The essence of emotional management is actually: Under the premise of understanding and fully accepting one’s own emotions, being able to think and control one’s actions rationally. And then improve it.
When it comes to emotional management, people often have two deep misunderstandings.
First, emotional management is basically just the management of “negative” emotions.
People only think of the need to manage their emotions when they have anxiety, anger, mania and other emotions.
In fact, happiness and anger are two sides of emotions. What you want to manage is your own emotions as a whole system.
If you can’t control your ecstasy, then you can’t control your anger either.
Second, emotional management is equivalent to emotional “suppression.”
Many people understand emotional management as how to “suppress” their emotions.
When many people come to me for emotional problems, they want me to tell them: how can they not be angry when they are angry, how can they not be sad when they are sad, and how can they not be anxious when they are anxious.
What they want is an external force that can “beat” their own emotions. Or hope that there is a way to eliminate their emotions.
They take it for granted that as long as they let their emotions disappear or squeeze them on the ground, emotions can be obedient.
But in fact, emotional management is like water control. Water is not rootless, and naturally it cannot disappear out of air; the water cannot be blocked, and the more blocked, the more disasters will be created.
Since the emotion exists, we have no way to make it disappear while it exists;
The emotional system is a part of the cross-combination of the human physiological system and the cognitive system. You cannot suppress it, nor you can “block” it.
All the emotions you rejected, evaded, and suppressed will eventually explode in a more violent and destructive way when you reach the threshold of your emotional suppression.
So I said at the beginning: The essence of emotional management is actually to be able to think and control one’s actions rationally under the premise of understanding and fully accepting one’s own emotions.
Emotions will not disappear and cannot be suppressed. You must understand and accept it;
At the same time, no matter how emotional you are, no matter how excited you are, on the perceptual level, how much hope you can vent your emotions, you still have to use your reason to think and deal with problems.
Note that it is not that you have “suppressed” your emotions with reason, but at the most fundamental level, emotions can no longer influence your decisions and choices.
You have realized that at the most essential level, all your actions and choices can only be determined by your reason. Therefore, it is equivalent to cutting off the influence of your “emotional system” on your thinking and choices.
Only in this way, we can achieve the most fundamental purpose of emotional management: to prevent emotions from affecting decision-making.
I don’t know how many people have not really understood the meaning of learning emotional management.
The most fundamental purpose of emotional management is to prevent emotions from affecting decision-making. This sentence also means: learning emotional management is not to allow you to escape your emotions and feelings, not to allow you to Emotions can no longer occur in the occasions and situations where emotions are generated.
I believe that the original intention of many people who want to manage their emotions is actually to escape their emotions and feelings.
Their purpose of learning the essence of emotion management is not actually the management of “emotions.” They actually don’t want to face the bad “feelings” that negative emotions bring to them, such as anxiety, and panic.
So here we need to clarify this point: no matter how “bad” emotions you have, emotions themselves are not a problem.
Because the emotional system is a self-protection mechanism of the human body, your various emotions are and only a signal of your own internal reactions.
So what really bothers you and what makes you feel bad is not your “emotions,” but the feelings that emotions bring to you and your negative understanding of emotions.
Based on the above understanding of “emotions”, we can continue to discuss how to manage your emotions.
First, face and feel your emotions.
The most fundamental reason why most “emotional problems” are “problems” lies in people’s resistance to their own emotions.
In other words, the key to emotional problems is not emotions, but resistance.
Suppose that you are a king, and the messenger comes to report: The black bear has snatched the queen away, and you feel very upset.
So what is upsetting you?
It was the black bear who robbed the queen of this specific incident, not “The Herald told you about it”, right?
As far as our emotions are concerned, emotions are equivalent to the herald, and its function is to “reminder.”
The reminder function of emotion is mainly manifested in two aspects:
One is a reminder of external abnormalities, and the other is a reminder of internal abnormalities.
For example, when someone trying to kill you, you will feel the fear of danger;
This is a reminder of the outside world.
When you read an article and said: “The poor is not worthy of a girlfriend”, you feel angry;
This is a reminder of your inner abnormality, because your anger actually reflects your inner self-identification as a “poor”, and you should have a lot of frustration experience when you are in a relationship.
Although this article is not necessarily about you, it has provoked some traumas or unreasonable cognitions within you and your subconscious.
The fundamental reason why emotions are difficult to manage lies in this: our inner world, our inner feelings and the external real world will intersect each other, basically when we generate emotions, it is often both external and internal imbalances mixed together.
So we tend to become clueless before the complexity of emotions, especially if some situations cause our internal trauma, we will never admit those traumas, and at the same time, in order to avoid facing ourselves, we will let ourselves be emotionally affected control.
For example, there is a boy who strongly advocates that premarital sex should be prohibited. In fact, this may be a projection of his inner anger about his inability to have sex with the opposite sex.
And it would be difficult for him to realize this, even if he realized it, he would be ashamed to admit it.
So what is the purpose of emotions reminding you?
Emotion reminding you is to enable you to solve the problem that produces imbalance, not to make you entangled in the emotion itself.
And “resistance” is like the herald telling you that the black bear has taken the queen away. You don’t want to catch the black bear, but you keep punishing the herald, or you force the herald to tell you that the queen was not taken.
We are unwilling to face reality, we are unwilling to take on our own responsibilities, and we dare not face our true self, so emotions become an excuse to escape from real problems.
We can think that people with poor emotional management skills are basically people with low self-acceptance.
Because of impedance, you do not face the real problem, so the problem cannot be solved for a long time.
Then your emotions will keep reminding you, so your emotions will become stronger and stronger, your anxiety, restlessness, and anger will become more and more difficult to suppress.
So the first step in emotional management is to face, understand, and accept your emotions.
You have to realize that emotions are not your enemy. Your pain is not brought to you by emotions, but based on your cognitive system, your thinking habits, and your automated responses to external events that have been formed over time.
So first you have to face your own emotions, yes, you are indeed angry, you are indeed sad, and you are indeed very upset.
Then you have to accept it.
This acceptance means to fully appreciate and feel your emotions.
This experience and feeling of emotions is actually a process of jumping out of being driven by emotions.
The most fundamental reason why our emotions make us behave badly is that we give up control of ourselves and let our emotions control ourselves.
For example, when you are angry, you can’t think of anything in your brain. You are full of people or things that make you angry and the desire to destroy them.
At this time, experiencing and feeling emotions means that “you” is in control, and emotions have become an object, so it can no longer control you.
Let me explain it again: When you feel and experience your emotions, it means that you are separated from your emotions. You are feeling and experiencing it, rather than emotions becoming you.
So there are some people who come to me for emotional counseling, and I will recommend them to do “experience exercises” at the end.
Experience practice is to face your negative feelings through practice, and gradually cut off the connection between your emotions and your decision-making system and the cognition of “self” in the process of experiencing it.
Moreover, often when you carefully experience and feel your emotions, you will find that your emotions seem to disappear instantly without a trace. What do you think you are angry about? What makes you sad? Where does your anxiety come from?
So once you accept emotions, emotions disappear.
But there is a big difference between our emotional system and the messenger. The biggest difference is that our emotional system is “too stupid”. It often raises errors and reports wrong signals.
So we have to proceed to the next step.
Second, analyze your emotions
People have two thinking systems.
One is automated thinking, that is, the unconscious conditioned reflex formed in the process of tens of millions of years of evolution and your personal growth.
For example, knocking on your knees will kick your legs, you will feel inferior when you see a rich person, you will subconsciously measure whether she is within your heartbeat when you see a person of the opposite sex, and so on.
One is to think rationally, that is, you think about a thing and then decide to make a choice.
These two sets of thinking systems alternately affect our lives in all aspects of our lives, and emotions belong to the former that is, emotions are an automated thinking process.
The emotional system has its own set of information processing mechanism, which automatically connects with your cognitive ability.
For example: You think bats are a very scary thing, so you will feel very scared after seeing bats.
You think that your husband does not reply to your messages because he does not love you anymore, so you will feel very sad after you have not received his reply for two hours.
So the problem lies here.
Our emotions will only react according to the standards of our own cognitive system, and each of us has a lot of unreasonable beliefs in the cognitive system.
For example, if a lover doesn’t reply to the message, he doesn’t love you anymore. If someone holds a different point of view from you, it’s brain damage. If the service staff doesn’t use “please” to you, he just looks down on you, etc. Each of us has too many similar unreasonable things.
Unreasonable beliefs will naturally lead to unreasonable emotions.
So why should we analyze our emotions?
Because we must first determine whether the reminder received from the emotional system is correct, and then we can make a decision on how to deal with it.
For example, the herald tells you that the queen was captured by the black bear, and you must at least verify the authenticity of this matter first. First determine whether the queen’s arrest is true. If it is not true, then you have to communicate with the herald. Why do you think this is the case?
Maybe you just know at this time, it turns out that the herald has myopia, and it is not the black bear who took the queen, but Harry Potter; Or the messenger’s mind entered water, there is no black bear in this world;
The same is true when we analyze our emotions.
We must first figure out why we have such emotions.
Which person or thing made you feel what kind of thoughts and feelings.
For example, your wife said to you: Someone in our unit is hardworking and capable. I heard that he made more than 300,000$ amateur stocks last month!
You are impatient: he is diligent, he can do, you go with him! Is it amazing to earn 300,000$? He may lose all his energy one day!
At this time you have to analyze: Why does your wife’s words make you angry?
Your wife’s words make you feel inferior to him. You think your wife is suggesting to you that she is interested in him, and she thinks you are very useless.
So at this time, the first thing you have to do is to confirm whether your thoughts are reasonable. Maybe your wife just shared it with you casually and you think too much, maybe your wife was actually drawn by him to MLM organization, maybe your wife wants to try stocks with you.
It is more likely that you have an extremely low self-esteem towards yourself in your heart, and you also hate that you are lazy and do not seek to make progress.
And these words of your wife stabbed you, stabbed the real self that you have been unwilling to face.
Therefore, only by analyzing the causes of your emotions, you can truly solve the problem.
Third, think rationally.
The ultimate goal of emotional management is to enable you to think rationally.
It doesn’t matter whether your rational thinking is sufficient, whether your thinking is correct or not, whether you handle the problem well in the end, these are not important, the important thing is and only:
You can learn to cut off the influence of emotions on your decision-making system when you are emotional;
You can learn that no matter how sad, how angry, how scared you are, your actions and choices are made by rational thinking;
You can realize that emotional excitement and rational decision are essentially two different things, and your decision-making system isolates emotional factors at any time;
This is the real purpose of emotional management.
Just like there are two drivers in a car, the rational driver is in charge of the helm, and the emotional driver is in charge of investigating.
In your past situation, as long as the emotional driver noticed any disturbance, he would immediately take the steering wheel from the sensible driver;
Emotion management is to train you, no matter how dangerous or emergency you are, you must keep the steering wheel firmly in the hands of a sensible driver, and you can let the emotional driver yell crazy , but his authority only ends here. He screams at most, but he absolutely cannot have any authority to get involved with the steering wheel.
On the one hand, you have to train your rational thinking to always control your decision-making power. On the other hand, you have to constantly train your emotional system, the “disobedient silly child”, and make the emotional system constantly adjust to the reality. Reaction, at the same time you have to constantly upgrade your cognition, only reasonable cognition can produce reasonable emotions.
Finally, let’s summarize, what specific and operable practice methods are there for emotional management exercises?
First: Emotional experience practice.
When you are in an emotion, you must fully feel and appreciate your emotions.
Second: Sentiment analysis exercises.
Analyze and think about the causes of your emotions, preferably on paper:
What are your current emotions and feelings?
What caused you to have this emotion?
How does this thing/this person/this sentence that made you feel this emotion? What kind of beliefs did you have?
Are your beliefs reasonable?
The third: rational thinking exercises.
Every time you get emotional, you can imagine that your brain is now like a palace. Sitting in the middle is your rational king, and chattering beside you is your emotional messenger. You drove the emotional messenger out of the hall. So your mind is only filled with reason. When you think, you have to consciously exclude emotional factors.
Finally, I need to remind you that emotional management is a habit that takes a long time to develop, and you must see a long-term goal from now on.
The biggest enemy on the path of self-improvement is impatiently wanting to get feedback immediately, and eagerly wanting to change immediately, so no matter how effective the method is, many people just give up within a week or two.
So after I teach you this method of emotional management, I will tell you that you have to practice this method for two years before you can control your emotions as you like without being affected by it.
This also means that you will not be able to reach your ideal state within two years of starting this exercise.
If you accept that you have to endure the boredom of the next two years, you can gain the ability to control your emotions for a lifetime in two years;
If you do not have the patience to practice for at least two years, this means that you will never be able to get rid of the control of your emotions in your life.