5 Ways to Take Control of Your Emotions
Emotions are important. And you can use these 5 ways to learn how to take control of your emotions for happier days.
There is something powerful about emotions. They guide us, inhibit us, and, best of all, connect us to people. They impact our mental health. Best news is we can control emotions.
Knowing how to control our emotions is an important aspect of living the best life. To have emotional stability. And furthermore, a way to find peace.
Why? Because emotions are fickle and we don’t want to be led by them. We want to be aware of and use them for our good, instead of our detriment.
Our emotions have a great impact on how we feel, and therefore on our mental health and our physical health. Learning how to control your emotions will empower you to have better emotional health, which we all want.
But you’ll find that when you feel better, something else also happens. When you take time to learn how to control your emotions, it will make clear the way to better health.
You Have Power to Take Control of Your Emotions
So, are you ready to learn 5 ways to control your emotions? To control emotions, lose weight, and feel great?
Emotions are a blessing or a curse. The person who learns how to control his or her feelings is the person who lives happier days and fuller lives as a result.
As we uncover the roots of emotions, it becomes possible to learn how to control your emotions.
Before I learned this, I was not a controlled feelings person. I just felt. I didn’t use my mind to inspect why I’d feel a certain way. My emotions controlled me. Controlled my words, eating, relationships and even my joy.
They did not help me in life. On the contrary, they hindered me.
Today I can say, as we learned in the last blog post on how to control your thoughts, “That’s not me anymore!” My entire family praises the Lord for that.
What are emotions?
This seems like a senseless question. Yet, by taking a moment to identify emotions, we start to grasp how to control them.
Feelings are an emotional state or reaction. In fact, they can be defined as an emotional or physical touch or perception. They put clothes on beliefs.
A toddler learns if what they feel is accepted and unaccepted by their parent’s reaction to their behaviors. Children quickly find that parents react differently to the way they express themselves. Hugs and outbursts get different responses.
Even as people get older, feelings may live on the front row of their lives very much like unruly children clamoring for attention.
Yet, when controlled, emotions can be an astonishing blessing. They can be an outburst or a controlled smile. They can hurt or they can heal.
Where do emotions start?
Emotions are not the root of an uncontrollable reaction. Consequently, emotions cannot be mastered head-on, resisted, or redirected by willpower within a moment’s notice. They start from a circumstance and thought.
If you don’t like the way you respond, there is a need to find a way to examine the emotion bursting forth ahead of time. In the moment, when what you feel is strong, is not the time you’re going to experience success of taking control of your mind and how you react.
Something to keep in mind: to help control emotional outbursts, one must find a way to get to the root of them.
What are examples of emotions?
People who are mastered by their emotions- whether it is anger, fear, sexual attraction, craving for food, or a desire to look good – are people who in their heart of hearts believe their feelings must be satisfied.
Moreover, people who choose not to change unhealthy emotions are enslaved to them.
John 8:34 tells us that everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.
Yet, uncontrolled emotions are not the source of the problem. Emotions are a symptom. The symptom of where the heart and mind are.
We discussed how to control how you think in the last post. This series of 90 steps to transform your health and life is set up in the order that needs to be taken to get lifelong changes. Learning to control thoughts is essential to control your emotions.
Let me encourage you to go back and listen to podcast 001 for this initial step.
What’s the harm of feelings?
Harmful emotions, when left unchecked, can creep into other areas of our life. They change the overall tone of our life and our world. they change how we see and react.
The feeling of fear – during a pandemic or rioting or other upheavals in life – causes many negative consequences.
blood vessels constrict
inflammation occurs in the brain, which leads to headaches
changes in the gut microbiome, which may lead to malabsorption of nutrients
Emotions have power. They aren’t just emotions. They cause chemical changes in our bodies.
On the contrary, positive emotions release positive chemicals and create a healthy environment in our body systems.
Negative feelings can enslave and blind us. They can take over our ability to think and perceive.
Positive emotions free us and bring peace.
How to master your emotions
Getting control over emotions starts with recognizing them.
There is a need to pause, take a step back, or a deep breath to recognize emotions. Let’s look at an example:
Emotion: I am angry!
When we recognize anger, the first question needs to be “why.” What is the circumstance or thought behind this anger?
With a child we could ask, “Bobby, what’s making you angry?”
Then, give Bobby a chance to explain his why. Even when there’s a justifiable reason for anger, we can help Bobby discover that another person cannot make you angry. It’s the thoughts about another person that is making people angry.
This will be a lesson taught more than once for a child to gain control of their feelings. In truth, the lessons continue well into adulthood.
As adults the question might be, “Why do you feel a need for that extra piece of cake?”
The goal is to get to the thought behind the feeling.
Emotional response: I’ve worked hard. I deserve it.
Yet, when given time to evaluate the thought behind the feeling – we may discover a problem that when solved breaks overeating-bingeing patterns.
How to take control of negative emotions
There are 5 steps you can do to control your emotions – your negative emotions:
1. Identify the feeling.
Write it down. This helps the healing process to begin. Pen and paper – although seem ancient work best for mind shifts.
Keep notes in your phone.
Or keep a notebook or journal with you. I have fallen in love with the journals from Promptly Journals. They fit the season I am in. As my seasons and desires change they have journal to fit.
Check out Promptly Journals to see which one you like best.
2. Question the feeling.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Is it a blessing or a curse?
- Is it beneficial to those around me or hurtful?
- Who would I be if I had different feelings structuring my life?
- Is this feeling going to help me do better, to grow in the Lord, or will it be a stumbling block?
- Is this a feeling I should base my big decisions on without consulting the beliefs behind it?
3. Discover the source of the thought behind the emotion.
Were you hurt in years past? Do you have past failures that are showing up in this feeling? Was there a wrong done to you? Were words spoken to you that make you think less of yourself?
This is a case of resisting, not controlling.
Good feelings – hope, awe, amusement, love, joy, happiness, encouragement – go back to a decision when a thought built these feelings and it was accepted as truth.
They aren’t a result of only good experiences. They can still be developed and fostered in the midst of bad experiences.
I have been hurt and yet I choose to forgive.
My parents reared me to trust in the Lord so I can trust and not be afraid, regardless of circumstances.
My friends showed me how to care for my body and not make it an enemy, so I can eat healthy.
I know I am worthy so I can enjoy hope.
Emotions come from a thought or belief.
To rule over your emotions, instead of them ruling you, you must be in charge of them.
Here is a video that talks about these steps on how to control your emotions. I encourage you to check it out.
If you prefer to listen to this video content, here’s a podcast episode on this topic. Check it out, download the audio, and/or share it with your friends!
4. Determine to change negative thoughts.
Dallas Willard, in his book Renovation of the Heart, says:
“Those who let God be God get off the conveyor belt of emotion and desire when it first starts to move toward the buzz say of sin. They do not wait until it is moving so fast they cannot get off of it. Their aim is not to avoid sin, but to avoid temptation – the inclination of sin. They plan their path accordingly.”
Scripture says we are to put off the old self. This includes feelings that are harmful to fulfilling our mission – as a mom, wife, husband, caretaker, worker, friend, or whatever role God has placed us in.
Old self includes our emotional states and reactions that harm us.
What does putting on a new self mean?
Put on the new self means we process our feelings by:
- writing them down
- questioning them
- discovering the source
- determining to change when necessary
Putting off the old self means throwing out negative thoughts that lead to damaging feelings and putting on the new cultivating positive thoughts that elicit beneficial ones.
Emotional eating is eating by how we feel, and therefore not what is best for us.
Speaking of Emotional Eating…
In our 40 Day Physical and Spiritual Transformation course many people have for the first time in their life been set free from emotional eating when they identified their feelings – why they were celebrating bad days with food. They learned how to transform these emotions and thoughts to be a catapult for great health.
The quicker ‘how we feel’ and ‘what we think’ are identified and changed to be life transforming, the quicker weight loss occurs.
The quicker pain goes away.
And the quicker we see God work mightily in all areas of our life.
But we must determine in our mind to be finished with emotional eating.
To be finished with being angry.
This process doesn’t change the circumstance of what made you angry –or happy. It changes what you were created to change: your reaction to the circumstance.
After you have determined to change a harmful feeling to a more healthful one, then it’s time to move to step 5.
Be sure to check out the video below on how to overcome emotional eating – a simple and effective guide for you!
5. Grow your self-control muscle
When anger (or other detrimental emotions) starts to rise, remind yourself: “That’s not me anymore. I have worked through that and I’m no longer angry.”
***Be sure to stay tuned to the self control podcast coming up soon.***
Self control is the steady capacity to direct yourself to accomplish what you have chosen or decided to do and be, even though you don’t feel like it!
How to take control of your emotions
Emotions are essential to life. We must accept this and work with it.
Always go back to the thought that created the emotional reaction, then change the thought.
Without going to the root, the feeling will always be a battle.
Healthy emotions properly ordered are essential to a good life.
You are formed in Christ’s likeness. Thus, it’s imperative to take good care of your feelings.
Ready for amazing health? To feel better? Then emotions must be dealt with and negative emotions controlled.
Love, joy, and peace are our portion in life when our life is centered on Christ’s. They can lead us to better days and a radiant face!
Learn how to be in control your emotions with Scripture
Here are some verses to remind us of how feelings determine our days.
Proverbs 15:15 A cheerful heart has a continual feast.
Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones
Psalm 12:25 Anxiety in the heart of a man weighs it down.
Proverbs 21:17 He who loves pleasure will become a poor man; he who loves wince and oil will not become rich.
Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted.
Remember – feelings are good servants but they are disastrous masters.
How to be in control of your emotions
As with any plan, the power is in the compliance. But gaining control of thoughts and emotions may feel like a monumental task. We, in and of ourselves, can make progress and change through intentionality and determination.
However, there is one additional element that enables us to make lasting change: PRAYER & PRAISE!
James 5:13 says “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praises.”
These words show our feelings are real. No one escapes bad feelings and everyone gets to enjoy good feelings. As seen in this verse, we are to address the bad feelings quickly.
The tools we’re given to conquer feelings are powerful, and are increased exponentially when we pray in conjunction with them. So, if you’re ready, add prayer to your arsenal of mechanisms to control your feelings.
Pray about it.
Write it down.
Discover the source.
Determine, as Daniel determined in his mind, to be self-controlled. And pray, as Daniel prayed, for God to empower you to be self-controlled.
Then – enjoy everyday with the emotions full of praise that glorify God!
Thanks for letting me serve you God’s Recipe for Excellent Health!