ways to control emotions

Ways To Control Emotions

We might think there are ways to control emotions, but the truth is, we can’t at all. It would be like trying to control the way the wind is blowing or which way a river is flowing. When we try to control our emotions what usually happens is we stuff them down inside of us which results in compounding negative feelings or the inability to feel grace and appreciation. Long term, this can translate into physical problems and diseases. This post will reveal how you can transform your negative emotions into something more positive and productive for you. Experience an ancient happiness exercise at the end of the post.

Ancient Happiness ExerciseEmotions As Postive Driver

We want to use our emotions as a positive fuel for our life. Anything less results in feelings of depression, powerlessnes, anger and frustration in the long run. Emotions are our ‘juice’ in life-they have the power to motivate and inspire us, or act in self destructive ways.

Emotions Are Just Energy

As there is nothing tangible about our emotions, they are felt as energy. The energy is either something that elates us or depresses us or something in between. Emotions can be likened to music coming out of a radio-if we cut open the radio, we would not find the musicians inside. Our bodies are like the radio receiver where emotions are felt but are not able to be touched. Thereofore, sound and emotions could be seen as closely related-they are a form of vibrational frequency with specfic characteristcs that are intanagible in nature. This does not make them any less real to us however.

ways to control emotionsEmotions as indicator of flow

When we are feeling happy and vibrant and experiencing deep feelings of love and appreciation, our body is in a state of coherance. It pumps out the feel good hormones like dopamine, oxytocin and many others and results in a certain harmony within the nervous system. When we have these emotions we are living in harmony with our true nature. Everything in our body works more effectively. We are living in ‘flow’.

Negative feelings and our true nature

There is more and more research in western medical science which indicates that stress is the biggest factor in physical dis-ease and other maladies. Biologically we have not evolved much from prehistoric times where we had to hunt for our food and lived in danger that a wild animal might get us. When we are stressed our body pumps out stress hormones like cortisol which sends a signal to our digestive system to shut down and send blood to our limbs so that we may ‘run from the tiger’. This was useful to our ancestors and stress was released immediatley through the action needed to survive. Even though modern life does not have this problem of survival, we still percieve threats from our enviroment as dangerous and to be avoided, even though they do not present the danger that our ancestors lived with. When we live with more negative emotion than postiive emotion continually, it sends a message to our body to go into a defensive mode. Over time, this weakens our immune system, our mental coherance, the free flow of blood around our body which deliver nutrients and keep us healthy and feeling flexible in our muscles and joints.

Controlling emotions versus transforming emotions.

As mentioned before, trying to look for ways to control emotions is like trying to control nature. We don’t have the power to do that, but we do have the power to work with nature. We are instrinsically intertwined with nature and our emotions are a gift to let us know if we are heading in the right direction in our life or not. It would be pointless to wish we never had negative emotions because then we would not have our compass to guide us. The goal therefore is to first  learn to listen to our feelings and transform unwanted feelings into feelings that are wanted.

stress to vitalityHow to transform negativive feelings and cultivate postive feelings.

The Chinese have been thinking about this for a very long time and have developed elaborate practices to cultivate our natural state of joy and happiness through movement, breath and sound. One such practice is the practice of Qigong (prounounced chi-gong) which was developed over 5000 years ago and stems from a branch of traditional Chinese medicine.

Emotions and the internal organs.

One of the practices in Qigong is known as The Five Elements. By practicing certain breathing exercises combined with flowing movements and sound you can release pent up emotions which are said to be stored withinin the internal organs. For example, anger is held in the liver, sadness and grief in the lungs, joy or hatred in the heart, fear in the kidneys and anxiety in the spleen/stomach/digestive system. What is actually happening when you release pent up emotions is a transformation of energy. The charge you might have been feeling about a certain aspect of your life is dissipated and you come back to a place of stillness to be able to make a better decision.

Lessons from our modern physics

Einstein once said “Energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can only change from one form to another.” Given that emotions are a form of energy, we can transform negative emotions into positive and back again if we so choose. This is central to the practice of Qigong as it works on the premise that we have all the energy we could ever want locked up inside of us, yet we just have to find ways to release it and let it flow again if we are generally not feeling good, whether that is on an emotional level or physical level. The Chinese do not see the emotions and the body as seperate, rather they see our mind, body, emotions and spirit as an integrated whole.

Transform stress into vitality with Qigong healing sounds.

The below exercise is an example of how you can use Qigong to come into a more integrated mindful state to be able to transform negative emotions into something that feels more managable. I can guarantee you will feel a shift very quickly into the exercise and get a sense of what a better flow of energy around your body is compared to the state you may have been feeling before trying the exercise. Have a go and feel free to comment below or ask me any questions!


  • ABOUT LIZ HENNESSY

    ABOUT LIZ HENNESSY

    Yoga Instructor, Fitness Coach
    and Qigong Teacher
    In Training

  • ABOUT LIZ'S TEACHER

    ABOUT LIZ'S TEACHER

    Lee Holden
    Is A Qigong Master
    Based In The US.

    LEARN MORE

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Comments (6)

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    Win Bill

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    In Chinese medicine, it’s been known for a long time that our body and our emotions are closely connected with each other. When you are feeling too much of a certain emotio,l like too much sadness for example you would actually be hurting your lungs. Like you said, controlling your emotions is not possible, But you can redirect it into a form that you can use it productively. Qi gong is one of the best practices for that. I prefer having hands on teaching. Where do you think I can find a qi gong instructor?

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Liz

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      Hi Win Bill, without knowing your location in the world I couldn’t recommend a hands on teacher for you. But I will say there seems to be a trend with Qigong instructors to teach online these days. There is so much you can learn without being in the physical presence of an instructor because the teaching does not require a teacher to touch you to adjust postures or anything like that. Also, there is actually a worldwide shortage of instructors! So, that makes it even tricker to find one in your area. My preference in terms of where to start is Lee Holden, who has a studio in Santra Cruz, US. You can get more information on him here.

      Reply

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    Helen

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    Liz! What a great article. I’m fascinated by all things chi at the moment. I’ve been getting treatment for Lyme disease with a traditional Chinese medicine doctor. It’s been nothing short of miraculous. I have slowly been able to take back my life again! I’m still getting treatment but we’ve hit a bunch of stagnant chi in my stomach and intestines. As well as my kidneys and liver are pretty weak. I’ve never heard of Qigong before but it seems like a great practice to start incorporating into my daily routine. Thank you for your insightful information and well written article!

    xx

    Helen

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Liz

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      Hey Helen, Lyme disease is tricky to treat so it is great you are getting results. You will have even more success with the treatment if you practiced Qigong everyday, because at the end of the day, the TCM doctor is just facilitating your healing, and it is still up to your bodies energy system to kick in and do the actual healing. Qigong practices will strengthen the energy systems of the weak organs and continue to balance your over all system. I would recommend specific exercises for healing which include working with acupressure points, flows and deep breathing techniques. Ask your practitioner about Qigong and whether not there is a teacher in your local area they know of. Qigong is a branch of Chinese medicine so I would be surprised if they didn’t know of someone in the area who teaches it. But, it does depend on where you live in the world of course.

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Online with Nerissa S.

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    Qigong Exercises Thank you!!! A lot of my vlog followers know that a few months ago I was hit with a season of depression. I couldn’t put my finger on just one thing that caused it, but rather it seemed like it was EVERYTHING that caused it.:( Now that I am doing much better, I plan on integrating transforming negative feelings into my daily regimen. I am also reading a book called the Mastery of Love and it touches on the importance of dealing with your personal feelings before trying to be in a relationship.
    Thanks for sharing!
    -Nerissa S.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Liz

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      Hey Nerissa, I think transformation is the key! Mastery of love sounds very interesting. I actually think that one of the best ways to transform emotion is through movement and breathing and tapping into the energy system, so if you were interested in Qigong in order to do that I would start with the routine on this page, and then if you want to learn more, consider purchasing this course, as it is a perfect beginner course and is how I got started with Qigong.

      Reply

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