All of us (though some are exempt from this) have been or still are hostage to our emotions, with many people not even being aware of how they feel from one moment to the other.
However being aware of how you are feeling and the thoughts you have – can help you gain some control over wayward emotions such as anger, angst, sadness or anxiety. Basically the more ‘self aware’ you become the more able you are to control your emotions.
Being self aware simply means being aware of our thoughts and feelings which in turn gives us the opportunity to be ‘aware’ of them without becoming emotionally attached to them and when we become the ‘observer’ of our emotions we can choose whether we wish to change how we feel or wallow in our emotions.
For example, how many of us have been cut up on the road at some point by what would appear to be a ‘thoughtless’ driver? Most of us no doubt! But self awareness allows us to see that our angry response to this incident is ours – maybe our outburst (expletives!) are called for but maybe they weren’t – maybe the guy just didn’t see you?
So yes we got angry – but being aware that you are angry in the first place is great but being aware that our response to this incident is also our choice – means we gain control over how we feel – or for how long we feel these emotions, because lets face it – feeling bad sucks!
Self awareness allows us to remain calm in stressful situations, helps us to chose a more beneficial or positive state of mind and as a result we feel more balanced and positive. We become the ‘observer’ of our emotions – ‘I am feeling angry/sad/overwhelmed etc – which enables us to distance ourselves from those negative emotions and then gives us leverage to change them into a more positive one, if we want to! So if we find ourselves in a bad mood we can get ourselves out of it more quickly than other people who are less aware of their emotions.
On the flip side there are people who loose themselves in their emotions – drowning in their emotions or wallowing in their sorrows or worries. These people are immersed in their emotions and are unable to ‘see’ them clearly and as a result become overwhelmed by the emotions they experience. They have little perspective on the emotions they feel as and a result have little control over their emotional life and live at the mercy of their own emotions feeling they can do nothing to improve their situation.
And then we have those people who are aware of how they feel but do nothing to change them. Some people believe that they should experience all emotions as they arise as this is natural – but then there is a fine line here between wallowing in these emotions or really ‘feeling’ them and moving on.
And of course there are those who know they feel depressed, or sad, or angry but chose to stay with these emotions and they are ‘who I am’.
Your emotions are not who you are – they ‘tell’ us how we should feel based on past, present and future experiences however they are not always appropriate or the best option. You always have a choice – to feel bad or feel good. Simple.
Yes it’s necessary to feel bad sometimes – they make the good times good – and it’s better ‘out than in’ we are told (and I’m not talking about wind here!) – if we feel upset, angry, worried – deal with the cause of these feelings and move on – it’s a far healthier option than denying our emotions or believing you are a slave to them – you are not!
We all have times when we feel low – and that’s okay – but if these feelings drag on then perhaps you need to ask yourself if these emotions are serving you at this moment in time. Do they make you feel good – probably not – so do something about it.
Make a commitment to yourself to be more self aware – and once you start to notice your emotions – you can then go on to question whether they are appropriate (not all emotions we feel are – they can be a learned response) and if not – change them and move on.
You have a choice in life – to live a more fulfilling and happier life – or to chose to be a victim to your emotions. We all feel them – good or bad – but it’s how we ‘experience’ them and ‘deal’ with them that determines our lives. So chose well!