Sunday, July 5, 2009

4 Easy Steps to Control Your Emotions

Our emotions are something that we would all like to have a bit of control over. One minute we can be happy and feel like the world is perfect, the next we can get agitated by the smallest thing and get overloaded with angry feelings.

Despite the fact that our emotions are often random and seemingly hard to control, there are some simple yet highly effective techniques so that you can control them and literally choose your own emotions. The following four steps in this article are going to help you do just that.

1. Focus on the Present Moment

The buddha is said to have been in a constant state of presence, and that's actually why he got the named 'buddha' which loosely means: the awakened one. While living in the moment in a practice that spans from the east and zen-like teachings, it can still be very effective in modern, western society.

I'm sure you can think of some problems in your life, and I actually want you to do that right now. Think of something you would love to fix, something you think is a real issue. The problem with this line of thinking is that we project negative images of the future, and let our past control what is right now. This very moment, this very second, there are no problems in your life. There might be in 5 minutes, there might have been yesterday, but not this very second.

Once you grasp this, you also need to understand that life is always this very second, and it is this moment where your attention should be focused.

2. Monitor Your Thoughts

When I first heard the idea of monitoring our thoughts I thought it was a little crazy. After-all, we are our thoughts, right? Wrong! It is actually very possible to monitor your thoughts, and with a bit of practice you'll realise that our minds are constantly full of negativity, projecting it in the future and thinking about the bad side of every situation.

As a little exercise, see if you can catch the next thought that comes in your head. Close your eyes, relax and watch it for it. You'll notice that it takes a while for a thought to come, even though it is said we are bombarded with 65,000 of them every single day.

Now let me ask you this: if you noticed the thought, which are you? The 'thing' that noticed the thought, or the thought itself? You aren't both. See if you can monitor your thoughts throughout the day and you'll notice some amazing results.

3. Realise Every Situation is Neutral

This will be hard to grasp, but if you monitor your thoughts successfully in part 2, try and notice your resistance to some of the things I am saying. A child being hit by a car is completely neutral, it is what it is. Of course, nobody in their right mind would think of it as a good thing or be happy that it did, but in an overview of the world it is no different to a ant being frazzled by a little boy with a magnifying glass.

Every single situation in this world is neutral, and you can either see it like that, or even put a positive or negative twist on it. You'll find that we tend to think negatively of things most of the time, see if you can be aware of this and either just accept things for what they are or see everything as a positive light.

If the girl getting hit by a car is negative, what is it if that car crash let's doctors become aware of a tumour inside of her that they can treat, but otherwise would not have known about. Is that car crash still negative?

4. Learn to Regain Control of Your Mind

Without practice, we actually have little control of our minds. In fact, we have so little control of our thoughts (which lead to emotions) that we often think that we are our minds. There are two techniques I like to use to regain control of my mind, which allows me to be much more conscious in my living, and much more able to choose to feel positive emotions.

The first technique is meditation. Basically I will sit in a quiet room with my legs crossed and my hands on my lap, and focus on my breathing. Notice the rise and fall of your chest, hear and feel the oxygen flowing throughout your body. This will be difficult your first time and you'll quickly find yourself 'bored' and 'distracted', but with practice this will get a lot easier and you'll really enjoy doing it.

The second technique is giving an object your full attention. Pick up an object that is preferably very simple and doesn't have any text or words on it. You might choose a stapler, an eraser, a mug or even some glasses. Now, for 5 minutes, see if you can give this object your undivided attention. Don't think about it, don't judge it or label it, just spend five minutes giving it your full attention.

By Glen A



3 comments:

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