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Emotional mastery: The importance of learning how to control emotions

Opinion & Analysis
Emotions are instinctive and are distinguished from reasoning or knowledge.

THE philosophy of stoicism emphasises virtue, tolerance and self-control.

In modern times, the term “stoic” describes a person who can endure pain or hardships without showing their feelings or emotions.

When we choose to control our emotions, we are not denying them or suppressing them.

Rather, we are choosing how we respond to the world around us.

We choose to rise above the chaotic nature of life and refuse to be victims of circumstance.

Discernment is the ability to make a smart judgement about something.

An emotion by definition is a strong feeling deriving from one’s circumstances, mood or relationships with others.

Emotions are instinctive and are distinguished from reasoning or knowledge.

Emotions are an invaluable part of the human experience as they can help one to survive, grow and connect with others.

It is, therefore, important to control our emotions as they can have a psychological impact.

When left unchecked, they can cause anxiety or depression.

Just like your fingerprint, or your DNA, your purpose is unique to you.

Because of this, not everyone will understand your actions and ideas.

Sometimes we even experience negative feedback and responses.

For this reason, you should learn to separate your emotions from your reactions.

In other words, do not take everything personally.

When we are able to discern our emotions from the truth, we protect our peace, heart posture and our purpose.

Learning how to control one’s emotions is not a one-time event, but rather a life-long journey.

Below are some steps one can take as they embark on this journey.

Recognise that your thoughts create your reality

Our thoughts are shaped by the way we interpret and perceive the world around us.

The meaning you attach to an event and the stories we tell ourselves shape our memories, which, in turn, feed our emotions.

The victim mentality is a psychological concept in which a person tends to recognise themselves as victims of the negative actions of others.

Instead of presuming ourselves victims, we should separate the actions of others from how we respond and react.

Reframe challenges as opportunities of growth

Where we cannot control the wind, we can adjust the sails.

Instead of cowering when faced with challenges, one should embrace them and look for a solution.

We should seek opportunities of growth within whatever adversity we face. In these moments, we should remember we are stronger than we think.

Take action in the face of fear

When faced with fear of the unknown, it is often easier to return to the comfort of the familiar.

We should not let fear cripple us, but instead we should persevere. Courage and resilience are fruits of overcoming fear. Learn to trust your intuition.

It is better to have a failed attempt than no attempt because we learn from our failures.

When we allow ourselves to be crippled by fear, we open the door to regret.

Surround yourself with like-minded people

Surround yourself with people who will motivate and encourage you.

“The people you surround yourself with have a phenomenal impact on your life,” said the late Canadian self-help author and lecturer Bob Proctor.

Avoid people who always complain and, instead, surround yourself with people with big goals.

Be around people who celebrate your victories with you and want the best for you.

Finally, find friends who will not hesitate to give constructive criticism when needed.

Look at the five people you spend the most time with and ask yourself: “If I have children, would I want them to be like them?”

If the answer is no, you need to re-evaluate your social circle.

In conclusion, regardless of your age, status or occupation, it is important to learn to control your emotions.

“When you develop emotional mastery and the unwavering determination to keep moving forward, you become unstoppable,” said the late Bahamian evangelist and ordained minister, professor, author, speaker and leadership consultant Myles Munroe.

  • Rutendo Kureya is a medical student at Saint Petersburg State Paediatric Medical University, Russia. She is passionate about issues concerning the state and welfare of fellow Zimbabweans. She can be reached at [email protected]Mobile: +7 996 274 98 66 Facebook: Rutendo Kureya. She writes here in her personal capacity.

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