I let my emotions dictate my thoughts, my behaviours & my mind. This was problematic in many ways...

Hello, my name is Ilana, I’m 21 years old and I’m an aspiring Clinical Psychologist currently studying my BSc in Psychology. Emotions are something that have had a significant impact on all areas of my life.

When I was younger, teenage years, emotions used to rule my life. I let my emotions dictate my thoughts, my behaviours, and my mind. This was problematic in many ways, as it meant unwanted emotions got free reign and full control over me. I specifically remember being engulfed in such intense worry, panic, anxiety, and fear so often. I often gave life to fictional narratives which elicited such strong emotions and I allowed them to replay and progressively get worse over time.

It was incredibly difficult to maintain motivation with my work when my mind was full of racing thoughts and ever-increasing emotion intensity. I struggled to prevent the unwanted emotions from dictating how I acted towards others, especially those closest to me. It’s really difficult to be happy and positive towards others when you’re anxious, afraid and panicking in your mind. I remember this happening for months, well, on and off for years. The emotions only got stronger and I felt like there was no way to stop it all.

Through my self-development studies I came across the concept of having emotional control. I immediately threw myself at the concept and began to read books dedicated to the idea. This completely changed my life. Never did it cross my mind that I could be calm-minded, allowing emotions and thoughts to pass through my mind without me giving life to them and letting them rule me, that I would be able to live a whole day without feeling intense anxiety and panic. But here I am writing this, and I can tell you that the years of research and practice have worked.

Having control over your own emotions is a lengthy process and something you need to practice very regularly. The key is to have high self-awareness. When you are aware of the emotions passing through your mind, you can then start to decide which are unhelpful and which are helpful. Bear in mind I do not use language like positive or negative here, emotions are emotions, making an association with implicit language can make emotions more intense. Be aware, start recognising when unhelpful emotions enter your mind, and practice acknowledging the emotion and placing it aside. Of course, this is a lot more difficult than it sounds and it takes a lot of self-awareness and practice, but once you’re at the other end of the process it is such a calming state of being. Freedom from unwanted emotions ruling your life. The control over which emotions can stay in your mind and which can be placed aside.

Emotions have had a significant impact on all areas of my life, and emotional control is how I regained freedom from unwanted emotions.

I hope this can help you to find freedom from unwanted emotions too.

Ilana x

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