You strength train your body if you want to compete or become healthy. But nobody ever talks about strength training for emotional strength.
If you’re a person with deep emotions and very little control, “you’re just emotional.” And that seems to be the end of it for some people.
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But having deep emotions doesn’t mean you have to be out of control. There is a certain strength to controlling your emotions. And, while listening to your heart is a good thing, letting your heart control your every action may not be.
Psychology has shown us that there is nothing wrong with emotions. Humans are emotional beings. Suppressing our emotions to the point of death is possible. And affirming our emotions is the path to choosing right behaviors.
So, how do you balance being a deeply emotional person with keeping control on your actions? We’ll take the next few paragraphs and show you how.
1. Be Mindful To Gain Emotional Strength
“Know Thyself” is a maxim that predates Plato and his character Socrates. But the most famous use of the phrase is in Plato’s works.
Practicing self-awareness or meditation is one of the best ways to gain emotional strength.
If you set aside a little bit of time each day to just be. Just be still. You will notice your own rhythms. You will notice your own idiosyncrasies.
Meditation helps with anxiety, depression, and pain. You will find that after meditating every day for a while, you will be able to control the actionable outcomes of your emotions.
2. Reach Out To Other People
Some of us gain energy from other people and some of us lose energy on other people. That’s the essential difference between an extrovert and an introvert.
Introverts tend to be very empathetic people. Sometimes they fall into their own stereotype because other people take advantage of their deep empathy too much.
But if you’ve shuttered yourself away from other people just because you’re afraid your empathy might be taken advantage of, you’re letting your emotions control your actions.
Your fear is valid. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. But the only way you will overcome that fear is through positive interactions with other people.
Psychology follows neurology. You can’t change your mind until you change your brain. And without outside influences, you can’t change your brain and ultimately strengthen your emotional maturity.
Reach out to a friend. Find someone you can trust with your emotions. Find someone who will affirm your feelings and help you choose your actions in a positive way.
3. Learn To Be Alone
If you have to have someone around all the time for stability, it’s time to learn to be alone.
There is a massive difference between loneliness and being alone. You can be very lonely in a crowd. Even if they are people you know. And you can also be completely content being alone.
You won’t learn to affirm your own feelings and gain emotional strength until you learn to make the best of alone time.
Get a journal. Go out to a park or a trail or a riverbank. Getting out into nature on your own will enhance the experience. Examine your emotions as you spend time alone and write down what you notice.
4. Leave The Past As The Past
As far as we know, there is no way to visit the past physically. No time machines. Sorry.
The past is the past. We can only learn from it, move on, and make changes for the future.
An emotionally mature person knows this. If death happens or something wrecks their life. They mourn. They affirm their feelings of grief. They recognize that they may never get over the loss. But they take each new day as a challenge to chose better behavior.
This doesn’t mean they will stop feeling sad or mournful about what happened. Don’t let anybody tell you to “buck up.” There are truly mournful things in this life.
If you can parse out your painful experiences, write down what works and doesn’t work to help you achieve your goals each day. You will find a sort of peace with yourself. You will learn to choose great things over less great things.
5. Talk To Yourself
You’ve heard the old joke: I may talk to myself, but if I start answering, take me to an institution.
There is a sort of ignorance in that joke. Self-talk is completely normal. The call and answer routine is a way of sorting things out in your mind.
It helps lower your risk for depression. It decreases stress. And it ups your coping skills, leading to emotional strength.
If you are overly critical of yourself, find ways to give yourself encouraging words. You can even write yourself little notes on paper to leave around your house or workspace.
You will find them later and be encouraged.
6. Set Boundaries
One of the banes of being an empathetic and emotional person is giving too much.
Every person has a limit. Emotional strength doesn’t mean taking on all the world’s problems. Your heart may want you to do this. But if you do, you will eventually burn out.
You must set down personal rules of daily interaction. You have to set aside time for yourself. You have to have a routine that’s uniquely yours at times.
And don’t ever be afraid of the word “no.” You don’t even have to have a “good” reason why you’re declining an action. Your feelings are a good enough reason to decline.
If you let people take too much advantage of your time and your emotions, you will eventually feel undervalued. We need to treat our emotions and our time like we do any other possession. It’s ours. People can’t just take without asking. And when you say “no,” it means NO.
Emotional strength comes from affirming your feelings and making better choices.
Sometimes better means more time and energy for you. You may not even realize that better choices are available to you.
What are some ways you affirm your feelings daily? Let us know in the comments below. And, as always, be yourself.