3 Brain Hacks to Manage Your Emotions

by Kirstin O'Donovan
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You can’t help how you feel; you are human; but you do have a choice in how you manage your feelings. Your actions follow what you feel inside; so it’s important to act congruently with what you want to create in the future. At the end of the day you should happy and have a bright outlook on life and that is all possible with these 3 brain hacks:

1. Are you feeling down with low energy? – You need to identify and challenge your thoughts!

The way you feel is a result of what you are thinking. Your thoughts are not facts so don’t believe everything you think. Often a person’s thoughts can be limiting them subconsciously.
  • Ask yourself: ‘What am I thinking that is making me feel this way’?
  • Then ask yourself: ‘Is this really a fact or actually my opinion’?
You will feel better immediately knowing what is causing you to feel this way. You will often see it’s not real, but rather just your thoughts creating these feelings.
–  Source: APA Reference – Martin, B. (2016). Challenging Negative Self-Talk. Psych Central.

2. Can’t stop feeling bad about something? Change the way you look at something and what you look at will change.

It is usually our perception of something that makes us feel bad; so if we can see it from another perspective we are set free from that emotion.
  • Ask yourself: ‘What other ways can I look at this situation that would better serve me?”
–  Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_reframing 

3. Need to calm down? Scream then smile

When you are feeling negative emotions such as stress, anger or frustration, the best way to manage your emotions is to change them. Your body produces adrenaline when you are angry, you need to release it to later calm down.
Force yourself to smile for 30 seconds. Think about something that makes you really happy, expand that thought and start smiling. Studies have shown that if you make a facial expression, you will start to feel that emotion you are reflecting. Do it long enough until that feeling starts to become the predominant one.
–  Source: http://www.endowmentmed.org/content/view/632/106/
– Source: http://cognitrn.psych.indiana.edu/busey/q270/Memory/Mirror{44c8773cfc5435cd81ad20e0c4d9124b8149e87e023df21bb722cbe5a8d7cc51}20Effect/psp741272.pdf 


Kirstin O'Donovan
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