Control My Emotions

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Control My Emotions

As a human being, you constantly experience emotions. Emotions tell you something about how you feel. Many people think that emotions are only for their personal lives, where we fall in love or feel sad when somebody dies.

But we can't switch off emotions. We also feel plenty of emotions at work. You might be happy because you just closed a sale. You could be sad because your favourite boss is retiring. You may be jealous because your colleague got a raise and you didn't.

Emotions are with us all the time. But we need to control our emotions at work.


Let's say you are late completing a project. Your boss calls you into his office and yells at you for ten minutes, because your customer was not happy at the delay, and this meant they cancelled their order. You put in a lot of overtime on this project and did the best you could, but despite asking for support, your requests were not granted due to lack of resources. You become more and more angry with the way your boss accuses you of negligence, laziness, and incompetence. By the end of his rant, you are so furious that you go back to your desk to write and submit a letter of resignation.

Emotions neeed to be controlled because they disrupt thinking and behaviour. In this example, you got angrier and angrier as your boss yelled at you. Nobody likes being shouted at. You were not thinking about anything except that he was being very unfair, and this affected you so strongly that the company has lost your skills and you no longer have a job.

If you had not got angry, what might you have done instead? You might have calmed him down. You might have examined the situation, to see what could be salvaged. Perhaps you could later sell some of the completed work to another customer. You could have made him see reason and devised a plan so that the same thing does not happen again. You would still have a job, you would be on good terms with your manager, and you might even get a bonus at some later time as you attempted to make something good out of something bad.


There are many ways to control emotions. Three good ones are:

  1. Temporarily separate yourself from the situation
  2. Imitate the emotion you want
  3. Think differently

Separate yourself from the situation

Count to ten. Leave the room. Go for a walk. Sleep on it. There are many ways you can distance yourself from the situation in which you feel an emotion. If your emotions are not allowing you to make a good decision, it gives an opportunity to calm down and think rationally.

Imitate the emotion you want

We don't only feel emotions. Besides the kinds of words we use, we also express them in facial expressions and other body language. When you imitate an emotion using body language, you can actually create that emotional state in yourself. By merely smiling, you can feel more happy. It sounds incredible, but it works.

Think differently

Emotions feel as if they are automatic, because they happen so quickly. However, the way they affect you is in large part determined by your interpretation.

If you interpret your boss' shouting as simply due to his own stupidity and lack of understanding and support, you might very well want to leave your employer. But what if you knew that he was going through a divorce? What if you knew that he had just been diagnosed with a brain tumour? How would your interpretation of his rant change? How would your emotions be different? What if he revealed this to you suddenly? How would your emotions change?

As you can see, one of the ways to control emotions is to think about things in a different way. If the glass is half-empty, you might be irritated. If it is half-full, you might be happy.