Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Why do we need to control our emotions?

‘But I want to feel alive. I want to feel the emotions course through me. I want to be taken away.’

The Chinese doctor shook his head, almost imperceptibly pursed his lips, handed me some herbs and shooed me out the door.

I think of that moment with a mixture of amusement, disbelief and embarrassment.

Amused with my youthful insistence on defending the rights of uncontrolled emotional impulses.

Disbelief that I could be so naïve.

Embarrassment that I didn’t take shut my mouth and just listen.

I had booked the appointment with the doctor because I was suffering migraines. I was 17 and dependant on anti-depressants and prescription headache prevention tablets. I was taking 4 different tablets a day.

I knew that I was in a bad state, at such an age, and I wanted an alternative.
But when I went in for advice, I didn’t listen. I just defended my own choices stubbornly.

So, what have I learnt in the last 20 years?

Why is control of our emotions important?

Generally speaking, we can put the emotions into two groups. Emotions that enhance our feelings of wellbeing, and emotions that destroy our feelings of wellbeing.

Enhancers Destroyers

Happiness Sadness
Delight Dissatisfaction

Then, we can think of emotions that enhance our wellbeing of the moment, but later on, we feel regretful and often curse our stupidity. There are examples to the contrary, but they are a handful compared to the majority of stories I have heard.

Positive Emotions that usually fall through with time
- In love sensations
- Excitement linked to gambling, drugs, any obsessive behaviour.
- Patriotism when inspired by a moving speech but time shows was just a vote catcher.
- Happiness related to retail therapy

Now while we can never be really sure about the final outcome of the emotions we are experiencing, experience guides us to take it easy, and not follow your heart in all cases.

Sometimes there are emotions that make us feel bad at the moment, but after some time, the effects of that emotion actually enhance our life quality.

Emotions that destroy us temporarily, and can lead to life enhancement
- Guilt
- Regret
- Embarrassment
- Hitting rock bottom leaves us only one place to go (if we do not give into the temptation of suicide) – up
- Anger

Again, its about exercising some control, some ration, some wisdom.

Every situation is different, but if we don’t temper our emotions with the learnings of our experience, then we remain a victim of our emotional swings.

Emotions can be wonderful to ride them at the moment, and they can cause us deep regret.

Observing our emotions, understanding our triggers and endeavoring to exhibit some control is, in my opinion, the necessary work of responsible people aware of the importance of relationships and communication.

A great story about anger -

I’d rather lose hate than weight -

No comments: