Have you ever been in the best mood and then someone or something just zaps the happy feelings right out of your soul? Raises hand. I've been in this situation a million times throughout my life. When I was younger, I thought this is just what happens and it was completely normal to base my day off what was going on in my life. I mean, what else should you base your day off of? I continued to suffer until I realized that I have 100% control over the way I feel. I must admit, it's definitely easier said than done. Controlling your emotions take a ton of self-awareness and a whole lotta discipline.
Before I move forward, I would like to point out a common misconception about controlling emotions. Feelings are feelings, and they present themselves based on what's going on in your life. It's perfectly okay to acknowledge that a person or situation is causing you to feel a certain kind-of way. Feelings are natural. That has nothing to do with not being able to control your emotions. What's not natural is allowing those feelings to totally take you out of character, ruin your day, or having you act like an emotionally unstable train-wreck.
If you're anything like me, the people/things that I care about most can have me smiling from ear-to-ear, or cursing like a sailor in 2.2 seconds flat. What can I say? Just call me passionate. I can remember getting so upset with a boyfriend one time that I drove three hours home at two in the morning. Talk about a complete dramatic meltdown. Was that the safest or smartest thing to do? Hell no, that was complete bat shit crazy behavior. I don't know if I was even that angry or if I was just trying to get attention. Whatever the case, I should have found an isolated space and cooled off before hitting the highway.
In 2013, the Huffington Post shared six steps to take when trying to control your emotions. I have found these helpful over the years. There's a ton of information out there about this sorta thing. I read a book by Joyce Meyers a few years ago that was pretty insightful, Living Beyond Your Feelings. If you find yourself constantly giving others power over your life (because when they control your emotions, they control you) you may want to try these six steps or research other ways to get control.
The Huffington Post suggests doing the following:
1. Don't react right away. Girl, step away from that iPhone...even if you have to hide it from yourself for 24 hours. You will definitely regret sending a book of emotional text messages the next morning. (Hides face)
2. Ask for divine guidance. Sounds corny? I don't mean that you have to burst into a church like Suge Avery to call on the Lord, but you can send up a silent prayer or find a space where you can meditate.
3. Find a healthy outlet. If you're not already a gym rat or find exercise as an important component of life, hitting a treadmill after someone has pissed you off will probably piss you off even more. You can find other ways to do an emotional detox. Journaling, walking (casually), window shopping, coloring, getting a mani/pedi are all alternatives. Whatever floats your boat.
4. See the bigger picture. Okay your co-worker threw you under the bus. Sure you'd like to slit all four of her tires, but is that really necessary? You still have a job. You still have a great life. And you're still the person that she aspires to be. Think bigger. Think logically.
5. Replace your thoughts. You can choose to think about something else. We tend to harp on the negative, but it's just as easy to focus on a positive thought than it is to focus on a negative one.
6. Forgive your emotional triggers. A person or situation can't get to you unless you allow it to. Erase the toxic feelings that you've buried about the person/situation and move on. They may be an asshole, but you are the one that's keeping the energy alive. Let go and let God. Seriously.