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Manage Negative Emotions

Our mood changes all the time. It is common in my life, in your life. We yell at our kids, peers or anyone with or without a reason and may be do something we regret. We can suddenly get angry as if someone is pushing our button and we turn into another person. Maybe we all experienced this once.

Consequences of losing control over emotions can be devastating. You want to be the master of our life? We first need to learn how to control our emotions.


Losing control over our emotions can happen by many reasons, such as pressure, long time suppressed anxieties or other negative emotions, past experiences. Some experiences maybe locked deeply in our subconscious so we even do not have any idea. We repressed these experiences.

For instance think of a colour you really don’t like, do you know why? You probably cannot give a common explanation. Or, think about some actor/actress you don’t like. Why? You don’t even know them, how come you don’t like them?

As I believe everything happens for a reason, just sometimes we simply forget.

Be aware of triggers

Think of a recent conflict conversation that made you lose control over your emotions. Or, if you are a short tempered person like me, you may have more than one bad experience. Think on all of them, or, even better, write down these situations. Our goal is to figure out what are the triggers that initiates us to lose our control. Is this because of a specific person? Or is the trigger a specific topic you talk on? Maybe a tone of voice you cannot accept, or a particular facial expression? Or when driving a surprise action of another driver makes you crazy?

Being aware of triggers is the first step to control. Think hard and write down your triggers. There are other internal triggers that can make you lose control. When you feel unsafe, or when being challenged, when actions do not work out as you planed. These are triggers in you. Write all potential triggers you can think of.

Triggers for good. Triggers for bad

Identifying Triggers is not only useful to control our bad emotions it is also good for us to have more positive feelings in our live. Similarly write down triggers that make you laugh, feel confident, happy, satisfied…these are positive triggers.

Changing negative triggers into signs of no meaning and orient more on positive triggers could bring more feelings of fulfilment in our live.

Identify the moment

We keep our focus on the negative emotions and their triggers.

Emotion switch, usually the negative ones happen just in a moment, like the Aha moment, it’s a BING, you got shot!

Mostly we did or said something improper before we realize we lost control over our emotion.

The best way to take back the control is to identify “the moment”.

In the moment, our blood pressure is getting higher, our heart speed is becoming faster, our breath is becoming shorter.

Our body is ready to Act!

Hold on…

Once you identified “the moment”, congratulations, you are half way to success.

Immediately after recognizing the body reaction take a deep breath and say to yourself, ‘This is the moment, ‘I need to HOLD ON’. Stop doing anything, especially shut your month! No matter what or how you want to say, you need time to adjust yourself. Swallow all your thoughts because these are reactions which could damage your image, your relationship or whatever the goal is you want to achieve.

When you manage to be silent, quickly ask yourself these questions:

  • Is what I want to say or do in this angry mood helpful and healthy?

  • Do I have any options?

  • What is my goal? Do I want to change the other person’s behavior or do I to seek an agreement?

In reality you cannot think through all these questions. The purpose is to extend your reaction time to regain control and search for better behaviour. When you manage to shut your mouth, you can redirect your attention to other situations in order to relax and calm down. It won’t take you long to be normal, probably only a few seconds.

These questions can help you to clear your mind. And these questions also reminds you a very important concept when having a conversation/communication, which is “begin with the end in mind”.

Good news and bad news

Controlling an emotion is a skill. One need practice to master this skill probably many times.

The Good news is ‘we can’. The bad news is ‘it’s not easy’.

Even Gong

April 2016

© 2019 TonVoogtConsultancy ~ Recent Update 24-08-2017
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