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How to Control Your Emotions Without Suppressing Them – A Guide to Emotion Regulation

  Controlling emotions is not about forcibly suppressing emotions and preventing yourself from having any emotions, but being able to accept it, tolerate it, and treat it well.
  Many people are particularly prone to the misunderstanding that they equate “controlling emotions” with “suppressing emotions” and believe that the highest state of a person’s control over emotions is to be able to “suppress” any emotion that arises. No matter what happens, you can “quench” your emotions immediately when they arise. When you are unhappy, you have to try hard not to be depressed; when you are angry, you have to try not to be angry; when you are anxious, you have to try hard not to be anxious…
  This is unrealistic and unnecessary. Controlling emotions is not about forcibly suppressing emotions and preventing yourself from having any emotions, but being able to accept it, tolerate it, and treat it well.
  The way we deal with our emotions is not to suppress them, but to feel them, observe them, distance ourselves from them, and then let them dissipate naturally. What is the origin of emotions? It’s your attention. The more you care about it, pay attention to it, and the more “force” you exert on it, the more powerful it will be, constantly growing in the wind, and gradually occupying your thoughts. On the other hand, if you don’t care about it at all and ignore it, when it doesn’t exist, it will be cut off from its vitality, struggle feebly for a while, and then immediately dissipate into the air.
  The mechanism of emotion is essentially a “self-reinforcing” cycle. Worry, anxiety, annoyance, anger…these things are not actually “emotions”, they are just “feelings”, an alert sent to us by the brain after detecting possible threats around us. If you fall into these feelings and are affected by them, it is equivalent to confirming that the alarm is correct and real. As a result, the brain turns on the “scan mode” to further scan the details of this threat and try to find ways to deal with or avoid it.
  This makes us fall into “rumination”, thinking over and over again in our hearts: What to do, is it real, what will happen to it, what should I do… This is the emotion: you confirm that the threat is real , issuing an authorization to the brain, authorizing the brain to use resources to process it. As a result, the emotion completes a closed loop: issuing an alarm – confirming the alarm – and starting to send out the alarm. The brain begins to methodically perform the task we gave it: to scan for this threat and figure out how to deal with it. This results in our thinking being dominated by emotions and making it difficult to operate effectively.
  This is internal friction, immersing yourself in illusory, completely non-existent and unnecessary waste of resources. For example, if you have some small friction at work, it is just a small matter. If we talk about it or resolve it, we may not care about it. But sometimes, we keep it in our stomachs and think about it over and over again when we get home. The more we think about it, the more we feel that we have suffered a loss. We cannot swallow this breath and constantly amplify it, which seriously affects the quality of life and work status. Its essence is self-reinforcement brought about by “rumination”. Even if it’s just an extremely small thing, every time you think about it, you are adding a little weight to it, making your brain pay more attention to it. Then, it will be harder to erase it from your mind, and it will be more firmly entrenched in your thoughts, making you upset… Through this self-reinforcing cycle, emotions are constantly confirmed and strengthened until they occupy us. of the brain, causing the brain to “freeze”.
  So please remember one thing: Feelings and actions are two different things. Just because you have a feeling does not mean that it is real, nor does it mean that you must act or deal with it according to its wishes – you can decide what you want to do, and the decision-making power must be in your own hands. You can put it aside and tell yourself: I understand, let’s put it aside until I have time to deal with it. Most of the time, you will find that these feelings are basically false.
  When you have emotions, first keep examining and observing yourself, and make yourself keenly aware: Oh? I seemed to have another idea, as if it was still a familiar old friend. Then, listen to it, see what it wants to tell you, get the information it wants to give you, and tell it: I understand, thank you. Then, gently “push it away” in your mind, imagine it keeping a certain distance from you, and tell it: I will deal with it, now you can step back. Finally, gently bring your attention back to what you were doing and continue your actions.
  You can regard the four steps of “see, listen, push and pull” as an exercise and practice it repeatedly in your life until it becomes your own instinct. You may find that many of the emotional problems that once troubled you no longer bother you.

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