Emotional impulses inevitably have a strong influence on a relationship, work, and conversation in life. Thus, to avoid the unfortunate consequences of one minute of impulsive behaviour, you should know how to control yourself and not let negative feelings change your blood pressure.
The more you can manage your emotional impulses, the more success you can get in the life. So, today’s article will show you several different methods that help avoid negatively impulsive emotions before you cause some adverse effects on your daily life.
1. Stop And Refocus
When you feel yourself beginning to lose emotional control, you ought to take a careful step back to look at and focus what is going on with the body. This can help to distract your mind from overwhelming feelings and to pull your attention back to the present. At that moment, you will feel some signs of emotional stimulation. You will experience many physical effects such as increased heart rate, muscle tension, or shortness of breath.
Each person will always develop an auto-response of emotions, which is a form of “habit” that the brain produces for automatic responses to triggers in a certain way. That makes you feel lost in control of those reactions. However, you can re-train the brain by focusing on the present moment, particularly by checking your body’s response actively.
For example, if you suddenly feel anxious, let’s pay attention to the feeling of your body: “my heart beats very fast, my hands sweat and I feel nauseous,” then admit and accept these feelings, instead of criticising them as “wrong” or trying to get rid of them. Emotions affect you in both sentiments and senses in a way that makes you feel overwhelmed.
At that time, you should keep calm and focus on each one, such as what you are smelling, what you are touching, and what you are seeing. This will help the brain learn how to handle the information better, thereby making you feel less overwhelmed by your emotions.
2. Control Your Breathing
When your body experiences intense emotions, you may enter the “fight or flight” mode. This reaction triggers your sympathetic nervous system by sending a substance, adrenaline and other chemical compounds that cause the body to expand, increase the heart rate, make the breathing shallower, and make the muscles feel stress and pressure. All you need to do is to take a deep breath, which will help you feel calmer and provide the oxygen required by the body to help you relax. You can take control of your breathing by following:
Place one hand on the chest and the other on the abdomen underneath the chest. Breathe slowly and deeply through the nose whereas counting to 4. Feel the lungs and abdomen bulge as the air fills them.
Hold the breath for 1 or 2 seconds, and then exhale slowly through the nose. Set a goal of 6-10 deep breaths in a minute.
If counting to 4 is difficult for you, you can start counting up to 2 progressively. Try to breathe as deeply and evenly as possible.
3. Try To Relax Muscles Constantly
Continuous muscle relaxation can help you calm down by stretching and systematically relaxing the muscles. It is a great way to relieve stress and pressure and enable you to avoid emotional impulses. You give yourself 15 minutes in a quiet and comfortable space. But if you cannot find such a space, you can practice a continuous muscle relaxation method even when you are sitting in a chair as follows:
Sit with a comfortable posture, loosen clothing, take a deep breath then do stretching muscles as a below example
Start by shrinking your toes as tight as possible, hold the state for 5 seconds, then relax for 15 seconds and move to the next muscle group.
Stretch your calf by pulling your toes toward your face as hard as possible then hold the stretch for 5 minutes, then relax. Again, let yourself relax for 15 minutes, and then continue. Continue stretching each muscle group for 5 seconds, and then rest them. The muscle groups which you ought to concentrate on whether your toes, feet, hips, thighs, and buttocks, abdomen, back, shoulders, forearms, upper arms, hands, eyes, lips, and forehead. Pause for 15 minutes while relaxing each muscle group and pay attention to the sensation when the tension is released.
If you do not have time to stretch and relax all muscle groups, let’s focus on facial muscles. Relaxing your facial muscles can efficiently relieve tension by just smiling, which can help you feel more relaxed and calm.
4. Focus On The Solution
Where you focus will affect your emotional state. Being too focused on the problem you are facing can only create a long, negative feeling that interferes with self-control. Instead, you should concentrate on the actions you take to improve yourself and the surroundings so that it creates positive emotions. Emotional people are not going to focus on the problem because they know that they will be most effective when they focus on the solution.
5. Eat Healthy Foods
You may find it weird when what food you eat can also affect your emotion control, but it is true. When you try to control emotions, your brain burns glucose very violently. If your blood sugar is low, you can almost not fight the impulses. Meanwhile, foods with high sugar will quickly get blood glucose, but then they make you more sluggish and easy to get caught up with other desires.
Therefore, you should choose the foods that provide energy slowly such as rice or meat, which will give you long-term self-control. So, if you have a problem keeping yourself away from the sweet candies in the company when hungry, you should always be sure that you will eat something else to get enough energy to fight and not let yourself lost in control.
6. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is essential in increasing intellect, emotions and maintaining concentration on self-control. When you sleep, your brain is charging, and it also checks the memory of the day for selection, storage, or deletion. That helps you be of sound mind and lighten your head. Your self-esteem, attention, and memory will decrease if you do not get enough sleep. Insomnia increases stress hormones, thereby eliminating productivity.
Busy work will get many people to swap their rest for work, but losing sleep will reduce your daytime productivity much more than spending some time sleeping. Besides, when you feel tired, your brain’s glucose uptake drastically reduces. This makes it difficult for you to control the impulses that affect your concentration. Therefore, sleeping well each night is one of the best things you can do.
7. Think Positively
Positive thoughts along with self-effort will be the factors that help you focus your attention on your goals. Thus, let’s choose anything positive to think about when you start feeling the emotional change in the negative direction, as it will re-focus your attention. When things get better, and the mood is more relaxed, self-control will be easier to achieve.
On the other hand, if everything is cramped and your mind is filled with negative thoughts, having that self-control is a big challenge. At that moment, you should think about something positive that has happened or is going to happen. It does not matter if it’s big or small. If you cannot think of something in the present, you can reflect on the past or look for it in the future.
The bottom line is that you must have something positive enough that you divert the focus and get rid of negative thoughts, thereby not losing your self-control. To achieve that, let’s practice in advance by looking back or finding out some positive things in the past or the near future and bear them in mind. It seems quite hard to do, but it will be helpful in enabling you not to lose your emotional control.
8. Recognise And Challenge Negative Ideas From Incomplete Feelings
Unsatisfactory feelings often arise from low self-esteem, thinking that you are not good enough to do something or not be worthy of someone. Recognising this distorted thinking and challenging them as they will help train your brain to refute the “automatic” assumption that you are not “good enough.” Deviant thoughts include the following:
Think about “all or nothing”
It is thought that everything is either good or bad, nothing in between. If you are not perfect enough, then you are a failure. You can challenge this way of thinking by loving yourself and realising that everyone in the world also has difficulties and mistakes.
Ignore positive things
If someone says good things about you, you do not mind. But if someone speaks poorly of you, then you “know right away.” Let’s challenge this by finding evidence for all that you do right in life. You will see it if you pay attention.
You believe that you are the cause of something terrible that has happened, while that does not involve you much. You may think that everything “is up to you”; for example, “My wife seems very angry when we talked on the phone. Maybe she is mad at me.” Let’s challenge this by thinking about other possible causes of events or experiences that do not focus on you: “My wife seems very angry, maybe she is having a hard day, or maybe she feels uncomfortable, and I will ask how she feels when we meet later”, instead of becoming angry with the wife’s attitudes.
You believe that you know what others are thinking or feeling (and they are often negative) without asking them back. In particular, you think that you understand how others feel about you and how it affects their actions. Example: You think a person is not respecting you and you have not checked that information. You think it’s true. You do it because you feel that you are not worthy of respect, and whereby you become overly sensitive to the people who do not respect you, which may lead to unpleasant emotional impulses later on.
Therefore, you should spend time identifying the value of yourself and challenge negative thoughts to be calm down in every situation.
9. Identify Emotions
Sometimes you may feel like you do not understand your feelings, so let’s taking time to ponder and identify your emotions. This can help you understand your emotional structure so that you feel calm and more comfortable to handle them. Frequently recognising emotions enhances self-esteem, which is considered a necessary element of self-confidence. You may realise that an available list of feelings will help you determine what you are feeling at a particular moment.
To do it, you should make sure your list includes both pleasant emotions such as happiness, love, fun, charm, compassion, enjoyment, and hope and unpleasant emotions which can be disgust, easily irritated, sad, sorry, depressed, or miserable. However, you ought to remember that uncomfortable feelings do not imply negativity. For example, fear and anger form to help us safely avoid danger. It can alert us when there is a threat.
The point is to know precisely when this emotion is not useful. Besides, a list of “cues” can also help you identify feelings. For example, the list of body signals and behaviours for love may be feeling happy, warm, or trusting; fast heartbeat and so on. To sum up, identifying your emotions is very necessary. Knowing yourself’s emotions well, especially in particular situations will help you reduce impulsive feelings that can lead wrong decisions.
10. Write a Diary
Writing an emotional diary will help you learn how to identify emotions. It will also help you learn how to identify specific emotional triggers and identify effective and ineffective ways to deal with them. Controlling impulsive feelings may be hard but cutting down on the triggers leading to emotional impulses is possible. In more details, that kind of diaries helps you learn how to recognise and bear in mind emotions that appear at some point, as opposed to letting it overwhelm and intensify.
When you ignore or skip controlling your feelings, they tend to become more severe and explode afterwards. One way to write a diary is to write down any mood or emotion you have experienced, and then rethink the cause of it. For example, your boss did not communicate eye to eye to you at lunch; you recognised this, perhaps the thought that exists in your mind is: “He is about to fire me” This will make you nervous or irritable during the day. So let ask yourself some questions in the diary. Some questions to ask yourself include:
- How do I feel right now?
- Did I think of something that has triggered this reaction?
- What do I need to have this feeling?
- Did I have this feeling before?
You should practice self-acceptance in the diary and not try to criticise your feelings, even for things you consider to be negative. Remember that feelings are not something you can control, but you can control how you explain and react to them. Write about any event or experience that makes you feel bad. For example, you scolded the waiter for pouring water on you.
Try to write about what happened without criticising yourself or others: “The waiter has poured tea on me. I was angry and scolded her. I’m annoyed because it’s a new shirt that I like very much. “Remind yourself that everyone makes mistakes. That is not a way to justify bad behaviour. It is a way to remind yourself that you are human, just like everyone else, you will take pity.
Put pressure on something that can keep you focused on the past instead of the future. Besides, let’s be kind to yourself by forgiving yourself for negative action, thinking of ways you can adjust the situation and considering how you would like to respond to similar situations in the future.
For example, “I scolded the waitress; I did not like it because I did not want to behave unkindly to others. I let the anger control. Next time I come to eat there, I’ll apologise to the waiter for that behaviour. If the incident happens again, I will remind myself that all people, including myself and others, make mistakes. I will speak kindly instead of angry. ”
When you take responsibility for your emotions, you will feel they are easier to control.
11. Appease Yourself
You should have a variety of available self-healing methods to apply when you feel stressed. These methods of placating will be different for each person, but they will soothe your senses in a certain way. Let’s try some ways to find the most effective one:
- Try listening to soft music. The British Academy of Sound Therapy has used science to create a list of the most relaxing music all over the world, including songs of the artists such as Marconi Union and Enya.
- Do something pleasant and repeatable, such as swimming, knitting wool, swing or hammock, or even repeating Mantra invocation
- Enhance touching by raising dogs or cats. In addition to creating a way to focus on the senses, several studies have demonstrated that regular interaction with pets can reduce depression.
- Take a quiet walk, focusing on the beauty of the surroundings
- Take a warm bath or shower. Feeling warm on the skin helps most people feel relaxed and comfortable
- Give yourself a date of dating. Get off to a hearty dinner with tablecloths, candles, decorations – just for you. Call your favourite dishes and remind yourself that you deserve to be loved.
12. Practice Religious Meditation
Meditation has been shown to alleviate anxiety and depression. It can also improve your stress managing abilities and helps you to adjust your emotions as well. You can see that almost Buddhists who often practice religious meditation are always calm. It is hardly possible to see them lose their emotional control. Thus, if you want to be like them, you can join a class, use online tutorials, or learn how to practice mindfulness meditation by yourself.
All you need to do is to find a comfortable, quiet place without distractions. Sit upright on a chair or the floor, avoid shrinking shoulders, as this makes breathing difficult. Then you should try to focus on a single element when breathing. It may be the sound of breath, the expansion of the lungs as the air enters, or the feeling of deep breathing. Next, you may extend focus on the rest of the body and notice what other senses you are feeling.
Do not try to evaluate or focus too much on any one emotion and accept every thought and body feeling as it appears. Accepting such feelings and thoughts will help you to experience without criticism: “I’m thinking that the nose is itching. That’s a thought.” If the concentration is detected, you need to focus your attention back on the breath. The UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Centre provides meditation MP3s for download.
There are also many applications that teach small meditation exercises for smartphones or tablets as well, so you can take advantage of them to practice religious meditation more effectively. It is sure to need much patience to do it, but a peaceful and relaxed soul will come to you.
The above are 12 methods to assist you in controlling emotional impulses. It is not easy to fulfil them or make you an emotion-controlling master. However, there is a fact that if you are reading this sentence, you are probably looking for some ways to control impulsive feelings, so let’s go for it and try your best.
Although it’s important to control your emotions, denying that they exist can cause more severe physical and emotional symptoms. Besides, there are complex psychological problems that require the professional assistance of qualified psychologists, counsellors or social workers. Hence, you are highly recommended to identify your emotions very well before practising these methods. Thanks for reading!