April 21, 2024

12 Steps To Help You Master Your Emotions And Live Fully

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Emotions can be tricky to understand. In this guide, we’ll discuss in depth nature of emotions and what you can do to master your emotions, live fully and enhance the quality of your life.

By understanding the mechanism behind emotions, you’ll be able to manage them more effectively as they arise. The first thing to understand is that emotions come and go.

One moment you feel happy, the next you feel sad. While you do have some control over your emotions, you must also recognize their unpredictable nature.

If you expect to be happy all the time, you set yourself up for failure. You then risk blaming yourself when you ‘fail’ to be happy, or even worse, beat yourself up for it.

To start taking control of your emotions you must accept they are transient.

You must learn to let them pass without feeling the need to identify strongly with them. You must allow yourself to feel sad without adding commentaries such as, “I shouldn’t be sad,” or “What’s wrong with me?”

Instead, you must allow reality to just be.

No matter how mentally tough you are, you’ll still experience sadness, grief or depression in your life—hopefully not at the same time, and not continually.

At times, you’ll feel disappointed, betrayed, insecure, resentful or ashamed. You’ll doubt yourself and doubt your ability to be the person you want to be.

But that’s okay because emotions come, but, more importantly, they go.

#1. Your negative emotions are not bad or useless.

You may blame yourself for experiencing negative emotions or, perhaps, you see yourself as mentally weak. You may even believe something is wrong with you.

However, despite what your inner voice may say, your emotions aren’t bad. Emotions are simply emotions. Nothing more.

As such, being depressed doesn’t make you less of a person than you were three weeks ago when you were happy. Feeling sad now doesn’t mean you’ll never be able to laugh again.

Remember this: the way you interpret emotions, as well as the blame game you engage in, creates suffering, not the emotions themselves.

In fact, negative emotions can actually be helpful.

Sometimes, you need to touch rock-bottom before you can reach the top. Even the toughest people on earth become depressed such is the power of emotions. 

Elon Musk never imagined he would have a mental breakdown, but he did and he bounced back.

After losing his fiancée, Abraham Lincoln was depressed for months. 

This tragic event didn’t prevent him from becoming president of the United States.

Negative emotions often serve a purpose. They may serve as a wake-up call. They may help you learn something positive about yourself.

Of course, when you’re under their spell, it may be difficult to look at the bright side of things, but in hindsight, you may realize emotions—even sad ones—had their role to play in your ultimate success.

#2. The positive role of negative emotions.

Your emotions are not here to make your life harder, but to tell you something.

But unless you learn to master your emotions, you wouldn’t grow.

Think of your negative emotions as the emotional equivalent of physical pain.

While you hate being in pain, if you didn’t have pain, chances are you would be dead by now.

Physical pain sends a powerful signal that something is wrong, nudging you to take action of some kind. It could be to consult your doctor, which may lead you to undergo surgery, change your diet, or increase exercise.

Without physical pain, you wouldn’t do any of these things and your situation would worsen, potentially leading to a premature death.

Emotions work the same way. They signal you to do something about your current situation.

Perhaps, you need to let go of some people, quit your job, or remove a disempowering story that creates suffering in your life.

#3. The fleeting nature of emotions.

No matter how depressed you are, how much grief you’re experiencing, or how horrible you feel at a given point in time, this shall pass. Look at some of the negative emotions you experienced in the past.

Remember the worse times in your life. During these most difficult periods, you were probably so caught up in your emotions you imagined never being able to escape them. You couldn’t imagine being happy again

But even these episodes ended. Eventually, the clouds dissipated and the real you shone again.

Your emotions come and they go. Your depression will go, your sadness will vanish and your anger will fade away. Bear in mind, if you experience the same emotions repeatedly, it probably means you hold disempowering beliefs and need to embrace new positive change in your life.

We’ll discuss how to master your emotions in later paragraphs. If you suffer from severe, chronic depression, it might be a good idea to consult a specialist.

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#4. The evil power of emotions.

eckhart-tolle

Eckhart Tolle

—Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now.

An emotion usually represents an amplified energized thought pattern, and because of its often-overpowering energetic charges, it is not easy initially to stay present enough to be able to watch it. It wants to take you over, and it usually succeeds—unless there is enough presence in you.

Negative emotions are like a spell. While you’re under their influence, breaking free from them seems impossible.

You may know dwelling on the same thoughts is pointless, yet you can’t help but go along with the flow.

Feeling an intense pull, you keep identifying with your thoughts and, as a result, feel worse and worse. When this happens, no rational argument seems to work. The more these emotions fit your personal story, the stronger the pull becomes.

For instance, if you believe you aren’t good enough, you may experience negative emotions such as guilt or shame each time you judge what you do is ‘not good enough.’ Because you’ve experienced these emotions so many times before, they have become an automatic response.

#5. How To Master Your Emotions With Positivity.

Your emotional state can drastically affect your outlook on life, leading you to act and behave differently. When you’re in a positive state, you have more energy available. This gives you:

  • More confidence in everything you do.
  • An openness to consider new actions that could improve your life.
  • The ability to leave or break out of your comfort zone.
  • More emotional room to persevere during tough times.
  • Better ideas and enhanced creativity, and
  • Easy access to positive emotions within the same emotional range.

When you’re in a negative state of mind, you have less energy available, giving you:

  • A lack of confidence that affects everything you do.
  • A lack of motivation that reduces the scope of actions you’re willing to take.
  • A reluctance to take on new challenges and leave your comfort zone.
  • A reduced ability to persevere in face of setbacks, and
  • A propensity to attract negative thoughts within the same emotional range.

#6. Example of Positive Emotions And Negative Emotions.

Let’s have a look at a real example to help you master your emotions.

Let me share with you a real example from my own life. Both cases happened under the same external conditions. The only difference was my emotional state at the time.

Case 1 - Feeling excited about my online business:

  • More confidence in everything I do: I feel as though my ideas are good. I’m excited to work on my books and eager to write articles. I am open to sharing my work and promoting it. 
  • An openness to consider new courses of action: I am open to new ideas or to work on a new project. I can think of ways to collaborate with other authors and keep writing engaging and quality articles for my audience.
  • The ability to get out of my comfort zone: It becomes easier for me to push myself beyond my comfort zone. I may contact people I don’t know, or run ‘Facebook Lives’ for instance.
  • More emotional room to persevere: I stick to my projects even when I lack motivation.
  • Better ideas and enhanced creativity: I am open to new ideas. I might come up with new ideas for books, articles or other creative projects.
  • Easy access to more positive emotions: I attract more positive emotions. At the same time, my mind rejects negative thoughts more easily, by refusing to identify with them.

Case 2 - Feeling mildly depressed due to my lack of results:

  • A lack of confidence: I start doubting myself and all the projects I’m currently working on. Suddenly, everything I do becomes useless or ‘not good enough.’ Thoughts like, “What’s the point?”, “I’m not going to make it,” or “I’m stupid,” cross my mind. Needless to say, promoting myself becomes a major challenge because of my negative self-talk.
  • A lack of motivation: I don’t feel like doing anything. I’m attacked by, and am unable to escape, negative thoughts. I have the same negative thoughts again and again, which repeat like a broken record. They seem so real and taint all my experiences.
  • A difficulty to take on new challenges: I have little energy left over to leave my comfort and undertake challenging projects.
  • A reduced ability to persevere: I have difficulty finishing tasks and I procrastinate over tasks I ‘should’ be working on.
  • A propensity to attract negative thoughts: I attract more and more negative thoughts. Although these thoughts may have been crossing my mind before, now they stick fast. By identifying with these thoughts, I generate more negative emotions.

Both cases happened only a few days apart. The external environment was the exact same, but my emotional state was radically different and led me to take different actions.

#7. The magnetic power of emotions.

Your emotions act like magnets. They attract thoughts on the same ‘wave.’ That’s why, when you’re in a negative state, you easily attract other negative thoughts, and by latching onto these thoughts you make the situation worse.

As Eckhart Tolle wrote in The Power of Now:

eckhart-tolle

Eckhart Tolle

—Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now.

Often, a vicious circle builds up between your thinking and the emotion: they feed each other. The thought pattern creates a magnified reflection of itself in the form of an emotion, and the vibrational frequency of the emotion keeps feeding the original thought pattern.

Now, let’s see what you can do to break free from that magnetic power.

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#8. Breaking the magnetic power of emotions.

Let’s say you have a bad day at work and you’re in a terrible mood. The negative state you’re in causes you to attract more negative thoughts.

Suddenly, you fixate on the fact you’re still single at thirty and start beating yourself up over it.

Then, you blame yourself for being overweight.

You also remember you have to go to the office the following Saturday which reminds you how much your job sucks.

Do you see how much easier it is to attract negative thoughts when you’re feeling low?

To prevent this from happening, it is essential you remove the habit of clustering negative thoughts together.

==> Real life example on how to master your emotions:

I have knee problems, which prevents me from practicing many sports. Since I’ve always loved sports, these injuries have been a source of emotional pain.

Fortunately, I seldom feel pain in my knees, but when I do, it can trigger negative emotions.

One day, as I was observing my thought process—we all have different hobbies, haven’t we—I realized experiencing pain in my knees negatively affected my mood, triggering more negative emotions in a negative feedback loop.

The pain would cause me to focus on all the things that were going wrong, from my work to my personal life.

As a result, I would experience negative emotions for hours, or even days.

The point I’m making is, no matter how great your life is, if you spend most of your time focusing on your problems, you’ll become depressed.

Thus, to reduce negative emotions, you must learn to compartmentalize your issues.

Don’t let your mind over-dramatize things by clustering unrelated issues. It will only make you feel worse.

Instead, remember that negative emotions exist only in your mind.

Taken separately, most of your issues aren’t such a big deal, and there is no rule that says you have to solve them all at once.

Start noticing how you feel. Record your negative emotions. Look at what triggers them. The more you do this, the more you will uncover certain patterns and overtime you'll be able to master your emotions. 

For example, let’s say you felt sad for a couple of days, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What triggered my emotions?
  • What fueled them over the two-day period?
  • What story was I telling myself?
  • How and why did I get out of my slump?
  • What can I learn from this episode?

Answering these questions will be invaluable and will greatly help you to master your emotions and deal with similar issues in the future.

#9. Your emotional accessibility.

We previously saw you attract thoughts that matched your emotional state. The opposite is also true. You can’t attract thoughts that are out of sync with how you feel at any given time.

Even if you tried to think positive thoughts, your mind wouldn’t be receptive to them.

This is why during periods of sadness, while positive thoughts may cross your mind from time to time, you won’t be able to associate with them and you won’t be able to master your emotions or change your emotional state.

#10. Your emotional set point.

Have you ever been told to cheer up when you were grieving, or express gratitude when you were depressed? Did it help? It probably didn’t.

This is because the emotional state you were in didn’t allow you access to these emotions.

In their book, Ask and It is Given, Ester and Jerry Hicks offer a model to explain how emotional ranges are connected and how we can move up the ladder from negative, to more positive emotions.

For instance, in this model, depression or hopelessness is at the bottom of the ladder followed by anger.

What it means is that when you feel depressed, signs of anger indicate you’re climbing the emotional ladder. This makes sense. When you’re angry you have more energy than when you’re depressed, right?

Recently, after being depressed for a while, I experienced feelings of anger.

For some reason, I got tired of the stories and excuses running through my mind, and I used the anger as a fuel to complete the tasks I had been avoiding.

As a result, I was able to create momentum and climb the emotional ladder.

Whenever you experience negative emotions, watch for emotions that give you more energy.

So-called negative emotions like anger can help you overcome even more disempowering emotions, like hopelessness.

Only you know how you feel. Therefore, if anger feels better, accept it.

#11. Emotions and mental suffering.

Did you know you create a lot of unnecessary pain in your life? Each time you lock on to a thought, or hold onto an emotion, you suffer.

A great example of this is how you react to physical pain. Whenever you feel pain, your first reaction is to interpret it. When you do so, you generate negative thoughts.

Your identification with these thoughts is what creates mental suffering.

Below are some of the thoughts that may cross your mind in these situations:

  • What if this pain never goes away? 
  • What if I can’t do X, Y, Z anymore because of the pain?
  • What if it gets worse?
  • What if I need to undergo surgery?
  • What if I can’t go to work? I have an important project I must finish on time
  • With this pain, today’s going to be challenging I don’t have money.
  • How will I pay hospital bills if things get worse?

This internal dialogue creates suffering but does nothing to help solve the problem.

You can still function properly and take appropriate actions without dwelling on any of the above worries. Negative emotions are not the problem, the mental suffering you create out of these emotions is. 

Another example of mental suffering is procrastination.

Have you ever delayed starting a task for days or weeks just to realize it wasn’t a big deal once you’d completed it? I have.

What was the most exhausting part, the task itself, or the time you spent worrying about it?

Or perhaps you didn’t sleep long enough and keep telling yourself today’s going to be a rough day.

As you imagine all the tasks you need to do, you already feel exhausted.

Psychologists have shown that mental suffering is what consumes most of your energy.

After all, sitting at a desk all day shouldn’t be that tiring, yet many of us feel exhausted at the end of the day.

In his classic book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie wrote the following:

Dale-Carnegie

Dale Carnegie

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

One of America’s most distinguished psychiatrists, Dr. A. A. Brill, goes even further. He declares, “One hundred percent of the fatigue of the sedentary worker in good health is due to psychological factors, by which we mean emotional factors.

People inflict a tremendous amount of suffering on themselves. As you continue reading this guide, you’ll realize the idiocy of this activity.

You’ll notice people around you dwelling on a past they cannot alter. You’ll see your family members and friends worrying about a future they cannot predict.

You’ll witness people having the same repeated thoughts, running in circles to fight a problem that exists only in their mind.

For thousands of years, mystics have told us that problems are in our mind.

They have repeatedly invited us to look within. Yet, today, how many people are listening?

Too many of us are addicted to our problems.

Instead of letting go, we complain, we play the victim, we blame other people, or we discuss our problems without doing anything to solve them.

To reduce this mental suffering, we must refuse to interpret our emotions in a negative and disempowering way.

#12. Why problems don’t exist.

If we go one step further and look at reality in an objective way, we can say that problems don’t actually exist. Here is why:

  • What you don’t focus on doesn’t exist: A problem only exists when you give it your attention. From your mind’s perspective, what you don’t give any thought to doesn’t exist. Let’s take a hypothetical example. Imagine you lost your legs. If you accept that fact immediately and refuse to give it any thought, there will be no problem and thus, no mental suffering. You would simply be living in reality, (of course, that’s usually not what happens). 
  • A problem exists only in time: A problem can only exist in the past or in the future. And where do the past and future exist? In your mind. To acknowledge a problem, you must use your thoughts, and thoughts exist in time, not in the present moment.
  • A problem needs to be labeled as a problem to actually exist: A problem exists only when you interpret a situation as being a problem. Otherwise, there is no problem.

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Manish Yadav


My name is Manish Yadav and I’m the owner of the blog "Love Finds its Way". My advice does away with the manipulations and mind games recommended by magazines and the surface level advice of TV gurus… We’ll dive DEEP to you actionable steps you can use today. Over 900,000 men & women have transformed their lives, and I've been featured in Lifehack, Return of Kings, Menimprovement, Urban Dater, and so on...
...My only intention is to help you have all of achieve your dreams and desires and live a beautiful and prosperous life.
And we’re just getting started!

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