Have you ever wished you were better at managing the emotions that flood through your mind and body every day? Or wondered how you can control your anger or sadness, or overcome fear? Do you sometimes feel as if there is a storm raging inside of you, and that at any moment it might break through and show itself in some embarrassing outward expression?
These are all valid questions. After all, we cannot choose the circumstances of our lives. We cannot choose the people in our offices, our neighborhoods, or our families. And far too often, we cannot even choose our reactions to these various events.
But what we can do is use our mind to manage and change our emotions, so that when things go wrong, instead of going crazy, we are able to remain strong, clear, and steady.
Let’s take a look at some simple yet effective tools to change your emotions by using your mind.
Start your day with a positive mindset
If your day starts with a negative mindset, you project those thoughts and emotions on to your co-workers, friends, and family. You emanate a bad attitude, and which no one wants to be around. This is probably not the kind of person that you want to be, nor does it reflect your values.
So why not make it a point to start each day with a positive mindset?
Greet your day with optimism and gratitude, knowing that you are blessed with many good things in life. When you start your day with a positive mindset, you are doing two things for yourself.
Upon waking each day, place your hand on your heart and send love to the world, and breathe love back into your own heart, mind and soul. This is a simple, yet effective practice that will set the tone for the rest of your day.
Your positivity impacts those around you which lends toward how they will treat you, as well as how you will treat others. Second, you are creating a foundation of positivity on which you can build your day. When you start each day with a positive mindset, you are empowering yourself to make better decisions and empowering yourself to stay focused on what is important to you.
Have you ever visualized yourself achieving a goal? Visualization is a powerful tool that can help you achieve success in many aspects of your life, including sports and business.
It is also a powerful tool for controlling your emotions. When you visualize yourself in a positive situation, your mind will help you achieve it.
Your mind has the power to control your emotions, and visualization is one of the best ways to use this power.
When you visualize yourself in the situation that you want to be in, you are empowering yourself to achieve that goal. You are training your brain to feel the emotions that will help you get to where you want to be. It is important to visualize yourself in a positive situation.
If you constantly visualize yourself in difficult and stressful situations (which is what the anxious mind does), you will empower those negative emotions. If you have a stressful situation that you anticipate coming up – a difficult conversation with your spouse or boss, or an interaction with a co-worker, spend time visualizing yourself in that difficult conversation and see yourself feeling calm, centered, and clear.
As you engage in this kind of mental rehearsal, you are training your brain to know how to respond in the real experience.
Using your breath to control your emotions in the moment helps you manage your emotions.
When you feel that you are losing control, stop and focus on your breath. Slow your breathing down. Take long, slow inhalations, and let go a longer exhalation.
When you focus on your breath, you are stopping your mind from creating difficult emotions. When you breathe deeply and slowly, your thoughts slow down too. This gives you time to interrupt the onslaught of negative emotions before they grow into something larger. You have the power to control your emotions by using your breath.
Slow deep breathing can also help you calm your anxiety. When you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious, taking a few moments to focus on your breathing helps refocus and calm yourself down.
When you are feeling anxious, the sympathetic nervous system is causing your fight or flight response to kick in. This can be helpful in some situations where you need to act quickly, but it’s not helpful when you’re feeling anxious and stressed, because it interferes with rational thinking.
You can help calm down your sympathetic nervous system by breathing slowly, fully, and with purpose. As you do so, you help your body relax and your mind to focus.
The consistent use of affirmations is a powerful tool for changing your emotions.
Whenever you feel as if you are experiencing negative emotions, slowly repeat a favorite affirmation to help you feel calmer and more centered. An affirmation is a positive statement that you use to change the way that you are feeling.
When you use affirmations to change your emotions, you are empowering yourself to control them. You are taking the power out of your emotions and putting that power into your own hands.
Here are some of my favorite affirmations that help me control my emotional responses:
- I can choose peace instead of this.
- Peace, be still.
- I am clear, strong, and centered even now.
Understanding your mind is a fascinating subject that is constantly evolving as we discover new avenues for studying the mind-body-emotion connection. While you can’t completely train your brain to be healthy in a week or a month, you can use these techniques to improve your mental health and emotional well-being over time.
The goal of brain training is to challenge your brain as often as possible to keep it growing and changing. By keeping your brain engaged and active, you improve your memory, increase your focus and attention span, and even lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
If this topic interests you and you want personalized training on this subject, feel free to book a consultation with me to discuss how I can help. https://calendly.com/jackiewoodside/consultation-meeting
I look forward to hearing your success as you implement these powerful techniques!