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Learn How To Control Your Emotions

Disciplining our emotions is the healthy, yet complex way to “control” our emotions. It does not let them run wild, and yet does not let them sit still without a voice to express. As cliché as it may sound, “too much of everything isn’t a good thing.” The same applies to our feelings. Too much pleasing, excluding or showing favoritism to our emotions can be a bad thing. As we mature and literally escape into independence as adults, it’s common for us to encounter people and situations we feel might sabotage our happiness, or so we think. 

In dysfunctional homes, if a family member attempts to draw boundaries in order to establish some sanity and peace, others within the family might conspire to leverage one another into a nightmare with guilt trips. Wounded warriors like myself who have survived severe childhood trauma and chaos under the thumb of psychologically damaged people and religious institutions know the effects unregulated emotions can have on a person from a psycho-spiritual perspective. We know of how psychological trauma and abuse can also be passed down to children if care and discipline are not taken. Personally speaking, I have witnessed parents lie to their children for their own selfish needs, putting false hope in their heads only to let them down, and of course, exposing them to all kinds of terrible behavior.

They say every time you mistreat someone, whether it happens to be a child or an adult, you reveal a part of you that lacks love and needs to heal. We must feel our emotions enough to give it out, and sometimes we learn the hard way, that every human being of any origin, of whatever station, deserves respect. We must respect others even as we respect ourselves. No one is more insufferable than he or she who lacks basic courtesy. Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love. Love, in turn drives respect, friendship, forgiveness, and happiness. Many trains arrive at our stations, and we ought to treat them good– whether they stay, or leave, because in life, the table always turns.

Disciplining our emotions shows them who is in charge, while also allowing them to freely express themselves within their boundaries. Here are some ways we can learn to control our emotions:

  • Show some respect: whether you like it or not, the truth is our feelings is actually the fuel to our energy for motivation and behavior. They make it more likely for us to complete ANY task. Have you noticed, whenever you are procrastinating, or behind on completing a task, you always say out loud or end up thinking, “I don’t feel like it!”. Knowing this, it is imperative to show respect to our feelings. However, we often treat them in either one of these ways, by pleasing our emotions or by pushing them away as if they do not exist.

Here’s what happens when you please your emotions:

  • Does not discipline emotions
  • Gives no structure for them to follow
  • No limits for the feelings
  • No set direction for the feelings
  • Relationship with emotions ends up being one-sided, where the emotions is the boss

When we please our emotions, we are showing them we will obey whatever they command of us. It is not just obeying one emotion at a time, it’s obeying every emotion that decides to surface. Our reaction to anything that life may throw at us occurs from the raiding of our emotions mentally, which then surfaces through our behavior. Since we never gave regulation to our emotions, we can’t be surprised when they run our life.


Here’s what happens when you push your emotions away:

  • Forces emotions to listen
  • Punishing of our emotions through suppression
  • Numbing emotions through addictions start to occur
  • Person talks down on themselves to say that they are weak, if the emotions show or they decide to show vulnerability

When we push our emotions away, it is the equivalent of a parent not showing love or respect to their children. What usually ends up happening? Rebellion. The rebellious acts of our emotions will come out against our forceful nature, with so much dominance that will be hard to control. Sometimes, these suppressed emotions become mental illnesses that result in recurrent medication, hospitalization or suicidal thoughts.


Here’s what happens when we discipline our emotions:

  • We learn to treat them with respect
  • We acknowledge the emotions
  • We listen to the emotions instead of forcing emotions to listen
  • We respond with clear intentions
  • Encourage emotions
  • Set limits
  • Teach our emotions
  • Adapt to them

To enjoy God is the center of our rest and the fountain of our blessedness and the chief end for which we were made. It is our business to seek Him and our happiness to enjoy Him. Our happiness and contentment in life comes from our ability to achieve a “stillness” of the soul. Conquering our fleshly desires and accepting that we have enough will allow us to live our lives contentedly. Bathing in the beauty of nature can also help to calm and cleanse you. Physical activity is also important for stillness and cultivating a good hobby is a great place to start. Embracing sleep and moderation will keep you at your best. It pays to be still even in the face of stress.


Stillness is a way to improve your performance. Spending time in mindfulness is about taking stock of how we feel and what we feel. There’s more than one way to do this. Stillness, comes in many forms, but you have to give yourself permission and forgiveness to find it. Stillness is smooth. Focus, patience, breathing, persistence, clarity and the ability to let go of obsession to certain outcomes helps me open up to notice the little things around me.


To master your mindset, step back from trying to be perfect and focus on your individual steps. Embrace the process and give up chasing after outcomes. You’ll think better when you aren’t thinking so hard. Remember, words are like wind. They can either create or destroy. We may not have control over how other people talk to us, but we have control over how we talk to ourselves. Words put pictures in our minds and pictures in our mind impact how we feel. How we feel impacts what we do. What we do habitually impacts our destiny. Many people often use their power to think and talk themselves into choices that are harmful for themselves in the long run, even if they might offer temporary happiness. Our brains cannot distinguish between what is real and imagined. Worry is a form of negative visualization. The hard choice but is the best for us in the long run is to put positive pictures in our minds and to talk ourselves in ways that push us towards growth, and towards what is most beneficial for ourselves in the long run.


Spending time in mindfulness and meditating on the Word of God can help us take stock of emotions, become more self-aware, and consciously respond to things and situations outside our control.

For more help on how to manage your emotions, please schedule a 1-on-1 consultation with me here.


“He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.” (Proverbs 16:32)

**Erica weaves themes of transformative hope and grace-filled leadership into everything she shares on her blog. She’s an author, a speaker, and a life coach, who offers honest encouragement and road-tested wisdom about topics ranging from leadership and lifestyle, to discovering your God-crafted identity, design, and purpose.

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