Your emotions can be a source of power, but only if you embrace them instead of pretending they don’t exist. Across the world and generations, women have been told that our emotions make us weak and vulnerable. Men are often seen as less masculine if they demonstrate an emotional response. These cultural stereotypes are cages that keep women and men locked up inside of themselves afraid to truly express what they feel because of how society will react. In turn, we see people exploding or having emotional break downs because they tried to cage their heart for so long.
Yet, for those who control their emotions without ignoring them and understand how to wield them effectively and when to let them flow, emotions can be turned into power. Your emotions can be like your own personal fuel source. Your spirituality and your emotions are very connected, often for those who seek higher levels of spirituality they find their emotions become stronger.
Someone who has emotional intelligence allows themselves to really feel their emotions without their emotions causing them to react in a negative or hurtful way. You will be able to harness that raw energy of your emotion to help you navigate what is happening with a good amount of awareness.
Instead of reacting impulsively, the idea is to feel it…process it…then make a calculated decision as to what reaction you choose to give. Remember, it is not what happens to us that matters the most it is how we react to it. This doesn’t mean cage up your emotions and lock them away, it means don’t let them cage you and make sure you understand them before you express them.
A challenge we all face with harnessing the power of our emotions is that initial gut reaction we feel when something negative happens or we are challenged. You can think of it as the fight or flight response. We perceive our daily occurrences via our sensory information and that is then interpreted by our own bias and prior experiences.
For example, someone with a history of abuse will react much harsher and defensively towards a yelling man than someone who has never been hurt. Our past impacts our emotional responses, often as a means of self-defense and coping. That doesn’t mean we can’t control it though. You can empower yourself by really analyzing why you react how you do, why you feel what you do and how you can wield that to your advantage.
How to Harness Emotional Power
We will use the acronym S.T.O.P as a part of your emotional toolbox. It enables you to be mindful and carefully wield your emotions in a way that is beneficial. Imagine a challenging scenario is happening to you right now, one that triggers an emotional response in you.
Stop talking and reacting. Take a deep, slow breath and do not respond yet. Let your power grow and become calm. Say a prayer in that moment or seek out your inner light, imagine it surrounding you.
Think about what is happening and what is at risk. If you are work for example, your job could be on the line dependent how you react. Be mindful and think, adrenaline can make us stop thinking and only react. That is not always in our better interest.
Observe your surroundings. Take in what is happening around you, why is this happening and be observant of surroundings. Be very conscious of all factors external and internal influencing this situation.
Perform with confidence. Now that you have shut your mouth, breathed, thought carefully about what is happening while being observant, it is time to act. You can now deliver a calculated and powerful reaction that uses your emotions in a beneficial way.
Some people choose to hide emotions, we don’t have to do that. You can show your emotions and be that sensitive heartfelt person while not letting emotions control you. If you feel like crying and lashing out at someone, be quiet for a moment and breathe slowly. Think about why that person made you feel so sad and what they mean to you. Observe everything going on in that moment, perhaps you notice their shoes have a hole in them with duck-tape around the sides keeping the soles attached and you realize this person is struggling financially and stressed out. That small second of observation will change your perception. Then you can react in a controlled way. Don’t hide that they made you sad, rather let it show that you won’t allow sadness to take away your power and you choose to react with mercy and forgiveness which often will surprise the other person and cause them to be apologetic.