“You shouldn’t be angry about this.”
“I don’t want to feel sad right now.”
“I don’t want jealousy in my relationship.”
“I’m not going to let this get to me.”
Often we try to control or dictate what we feel, or, worse yet, what other people feel. It’s not hard to see why – some of those feelings are icky and hard to deal with, and often we’d just rather not. But the truth is that feelings are not optional. You don’t choose what and when you feel things, you just feel them. You get to choose your viewpoint, which may affect how you feel, and you get to choose the actions you take as a result of your feelings. But trying to control what you feel will often lead you to denying or suppressing feelings, which will cause them to come out in other ways. Often sadness, hurt, or rejection turns into anger or depression when left unchecked.
Getting Control Over Anger
One way to deal with anger is to recognize it right away and check in with yourself – Is this really something worth getting upset over? Is there another feeling like hurt, loneliness, rejection, or regret that’s really behind it? For more tips on getting control of anger, check out my article for the Portland Therapy Center:
You Don’t Control Your Feelings
Managing your emotions starts with acknowledging them. It’s counter intuitive that getting control over your emotions (or, at the very least, how you deal with your emotions) starts with recognizing that you don’t have control over them. However, research has shown that simply labeling your emotions reduces their impact. Suppressing them, however, can have the opposite effect. Once you realize that emotions are just a part of everyday life you will be able to experience them without reacting to them. Trying to control your emotions is like willing the wind not to blow, but controlling how you react to your emotions will allow you to enjoy wherever the wind takes you.