Emotions control what you do every day “ you jump out of bed if you are excited about something you are doing that day (vacation to Rio!) and hit the snooze when you’re depressed about getting up (performance review at work). You can’t help but feel all kinds of emotions as you move through your day “ happy, sad, fearful, excited, and on and on. You learn at an early age to control your emotions, but sometimes that’s not as easy as it sounds. Of course, sometimes it’s good to let your emotions control you (that is where expressions like ˜follow your heart’ come from), but being completely ruled by your emotions can be bad for you. Here’s some examples of your emotions controlling you, and whether or not that’s a bad thing.
Your boyfriend doesn’t text you first thing in the morning when he gets to work, and you immediately just know that he is cheating on you. You begin to track him down in a frenzy, calling, texting, checking up on him any way you can. By the time you get a hold of him you are a jealous maniac and he probably thinks you are nuts (you forgot he had a doctor’s appointment that morning).
You’ve had a great day at work and without thinking you hold the door open for people, allow an elderly woman to go ahead of you in line at the grocery store, even give up your seat on the subway to a harried looking mom with a three-year-old. Your happy emotions are spreading the love, and that’s a good thing.
You’ve had a hard day at work and are driving home, rehashing the day’s events, when someone cuts you off. You honk your horn and make a, you know, hand signal. In response the driver brakes really hard. Road rage is the worst example of letting your emotions control you, and it is never a good thing.
You’re feeling especially happy about your hair one day and smile at a guy in the grocery store line. He strikes up a conversation, and you impulsively ask him for his phone number. A few days later you actually call him and when you meet for coffee he turns out to be a really great, funny, and single guy! Good job letting your positive emotions control you!
Your boss doesn’t make eye contact with you in the morning and you assume you are being fired. Your emotions spin out of control, you can’t get your work done, you’re snippy with co-workers and clients, and the whole day is ruined. Don’t let this unfounded emotion control your entire day.
So what can you do when negative emotions control you? There are lots of ways to approach this issue “ take a deep breath, try not to react at all, try to rationalize other’s behaviors. (A car cutting you off is rushing a sick child to the hospital, your boss is distracted by a presentation she is going to make, your man is off buying an anniversary gift.) Don’t be afraid to let your emotions rule you, but be aware that sometimes you just have to let things go.