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How to Control your Emotions Effectively

Updated: Feb 27

Have you ever thought about how emotions affect your behavior, thinking, decision-making, and relationships? We tend to think that we are fully in control of our lives and that we are rational beings, but we rarely accept that we, humans, are irrational creatures by nature; we are mostly governed by our emotions, which can be destructive, but we can also learn how to use them to our advantage.

Would you like to be happier and less stressed or angry? After reading this article, you'll be able to master how you feel, behave, and react. If you apply the strategies mentioned below, you will develop self-control, empathy, resiliency, and a strong character!

man pointing to head

What makes you a human being is the variety of emotions - happiness, anxiety, anger, frustration, etc. - you get to feel on a daily basis and the ability to analyze those emotions and keep them in check. If there is one skill that everyone should learn is emotional intelligence (EQ). According to Daniel Goleman, EQ has two fundamental roles:

  1. To manage your emotions

  2. To handle the feelings of other people

Great leaders are really good at performing these principles; they understand emotions and know how to manage themselves and those around them. The components of social intelligence are self-awareness, self-management, empathy, and social skills.

"The emotionally intelligent person is skilled in four areas: identifying emotions, using emotions, understanding emotions, and regulating emotions." - John Mayer

Understanding emotions and your brain

Emotions are mental states that we describe as "feelings" triggered by an external or internal stimulus like thoughts, experiences, setbacks, etc. Viktor Frankl said that between stimulus and response, there is space. In that space, we have the power to choose our response, which determines our freedom, emotional intelligence, and success in life.

In order to understand our emotions, we need to know the basics of how our brain works. Robert Sapolsky (American neuroendocrinology researcher) explains the three functional layers of the brain: