I guess the first thing to remember is that your emotions are not all of you, just one part, albeit a very important part.

What are they?
What is their purpose?
Can we control them?

OK what are they? They are feelings.

What do feelings do? They send us messages.
The message can be about survival, but can also be messages that by-pass our brain and thereby create consequences that can cause us to damage someone or thing else, or indeed ourselves. In the case of happy feelings, they are reminding us of the fact that we feel good about something, someone or ourselves.

Let’s identify some positive feelings;

Love, Joy, Gratitude, Pride, Contentment, Happiness, Amusement to name a few.

Even just reading these few positive ones creates a nice feeling and I am sure you can name even more by thinking a little harder and I did.


We are now going to create a completely different and less enjoyable sensation.
Hate, Sadness, Grief, Anger, Self-hate, failure, low self-esteem, anxiousness, nervous, impatience etc.

Can we control them?

Emotions tend to come up very quickly and sometimes we are not even aware of what is happening, so the first thing is to recognise in yourself when they do arise. Understand that these are feelings not always the truth about the situation. They can be distorted and the other thing is of course, they are not all of you. Being aware that something is affecting you emotionally is the first step in taking control of your behaviour and you can then respond and not react.

How you interpret what is happening will determine how you respond, and this involves taking a minute to assess the event.

You may ask yourself; Is it a good or bad feeling?

Am I responsible for this?
How much attention do I need to pay?
How much control do I have?

In order to ask myself these questions I must first of all employ the STOP signal.

S Stop
T Take a breath
O Observe what is happening to me and around me.
P Plan my action.

This will enable me to respond and not react without thought for myself and others. It will give me a moment to decide with my brain and not my body what result I want from this situation and get the best one for me.