Controlling Your Emotions

Nurse HeaderWe all lose control from time to time. What is it that can provoke extreme disappointment, panic or anger within you – emotions that get the better of you?
Is it when people aren’t paying enough attention to you, when things aren’t going the way you want or perhaps the way you planned?
Controlling your emotions doesn’t mean ignoring them. It means recognizing them and either acting on them or learning how to change them, when you need to do so.
From my experience the four major emotions that cause people the most trouble are anger, fear, anxiety, and depression. You know the type of anger when it takes you two hours to get a meal in a restaurant and you arrived at the establishment very hungry. (I suddenly become irrational and dangerous, much to my family’s embarrassment). Or the fear factor when your friends/relatives visit and hire a car, then insist driving on the edge of the road and a trip to the waterfalls feels like a death ride!
When our ancestors encountered an enemy or a wild animal on a jungle trail, there were only a limited number of things they could do. They could fight, run away, become paralyzed with indecision, or give up. Each of these responses matches the four emotions just mentioned above. But in the much more complicated jungle of modern life, these emotions are often no longer useful and may actually do us a great deal of harm.
In order to reduce or eliminate the unwanted emotion, we firstly need to recognize that emotions don’t just appear mysteriously out of nowhere. Ask yourself, “How am I feeling right now?” When you feel depressed for example, when you’ve had guests stay for a fortnight and their departure date is imminent and then, they excitedly tell you they’ve decided to stay on for a further 4 days, stop and notice the situation that produced your emotion. Rate your mood on a scale from 1-10, with 1 being the least intense and 10 being the most intense that you are able to feel.
In order to begin to change your state, ask yourself, “What is another way to look at this situation? What’s really going on here?” By taking this new evidence into account, you may conclude that these people really enjoy your company and are having a fab time and if so accept the compliment, however you may decide to be a bit tougher next time and give them the number for a local Hotel!
When you recognise the events that trigger these emotions that you don’t want to feel, share your anxiety with those involved and find an alternative method of dealing with the situation before it occurs. So, if you have one of those husbands that insists it takes 45 minutes to drive to the airport, five minutes to park the car and wants to check in 40 minutes before takeoff. Then he gets moody because you’re stressed, hot and bothered, then something has to change. It’s up to you whether you suggest to him sweetly that we all need to leave a little earlier, or just move the clocks forward in the house without him being aware, lie about take off time or finally just dump him!

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