Jealousy, anger, depression, or anxiety. These are just some of the emotions that we naturally feel as human beings. But if there is anything that I have learned from counseling other people, is that we can actively choose to control or emotions. There is a different from allowing yourself to feel these emotions and becoming overwhelmed by these emotions.
In a recent video (Dan Gilbert’s TED talk “Why am I happy”). He essentially states:
Anyone can be happy no matter what they are going through. This is because happiness is about perception of your circumstances, you can literally choose to be happy. Meaning that there are some really broke people out there in the world that are choosing to be happy over some really rich people. There are some really sick people out there choosing to be happier than healthy people. Because these people have mastered their perception and understand the basic premise of choosing to be happy versus being overwhelmed by their circumstances.
So if you can choose to be happy, then that means that you can choose NOT to be sad, depressed, angry, or anxious. All these emotions are emotions that will eat you from the inside out if you chose not to get a hold of them. That is why you see people in a state of permanent depression, because it has gotten so out of control and has been in them for so long that they can no longer control it. They cannot separate themselves from the depression and the depression has become a part of them.
Have you met someone that was just a really jealous and insecure person? As a result of their own insecurities they put other people down or stab other people in the back. It really has nothing to do with the other person, but everything to do with the jealous person. Or let’s take anger. People who cannot manage it properly can become insane. All you have to do is watch a few episodes on the channel Investigative Discovery to see that because of anger and jealousy, people kill other people.
But it does not have to be that way. The wonderful thing that separates us humans from the mammals around us is that we are more sophisticated in our emotions. When a lion is hungry, they go out and kill other animals to feed their hunger. But people are not like that. We can control our hunger and if we can control our hunger then we can control our other emotions.
When you have mastered the art of controlling your emotions you unlock your full potential. It is okay to be sad, angry, or have anxiety sometimes. But to be consumed by these emotions for years and years at a time, is not okay. You miss out on who you really are and identify yourself as the negative emotions, because that is all you know.
The fact of the matter is that negative emotions rarely effect other people. I am not going to sit around thinking about how jealous you are of me (see my blog here), of if you are angry at me, or if you do not like me. Because I do not care how you feel. I have my own stuff to worry about and I cannot be worried about if you and if your feelings are all over the place. There have been times that I have been depressed, anxious, angry, or hateful; and in all of those times I had to say to myself.
“I am in control of this. I am the master of my brain, the master of my emotions, and I will not be consumed by what is going on around me.”
So here are a few tips on how you can control your emotions:
- Find something to be thankful about.
There is something that everyone can be thankful for. No matter how much you think your life sucks, somebody else’s life sucks even more, and they would be glad to have what you have (see my blog here). So even if you can be thankful for having clean water to drink that day, food to eat so that you do not starve, or even the fact that you have an air mattress to sleep on instead of sleeping outside. Be thankful for that, because there are a lot of people in this world who do not even have that.
2. Put things into perspective
Whatever it is that you are angry, jealous, or sad about keep things into perspective. When I lost a close family member at 3 months old (see blog here). I thought that it was unfair. But as a Christian I had to believe that he was in heaven and that I would see him again. And that helped alleviate my sadness. If you are angry or jealous, then you must understand that nine times out of ten that the people you are angry and jealous over simply do not know or care. So why waste your energy on it. And for anxiety, realize that there are always things in this Earth that you cannot control. Whatever is going to be, will be, and therefore there is no reason to be anxious for anything. Control what you can and what you can’t let go and let God
3. Talk To Yourself or Affirmations
I once knew a guy who suffered from hallucinations. Every day he had to tell himself, this is not real. There are no aliens walking around in my front yard. That is impossible. Yes it was a daily struggle but sometimes you have to talk yourself out of the negativity that you are you feeling. You have to literally tell you self
“Today I will chose to be positive, happy, and today will be a good day.”
You may not feel this way at first, but the longer you say it, and the more you try to believe it. It will become your reality.
4. Mediation and Prayer
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-8