Do your emotions control you or do you control your emotions?
Do you know that we do things in order to change the way we feel? Think of eating that bar of chocolate or drinking that G&T – why are we doing it? Are we doing it to change the way we are feeling? Maybe to calm us down, to cheer us up or to make us feel better?
Sometimes we go shopping to reward ourselves or to cheer ourselves up. All the time that we self-medicate with our chosen ‘drug’ we are letting our emotions control us. But actually it’s our choice how we feel.
Happiness is a choice but so is anger frustration and many other emotions. Nothing and no one can make us feel anything. It is our choice how we feel.
Now, I guess you are all saying – ‘I’m not sure’, ‘yes, but’. ‘Yes but she made me really angry with what she said to me’. Actually, you choose to react with anger. I know it’s hard to believe and that is why there are workshops and study days especially designed to focus on these challenges.
There’s a fantastic (well if you are a child of the 60s you will think its fantastic!) song by Carole King
‘you’ve got to get up every morning
With a smile on your face’
Its one of the tracks of my years. If I get up grumpy then I’ll have a bad day and of course, if I do what Carole King says then the day will go well. Obviously, that is over simplified but the principles are correct.
Some people try to deal with negative emotions with avoidance. They don’t take risks so as to avoid possible rejection or failure. Some fill their time with work, or TV, or social media and saying that they are ‘really busy’ rather than face what they are feeling and deal with it. People say that its ‘really not too bad’ and deny what is happening until they are forced by circumstances to confront what is actually happening to them. Others become competitive with their problems trying to outdo others with their misery – ‘you think what is happening to you is bad? Wait until you hear what I’m going through’. A sort of ‘one up manship’ of misery!
If you constantly tell yourself that you can’t do something then you won’t be able to. If you persuade yourself that the weight is too heavy then you won’t be able to lift it. The flip side of this happened to me in a care home today during an exercise class. Several residents (average age 90) were doing floor exercises. They said that they didn’t know if they could do them (or even if they could get back up off the floor) but they all said that they would give it a try. They got onto the mats, did the exercises and got back up again – all of them. They said if we don’t keep going we will grind to a halt – they also often tell me that there is no point being miserable. They could easily have thought they were too old, too scared, couldn’t be bothered, didn’t see the point and then they wouldn’t have managed – they achieved because they thought they could. They took control of what was going on in their heads and managed their emotions.
Would you like to take control of some of your emotions? Contact Magenta and find out how – then you too can get up every morning with a smile on your face!