This one takes the most work, but pays off the most in the long run. Mastering my emotions is something that has personally allowed me to save a person’s life, complete a university degree, keep a recurring position as the house entertainer in a number of restaurants, and come off as calm, cool and collected in high-stress situations.
At the same time, there will be times where you learn, usually it’s through big mistakes! Failing to master my emotions has cost me a car, many relationships, and on two occasions my entire way of life, including apartment, city of residence, routine, etc.
Mastery, I think, comes through a practiced cognitive, associative and autonomous ability to consistently grow more self-aware and proactive. Even I had trouble with that last sentence, so I mean to say, identify your weaknesses. Personally, I struggled with anger and trusting\liking\falling for people way too quickly and deeply. I had (and will always have) a paradoxical combination of hatred and bitterness for big, powerful rules that govern over me. (I had an adverse reaction to figures of authority my whole life, and challenged people or rules that stood in my way for reasons I thought were no better than “just because”.)
Along with a crazily optimistic and child-like naivety for people who struck me in that perfect way. Through a journey to emotional mastery, I’ve learned a lot. How is it, that my body will react physiologically the same way to some bureaucratic schmuck pushing papers in some admin office, telling me something I don’t want to hear and can’t do much about, as this secret-crush of mine who just revealed a sliver of a clue that they might actually like me a little too? I used to be confused by it.
I just had to start reading more, doing some research. It’s amazing the answers you’ll start to find if you start asking the right questions. Turns out, now, by listening to my body, I can better control my emotions. If I start to notice my breathing quickening, my heart beating faster, involuntary twitches, etc. I know I’m likely on the route to saying or doing something I’ll probably regret later on. So how do I fix it? Well, I’ve found just breathing works. Coming back to the most basic of human functions. The breath. But there are many ways to become a master of your emotions. Some will undoubtedly come up throughout the course of our time together.
For now, however, this blog assumes that you have relatively good control over your emotions, that you can put that game face on, and aren’t going into a state of personal crisis every other day.