What to do with anger and sadness and how to restore your good mood
Developing emotional intelligence (EQ) can change all areas of life for the better, from work to family. If you haven’t decided which skill to develop in 2021 yet, take a look at EQ. This can be done right now. The famous American psychologist Daniel Goleman in the book “Emotional Intelligence” tells how to learn how to manage strong emotions. Here are the key ideas on this topic.
Anatomy of Strong Feelings
The brain is designed in such a way that we often have little or no control over the moment when we are overcome by any emotion, and have no control over what kind of emotion it will be. What can be done? At a minimum, influence how long it will last.
When strong emotions last longer than an acceptable time limit, they gradually turn into painful extreme forms: chronic anxiety, depression, uncontrollable rage. That is why it is important to learn to control your condition before it becomes completely habitual.
At the same time, anger is the negative emotion that a person gives in to most easily. In the course of an internal monologue, which immediately begins in his head, a person finds the most convincing arguments that justify his anger and inflame him even more. Unlike sadness, anger gives energy and even encourages action. This is probably why the ideas are so popular that anger cannot be controlled, that it should not be contained, that it is useful to give anger an outlet for emotional release. As research shows, these popular beliefs are far from the truth.
Window of Opportunity for Strong Emotions
The foundation of EQ is the ability to understand your feelings and keep emotional impulses under control. EQ helps you take control of your life. Where to begin? Try to notice your emotional state.
“I feel… because…. ”, – during the day, mentally fill in the gaps so that introspection becomes a habit.
There is a “window of opportunity” in the development cycle of any destructive feeling. It appears in the early stages, when you are just starting to get angry, but you can still control yourself. At this point, it is important to stop sorting through the thoughts that provoke anger in your head: each such thought in itself is a trigger for a gradual increase in irritation.
Go through the “window of opportunity” to somewhere calm. Switch your attention to something else. Turn on the TV, read a book, write a letter, scroll through a public meme – anything that takes your head will do. You can return to thinking about the problem when the passions subside.
Is it worth releasing anger outward – for example, shouting “here is a ram!” to the driver who cut you off? No. Giving vent to anger is one of the worst ways to calm down: outbursts of rage tend to increase the activation of the emotional brain. As a result, you will experience not less, but stronger emotion.
Solitude and other ineffective ways to deal with sadness
Sadness is that emotional state that everyone, without exception, seeks to get rid of as soon as possible.
However, in certain circumstances, sadness is necessary. When a person is experiencing a loss or trying to cope with a serious loss, sadness causes him to give up pleasure and entertainment, “take a break” to comprehend what happened and its meaning, and eventually helps him psychologically adapt to start making new plans and continue to live on.
In severe depression, life is paralyzed; no beginnings. The experience of bereavement or loss is motivated; total depression no. By themselves, the symptoms of depression indicate a life of waiting.
Unfortunately, some of the most commonly used strategies to cope with depressed mood can lead to unexpected and unpleasant consequences. People feel worse than before.
During sadness, solitude seems very attractive; however, much more often it just adds to the sadness a feeling of loneliness, disunity with people.
Crying reinforces the psychic experience and prolongs the suffering. The idea of “letting your emotions out” is wrong: it will not save you from suffering, on the contrary, you will seem to fall into a funnel from which it is difficult to get out.
- Watching TV
Studies show that the most avid TV fans after watching a few programs usually become even more depressed than before turning on the TV.
How to cheer yourself up
If the goal is to get rid of sad thoughts, the best way is communication .
Entertainment will also help break the chain of thoughts that feed despondency . The most effective are those that can dramatically change your mood, for example, an exciting sports competition, a humorous book.
Aerobic exercises (for example, walking, running, swimming, roller skating, dancing, basketball, tennis, etc.) effectively help to get a person out of mild depression, as well as dispel just a bad mood .
Another effective method to cheer yourself up is to finish some business (even the simplest one) and feel great , for example, to complete a household chore that you have been putting off for a long time. Pay attention to your appearance: sometimes just a beautiful dress and makeup is enough to feel how your mood improves from feeling your own attractiveness.
One of the fail-safe ways to deal with depression is to look at the situation from a different point of view, scientifically known as cognitive refocusing . It’s natural to grieve over the end of a relationship, feel sorry for yourself, and fear being alone for the rest of your life, but that will only make things worse for you. To cope with your sadness, you should look at the situation from the outside, remember what didn’t suit you in the relationship, what you and your former partner didn’t find a common language in, in other words, change your focus to a more positive one.
Another tip for getting out of depression is to help those who are in difficult circumstances . Because depression is fueled by self-reflection and self-interest, helping others takes us away from these concerns as we become deeply immersed in the feelings of people who are suffering.