Kids are given instructions regularly in the educational process urging them to exercise self-control. We tell them to ignore something, walk away, take deep breaths, forgive the ones who wronged them, etc. Yet, as adults, we somehow forgot these caveats and let our emotions propel us into doing things, saying things—or at times—totally dictating our feelings.
What happened to the sage wisdom we preach to our kids? Are we going to model it or simply enforce the behavior that we feel is appropriate?
We are never too old to learn. For most of us, we never totally grow out of the potential of letting emotions control our day. In the great read, The EQ Edge, authors Steven Stein and Howard Book point to the need to be aware of our emotions for the purpose of controlling them. Clearly, this skill—referred to as our emotional intelligence or emotional quotient—is not as simple as it appears for a lot of us, myself included.
How often do we “feel” something negative even though the environment around us has not changed one bit?
Then, as if by magic, we feel different or even more self-controlled in another few hours; however, nothing has changed except what we feel or what we tell ourselves. This see-saw of emotions is draining not only on us, but those around us—especially our family.
Take your own emotional pulse.
Ask yourself what is behind your current emotions. Is it something that justifies your emotional response, or are you simply acting on raw emotional whims? And even if it is something that justifies your emotional response, are you still willing to let that be your response? Would there be a more mature way of handling your response? Would you feel better later if you were to cool down, calm yourself, walk away, remain silent, and controlled?
We have to decide how much of our lives we are willing to let external factors play such a major role.
For some, we have to decide how much we are willing to let our own fluctuating moods drive us. Clearly, the art of self-control is always better in the long run, but it is not always easy. Commit today to be more determined to know your emotional state for the purpose of controlling it better. Feel better as a result.