What most of us do not realize is that emotions have a deeper root than just our hormones, our physical or psychological make-up. There is an inner spirit who can disturb our emotional equilibrium without us realizing it. This spirit makes our inner spirit excited and leads us to forget things or do things which we may regret later on.
Here then are tips on taming an over excited inner spirit who creates imbalance in our emotional response to the things, words or actions around us.
1. Be Convinced that Emotions Are Controllable
If you want to control your emotions you have to be convinced first that emotions are controllable. You can control and tame them. The taming of an emotion may not happen instantly but it can be done with the cultivation of the proper attitude in life.
The conviction that emotions can be controlled is essential to their management.
Some people think that there are emotions which cannot be controlled. They give the example of the emotion of grief or sadness. When a person dear to us dies, according to them, we cannot help but be sad, grief stricken, cry, weep or wail. But I have seen cases upon cases of persons who do not exhibit the emotion of sadness or grief at the death of a loved one. In these cases therefore people do control their emotion of grief. Or maybe this emotion is absent.
I have attended Muslim funerals where not a tear is shed. The people attending the funeral and burial rites, young and old, do not sport a sad face. They behave in a normal, solemn way, respecting the rituals used.
I have participated in the funeral rites of Baptist and Adventist Christians. These did not cry, as we see most often in Catholic funerals and burials.
People are able to control their emotions. You too can control your emotions.
The spirit who is our enemy insinuates that we cannot control our emotions. And many of us believe him. We get excited over the death of a loved one. Just tell this spirit that you can control your emotions, whether they are of grief, fear, hate or other negative emotions.
2. Cultivate the Spirit of Equanimity in All Areas of Your Life
How do you develop equanimity, that spirit of calmness and being even-tempered on all occasions? By getting into the habit of having the attitude that the material or physical things we see around us are only passing our way. They are temporary. They never endure. They do not last forever.
Human beings grow old and pass away into the grave or some other receptacle and soon are forgotten. Our pets and other animals also go their way. The cities around us may sooner or later become heaps of stones and steel, as happened already with the famous cities in the past. The trees around us can be seared by acid rain, burned by wild fire, or washed to the seas by erosion.
Nothing except the Absolute Spirit and our spirits are permanent.
When I am praying for the dying, the emotion of sadness as we bid final farewell to a dying person is stirred within me. But I say to myself, this also will pass away. And the emotion of grief is cast away. When I am afraid in the dark, I say to myself, this will also pass away.
But you have to make this a habit. When you are confronted with a strong emotion or even an irrational reaction, like an ensuing burst of anger, just say to yourself, "This too will pass away". When you get excited over winning in a lottery, just say, "This too will pass away". When you are watching a boxing bout and you feel excited because your favored boxer is about to knock down his opponent, just say with attention on the meaning of the words, "This too will pass away."
Cultivating this habit will overpower that overexcited spirit who wants to disturb you and possibly cause your heart failure or a stroke.
3. Be Thankful for the Spirit of Calmness and Inner Joy
In the final reckoning emotional control is a gift of the Absolute Spirit. He wants you to be happy and joyful, not to be over excited and emotionally imbalanced. Therefore he gives you of his own spirit of calmness and equanimity. Constant fellowship with him infuses inner joy into your psyche and you live with strength to ward off all control of the unruly spirit over you.
When I am in a worship service where people are shouting, jumping, clapping and dancing all over, with manifestations of uncontrolled emotions, I wonder whether the Spirit of God is still there. Some ministers think that these emotional outbursts are signs of the real presence of the Spirit. For me they are rather signs of an over excited inner spirit who needs to be tamed.
To tame an over excited inner spirit, we only need to be convinced that emotions can be controlled, get into the habit of saying "This will also pass away", and thank the Absolute Spirit for his gift of calmness and inner joy.
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