Personal Development

5 ways to stop being a slave to your emotions

How to stop being a slave to your emotions

Have you ever reacted in a certain way to a situation and then 10 minutes later or however long it takes for you to calm down, you feel you shouldn’t have?

It has happened to me severally, and not only that, it had affected the way I saw and  responded to anyone around me then and the decisions I made. Now, I may still react here and there, but I am becoming a whole lot better, a work in progress.

In basically every aspect of life, be it in our relationships, career, finance, etc, our emotions play a big role in determining how things are handled.

Knowing how to get a grip on emotions would go a long way in helping us make better choices, and ultimately not mess up a lot of things in our lives.


Here are 5 ways to control your emotions

1) Recognize

The very first step to controlling your emotions is having a knowledge and understanding of the emotion.

Recognize the emotion you are currently feeling, put a label on it and then determine what has triggered it.

What has you triggered? Are you frustrated, sad, anxious, hungry, lonely, angry, jealous? etc.


2) Release

The way we perceive things is the way we react to them. So if you have previously perceived a situation a certain way albeit falsely, without clearing up things or getting the true understanding of the situation, the next time something similar happens, you would act based on your previous false perception of that thing.

Many times I realized that when I acted out in response to my emotions, it was because I had let things sit and simmer for a longer time than necessary. Click To Tweet

I am still not someone who would address things immediately I face them, but now I try to make sure they don’t stay much longer without being resolved.

Sometimes you may feel that the longer it stays, then the less effect it would have on you, but it is not always so.

One way to get a better grip on your emotions is to not let them simmer on the inside of you for too long.

One day, like a hot boiling pot of porridge, those emotions would simmer to the brim and then flow over, messing up a lot of things for you and others around you.


3) Refrain from reacting negatively

Let say, the situation is as you have perceived it be, how then should you react?

You should realize that when you react negatively in response to a situation, you are inadvertently allowing yourself to be controlled by your emotions.

So basically, you are only nice when you are happy, and mean when you are sad, or you only do the things you have to do when you have been complimented and leave off doing them because someone did not give you a compliment.

Take a step back, and try to look at it from a different perspective.

This is not about masking your feelings, but making sure you are in a proper mood to express them properly in a way that is not detrimental, and does not further escalate things.


4) Find something positive to do

I am very guilty of this. Anytime I am in a bad mood, I may end up isolating myself and spend time mindlessly scrolling through my phone. That is when you may find me posting a million and one whatsapp updates.

Yeah, its bad. I am shaking my head too.

Sometimes though, I am able to channel whatever negative emotion I may be feeling into something more positive and productive which is better. Like writing and finishing up a blog post, cleaning up my room, or having some needed self care moments.

Other things you can do include, listening to an uplifting podcast, dance, listen to music, journal, walk it out, or call a friend.

I do all of the above, although I just recently added the walk it out and it indeed helps. My absolute favorite though is listening to music, followed closely by Journalling.

You have to be deliberate about channeling your emotions into something more positive. It does not happen automatically.


5) Resolve

Try to resolve the issues causing those emotions as much as it is within your power.

You should be aware that if the situation involves another individual, they may not see things from your perspective and sometimes seeking to resolve things amicably can even make things worse, as they may not be able to understand how whatever it is they have done, affects you.

If it can’t be resolved amicably, let it go. It is not healthy allowing something or the actions of someone have absolute control on your emotions.

The bible says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone”.

I was affected by something someone had done, and it was beginning to affect me badly. Trying to resolve things seemed not to be working. I sat down and had a talk with myself, changed the narrative and my mindset concerning the issue and I began to feel better.


The more attention you pay to what your emotions are telling you, the stronger you become mentally. This way you instead stop allowing your emotions to control your reactions, but you consciously handle the situation.

Emotion is energy in motion


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