- Optimism – Expecting a favorable outcome
I find that it helps to practice on minor interactions with others. I’ve come a long way with managing my emotions, but as a human being I always need to be vigilant. I have noticed that by maintaining a high vibration (a positive state of mind) that I very rarely attract discordant interactions with others, and if they do occur the incident is minor.
Be joyful, embrace life and thrive!