Tips For Gaining Emotional Poise And Control
  Vijai P. Sharma, Ph.D

 To gain emotional poise and control, you must take a conscious decision that you will maintain your emotional poise and control at all times.  Circumstances, no matter how difficult should not trigger out of control emotions.   It is not helpful to have the attitude that "everybody loses it once in a while" or to assert that it is "normal" to lose control of one's emotions.   Keep in mind that what is normal may not always be healthy.   We shouldn't just be content to be normal or "simply human."  We should aim at being emotionally healthy.  

 When you have a problem, try to solve the problem without creating another problem, such as becoming angry, guilty, ashamed, or panicky.  A lot of people when confronted with a problem get upset about the fact that they have a problem.  Some of their upset thoughts run as follows:  "Why do I have to have this problem.  I bet nobody else has to deal with it."  "Whenever I begin to feel okay, next minute something like this has to hit me in my face."  They become angry with themselves or others.  They feel guilty or ashamed for doing something or having failed to do something.  Thus, they have to deal with not just one problem but two problems.  One problem, of course is the problem at hand, and the second problem is the "emotional storm" they created.  

Moderate your feelings so you can stay happy for a majority of the time.  We all want to be happy, but we latch on to feelings which keep us away from happiness.  Happiness is a feeling.  That's all it is.  This feeling, called happiness emanates from within.  It joins the positive feelings but disappears when negative feelings show up.  

We focus on every little thing that is less than satisfactory in our lives and love to gripe about it.  When we are disappointed in a person or in an event, instead of just being sad, we become depressed.  Instead of being concerned about the consequences, we panic.  Instead of being annoyed, we become enraged.  And, when the raging storm blows over, instead of regretting our reactions and learning from it, we feel guilty and ashamed.  The whole day goes by as we switch from one negative feeling to the other.  Then at the end of the day, we ask ourselves, "Why am I not happy like the rest of the world?"

Negative feelings will occur in the rough and tumble of life, so don't even aim at living a life with zero negative feelings.  But, you can reduce the intensity of those negative feelings, one moment at a time.  Don't aim for low-intensity negative feelings, for one whole month, a week or even a day.  Aim at reducing the intensity of negative feelings for just the present moment, and then for the next moment when that becomes the present moment. Live in the moment.  Living from moment to moment will give you better control over your emotional reactions.
When conflicts occur in your relationships, avoid blaming yourself or others.  Instead, help the other person you are in conflict with if you can.  Help someone else just to take your mind off your problem and to feel better.  Pursue some other enjoyable activities, even if you have to force yourself to do that.  Refuse to be swept by hate or malice for the person you are in conflict with.  This will help you to be more objective about the situation.  

If you're upset over how your child behaved or turned out to be, don't go on a guilt trip.  Instead, go for a parenting class or a parents group.  Your job as a parent is that you remain closely interested and involved in all aspects of your child's development.  Stay on top of what's in your hand and fulfil your responsibilities as a parent.   It's not entirely in your control if your child misbehaves or if he or she turns out to be problem kid.  

A problem child, in part, depends on the genes of both parents, peer influence, and social and media influence of the time.  However, bear in mind that parental supervision involves controlling within reasonable means the negative external influences on your child.  Incidentally, there are well-researched and proven behavioral techniques available today to help you as a parent.  
Much unhappiness results from failures, big or small.  Unhappiness results because we have an incorrect and negative philosophy of failure.  Failure is not all bad.  Benjamin Franklin said, "That which hurts instructs."  I don't think he was talking about the Singaporean cane.  Failure that doesn't kill us makes us stronger provided we don't develop an awfully negative reaction to it.  Tell yourself, "I am only human, I have a right to fail."  Besides, failure is necessary for success.  

Dogged determination is required for success.  Act as if you are already a person with dogged determination.  Don't be impatient to attain success.  Don't lose your faith or enthusiasm when you don't achieve a quick fix or an instant success.  It is estimated that it takes ten to twenty years to become an "overnight success."   

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