Understanding ourselves is the first step to being able to control ourselves and our emotions. I think we can all agree on that. But how are control and emotions related? Understanding and controlling ourselves is the overall goal of self-control. However, our struggle with emotions is the greatest struggle we all have with self-control because emotions are the hardest surge within us to manage and restrain.
So, let’s find the starting point for gaining control of ourselves and our emotions by acknowledging that each temperament experiences the same emotions, but has a different struggle.
The SP Struggle with Emotions
SPs must reign in the urge to be fast on the uptake and, consequently, impulsive. They often struggle to find adequate immediate reasons to hold back the surge of their emotions. Self-control has to be found somewhere between their speed to act, which thrills them, and falling into boredom, which they detest. Training themselves to hold back when emotions surge is a hard fight.
The SJ Struggle with Emotions
SJs can improve their self-control by developing personal routines and checks that, with discipline, they can follow. These routines should aim at making them aware of the way their thoughts and actions affect others. For the T’s among them, increasing the value of positive emotional reactions in all their relationships can also help greatly. SJ’s want to do things right, but that urge when overused should not be allowed to depress their sense of self-worth. Self-control, although something they recognize as essential to life, always will be for them a struggle.
NTs Have an Issue with Emotion
NTs feel that emotion gets in the way of their need for clear thinking and is, therefore, often devalued. They typically need to be more aware of their degrading of emotion’s importance in ALL relationships — even their relationship with themselves. NTs can benefit from a happy marriage of reason to emotion. All of us need to think this way, but the NTs seem to fight most to attain what is, for them, a strange fusion. It’s all in the way we must think about and value emotion.
NFs Have a Dangerous Combination
NF sensitivity and intense emotional reactions can be a dangerous combination due to the passion and intensity in which both are found in this temperament. They are not meant to be the fuel for explosive moments. Sensitivity can perform its noble purpose in the heightened use of empathy for those whose actions (or lack of actions) hurt them. Intelligent emotions — the warm and tender ones, in this case — must become an immediate go-to.
The Great Value of Our Struggle
Emotion can plunge all of us into marveling at who we really are and how we came to be. And understanding ourselves requires challenging our own beliefs and evaluations. It is in finding new ways of perceiving and thinking about what we are encountering in the struggle to overcome that we find our beliefs and values.
In my new book Who Am I?, I describe how we have become “crooked thinkers” and how to break out of this prison of the mind to become instruments of change for a better world by recognizing the source of our value as humans. You can get your copy HERE. (Psst! Subscribers to my weekly updates can receive a 15% discount and free shipping from the above link!)
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THE WAY TO HAVE A HEALTHY MENTAL SYSTEM
WEEKLY HELP FOR YOUR MIND/BRAIN
This weekly addition to my articles provides practical guidance for the application of commonly known facts about brain health.
Beliefs and the Mind/Brain
Our beliefs can affect the mind/brain. Moods, mental obsessions, and values are each a part of the journey that we take with our thoughts in our minds. The very existence of the science of Cognitive Therapy tells us that our thoughts and beliefs affect our mental health. But our thoughts cannot be seen only as our thinking — rather as thinking plus feeling. Emotions are thoughts in their basic functional entity.
It is not just having healthy goals so that our thinking can journey with confidence toward achievement. It is our beliefs that primarily affect our mental conditions. Beliefs have always been an existential part of our lives.
So what is a belief? This definition may help: It is a thought that originates in our rational understanding of things and/or our emotions and feelings. Either way, it becomes something we believe and use as a guide for our decisions. Therefore, it is a very important end goal of our thinking processes. Often we think of beliefs as our religious convictions or our morals, but they encompass much more. They are everything we have accepted as valid for the living of our lives. Nothing is more important to how we live and its success than our beliefs.
Addictions are addictions mainly because of what we value for good or ill.
Examine your beliefs and your values and the emotions that power them.
We will focus for a few weeks on how our emotions are a large part — and sometimes nearly all — of our mental journeys that factor into our beliefs.