Can I Control My Emotions?

You are awake for three consecutive nights, with eye bags drooping like mad. No matter how hard you try to sleep, you just canít. You already did everything to wipe out the scenes in your head, but thoughts just keep seeping back in. You just canít believe what happened. A mixture of emotions stirs your whole being. Anger, hate, depression and self-pity - you donít know what to feel anymore. Confusion befalls you.

Occasionally, emotion sojourns a person. Emotions are responses to external stimuli such as an insulting word, a malicious act, a startling scene or anything that might induce a particular emotion. Before, it was thought that emotions are rooted in the heart, not in the head. Until recently, studies have shown that emotions are influenced by brain activities. With the aid of more sophisticated and non-invasive technology, dramatic images in a living human brain reacting to different kinds of emotions can now be captured and analyzed.

Is it possible to control our emotions?

Emotion defeats reason and makes a person vulnerable. Sometimes, emotions can be uncontrollable. It is unlikely to freeze the surge of our feelings after we perceived the cause of emotion, and just proceed to emote later on! However, the fact that emotion is irresistible does not mean that we cannot resist the impulse to do the things that we might regret later on.

How can we manage anger? Intense anger may rob a person out of his self-control. Anger is unhealthy because it is one of the causes of indigestion, cardiac arrest and irregular glandular secretions. Anger strikes like lightning and we cannot actually prevent ourselves from being angry. However, we can control the intensity of anger that we feel and the unintentional actions that might result from it. Control is the primary concern of our brain. You might think of knocking out your opponent, but you can choose not to. The orbital frontal cortex is the part of the brain in charge of restricting unpremeditated actions while the cingulated cortex helps in conflict resolution. 

When a sudden twinge of anger hits you, take a deep breath, calm down and focus. Train your brain to function normally especially when emotions set in.

How can we eliminate the feeling of anxiety and depression? Brain damage may be caused by stroke, accident, and prolonged and uncontrolled negative emotion. Based on studies, people who suffer from brain dysfunction generally have higher levels of anxiety, depression, and irritability compared to those who do not. Nurturing negative thoughts and emotions for a long time cannot do a person any good as it causes more danger to the brain, body organs, and interpersonal relationship. It is natural for us to feel anxious or depressed, but we must not hold on to this kind of feeling. The amygdala is responsible for eliciting fear and other negative emotions. Drug therapies might be beneficial to discharge ourselves of negative emotions, but the more effective cure is already within us. The brain can solve its own problems.

When you feel that the world is against you, just think happy thoughts and keep yourself busy. Engage in activities that will improve your knowledge and skills. This way, the brain will be stimulated to produce the substances that will neutralize negative emotions. Get rid of those negative emotions and you will be happier and healthier.

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