Emotional stability doesn’t depend on how emotional you are in real life. In fact, these are two different factors, though certainly related to each other.
I prefer to consider your emotional behavior in two periods: the short term and the long term. And it’s the long term that determines your emotional stability.
Of course, it depends partly on your genetic factors, but your habits, especially when you aren’t aware of them, are much more influential.
In my practice as a psychologist I often face emotionally unstable people, so I have some tips that may help you to work on your own emotional stability.
What does emotional stability mean?
Here are a few factors that signal that you lack emotional stability:
- You get lost in your emotions and can’t control them
- You feel anxious all the time
- You often feel frustrated
- Your mood takes a turn for the worse
- You get angry and stressed out over every situation that doesn’t go the way you would like
My experience tells me very simply that usually, emotional instability is a big tower of a lot of small mental habits. They just combine together to make you feel insecure.
Here are a few habits you need to get rid of first to begin your way to emotional stability.
Don’t feel sorry for your emotions
It sounds very simple, but the fact is that people get caught up in their emotions and sometimes blame themselves for feeling them.
Your emotions depend a lot on your hormones, it’s true. However, it is within your power to perceive them in different ways. Take your emotions for granted and never criticize yourself for what you are experiencing.
If you feel angry or disappointed, just don’t dwell on it. Let the emotions go and don’t constantly try to analyze them.
I’ll give you some examples.
- For example, you are afraid of something. That’s okay. However, if you start thinking about it too much-then you also feel shame and anxiety. Instead of one bad emotion, you end up with three.
- Or you feel sad. And you start digging into yourself and asking the question, “Why am I unhappy?” Now you feel shame, too.
- Or you feel anxious and you start thinking too much about why you’re so anxious. Now you also feel anger directed at yourself.
Simple advice – just take your emotions as a given, like background music in a game. Don’t concentrate on them too much.
Don’t try to control everything
Another problem is that people want to control everything around them. That is human nature and that is what has allowed us to build civilization as it is.
However, what is good for civilization is bad for the individual.
The thing is, you can’t control everything, so just take it for granted.
You can’t control the emotions, thoughts, and behavior of others. So don’t even try, just live in a world where there is a lot of uncertainty and take it as a thing, which is okay.
Of course, you can try to influence other people, but don’t expect any result. If it works, that’s great. If it doesn’t, that’s okay too.
Otherwise, you’ll have inflated expectations that will shatter reality. It sounds wild, but you have to cultivate indifference to things you can’t control.
Develop a clear belief system
As I said, emotions should be taken as a given, as background music in the game. However, your decisions should be dictated by your convictions, not by your emotions.
I can give you the analogy of a ship in the ocean. The ship has a course (these are your beliefs and values), but its path in the ocean depends on the weather (other people’s decisions, their emotions, as well as your emotions).
Your path can change, but your beliefs should light the way to what you want to achieve in the end.
Don’t look for meaning in the actions and decisions of other people
Other people are not perfect either, and they too are subject to emotion, so their decisions and actions are often irrational as well.
Just don’t try to make sense out of everything, sometimes things happen for no reason. However, trying to make sense of everything is a direct path to emotional problems, especially when you feel anger, frustration, or sadness over other people’s decisions.
And your emotions are heightened when you try to make sense of the cause. The truth is that you almost never know the real reason for other people’s actions. So, is there any point in feeling anxiety over something that is not up to you?
Don’t concentrate on your thoughts
Of course, this does not mean that you have to live mindlessly. But it does mean that your thoughts can sometimes lead you astray. If you see that thought doesn’t help you find a solution, just ignore it.
It’s probably just emotional spam that will become a bridge between you and emotional instability.
This is a personal story written by Liza Aaron. The opinion expressed in this story is her own.
Featured image credit: Catholic News Agency