Emotions can be powerful drivers in our lives, but they aren’t always at the forefront of our decision-making processes. Being emotionally strong means learning how to control your emotions and how to make decisions based on logic rather than emotionality. Here are some tips on how to train your mind to be stronger than emotions so that you can make more thoughtful and less emotional decisions in life.
Understand and accept your emotions
No matter how strong you are, your emotions will always play a role in your life. But your attitude and response can either help or hinder you, depending on how you choose to deal with them.
If you’re emotionally strong, bad situations aren’t seen as opportunities for pity—they’re learning opportunities. When we fully understand and accept our emotions and respond accordingly, we can make sure that they remain positive. Having an emotionally strong mindset is something anyone can work toward; there’s no need to struggle alone when you don’t have to.
Even if some negative feelings crop up occasionally, it’s important not to let them control your outlook. It takes time and practice, but mastering an emotionally strong mindset makes handling any challenge easier.
Decide on a strategy.
It’s important to remember that your emotions are not as permanent as you might think. Anger, anxiety, or any other negative emotion will pass if you don’t give in and react. In other words, if you decide it’s better for your mental health not to let yourself get worked up by something someone said at work, then don’t.
When faced with situations that trigger your emotional response, tell yourself (or write down) I am emotionally strong enough today to ignore my emotions and focus on logically responding instead of emotionally reacting.
The reason it’s called training is because you have to repeatedly remind yourself throughout a day (or several days) that, despite how things seem, how people treat you, what kind of emotions come along with those events—nothing can change who you are and how strong you already are emotional.
Those good memories still exist even though they may seem hard to recall when bad memories resurface after a bad break-up. Don’t allow a setback or temporary frustration to prevent stronger feelings from moving through you now – just keep going!
Accept challenges before you go into battle.
One of my favourite expressions is,
“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”
It’s been said by both Sir John Templeton and Murphy’s Law. And it’s pretty accurate. In fact, life often presents us with challenges we’ll never really know how to deal with until they happen.
But being emotionally strong—and not allowing emotions or stressful situations to knock you off your path—is something anyone can learn how to do. Here are a few suggestions on how to train your mind.
First, visualize what you want before going into battle: As former Marine officer James Williams puts it in his book The Mental Game of Golf, if you’re going to play better golf, ask yourself these two questions: Where do I want to be (the result)? What must I do (the action)?
Being able to anticipate what situation might arise beforehand helps keep an even keel; visualize any sort of bad situation ahead in detail and make sure you’re prepared for how to react/what needs doing then.
Never give up
Many people want to overcome their emotional struggles, but giving up is just too easy. It takes a lot of work and dedication, but success is more likely when you’re patient with yourself and other people.
If you slip back into old habits, don’t feel discouraged; it’s part of growing into a stronger person. Instead, move forward without judgement; if you fail once or twice or a thousand times, it doesn’t matter as long as you have the determination and try again.
What matters is that you keep trying! When we’re in a good mood, we can be productive, empathetic and kind to others—all positive characteristics of emotionally strong people.
When we lack confidence (or are otherwise unhappy), it’s much harder to think rationally about what’s happening around us; instead, we might fall prey to self-doubt or frustration from external factors beyond our control.
Never let your emotions hold you back from doing what’s right for yourself or others. You can choose your emotions every day—and even though it may be hard at first, remember: Anything worth doing is worth working for!
Remember, emotions are not good or bad.
You can use emotions both positively and negatively. Don’t try to fight them. Understanding your emotions—and accepting them as something that you’re in control of—is a key step towards gaining control over your mind, body, and life.
You are not a slave to your thoughts and emotions; they are tools that you can learn how to wield with strength if you so choose. And it all starts with becoming more emotionally strong than your feelings.
They aren’t good or bad. Instead, they just are. But what will make you more mentally stable is when you can recognize and understand why they happen, then keep them from taking over yourself or those around you by trying to alter how they impact your mindset or physical state at a given moment.
Control what you can control
Practice makes perfect when it comes to being emotionally strong. If you look at your world objectively, most situations don’t have as much power over us as we give them credit for.
When we let our emotions control us, it can make us say or do things that will ultimately hurt ourselves or those around us. Sometimes being emotionally strong means just being aware that you control how you act and what you say, even when you feel like losing control.
“The best way to train yourself is by exercising self-control every day”
Exercise discipline by waking up early each morning (and on time). Adopt good eating habits—and stop if you start feeling emotional.
If you wake up late, skip breakfast and spend extra time working out during lunchtime so that extra hour of sleep makes more difference than bad food choices might. And pay attention not only to what you eat but also where your food comes from—foods with added ingredients tend to make us more impulsive later on.
Stay in the present moment.
Our emotional state and how we perceive our world are directly related to what we pay attention to. If you’re focusing on negative experiences, your life will feel more negative.
We tend as humans to think about and analyze problems in great detail; research suggests that spending time thinking about a problem increases our sense of emotional distress, thus making it difficult for us to think rationally.
Instead of thinking so much about issues in our lives, we should direct most of our mental energy toward solutions. Focusing on what could go right rather than wrong will help emotionally put you in a stronger position.
Surround yourself with like-minded people
Regardless of your social situation, you can still surround yourself with like-minded people. Join a gym or a local sports team; befriend someone on social media who shares your goals; go hiking with a friend; find any other way to connect with people who want what you want.
If they’re going through similar struggles, they’ll understand how you feel when life gets hard and how important it is for you to stay focused. The support that comes from being surrounded by like-minded individuals will help keep you accountable and help build emotional strength.
The key here is finding balance – it’s helpful to have support, but even more so if it’s an environment where negativity isn’t permitted.