Controlling our emotions isn’t easy or everyone would be doing it! This is a question that very much needs an answer — and it is not just for those with an NF temperament. NFs visit their emotions all the time. This develops both the sensitivity and responsiveness of their emotions. Here are several things we can do to help gain control:
- Focus for a moment on taking two or three deep breaths.
Breathing deeply activates the body’s nervous system to calm the mental rush of emotions. Focusing on breathing changes the point of attention. It distracts, and distraction breaks the cycle of mental force. When you focus on your breathing you disconnect from the emotional surge for a moment. This is the chance you are looking for to regain control.
- Our elders used to say, “Count to ten before you speak.” This was an insight they gained from what they found truly worked. Again, it is a way to help refocus and disconnect from the emotional surge, thus breaking its power over us. I would put it this way: Whenever you feel an emotional surge over any issue, practice saying to yourself, “Stop! Think!” Do this until it becomes a habit. A helpful habit is what you need most for long-term success.
- Change focus, seizing any opportunity there is to alter your awareness center. Talk about anything, but not of the matter that has aroused your emotions. Speaking is a successful way of distracting yourself. Start talking about the weather, if you like. What you want is the time to gain control. That’s all.
- Remove yourself (if you can) from the cause of your surging emotions. Then start to think, telling yourself over and over to calm down and think clearly.
- Strengthen your belief that you are most effective after a little thought. Retreat, and use the opportunity to calmly plan your response.
The first thing you must master is taking the slim window of opportunity you have to disconnect as quickly as possible and take time to think. It is not easy or all of us would be doing it. Therefore, determine to teach yourself this personal mastery skill. Mental force is required.
If you fail and your emotions erupt before you realize it, remember: failure is incorrectly named. Failure is not failure; it is opportunity. Remind yourself that you are becoming more aware of what happens inside of you and when it is likely to happen. Awareness is the first step to self-mastery and you will soon be able to succeed. This is how we are made to function.
© 2016 Ray W. Lincoln & Associates. All Rights Reserved.