The trick with emotions is to acknowledge them but not to always express them. By this I mean that if you are experiencing anger don’t hide away from the fact or be ashamed about it. It’s there and you can’t make it go away by disavowing it. In fact by doing so you give it power.
Also often – well all the time in my opinion – if you express anger that just causes it to flare up, to become more entrenched and “angry” than if you just let it be.
I think a lot of emotions are like children’s tantrums. Have you seen those kids who have a fit at the shop because their parent won’t let them have something. Some parents shout at them under there breath. It looks quite absurd to see an adult losing his temper with a toddler all the more so for how ineffective it so often is. There are also the parents who give in to the toddler. The second the water-works are turned on there they are giving in, giving the child whatever it wants or if they cannot give it what it wants they enter into hysterics themselves. This is really quite sad; to see an adult in the thrall of a child.
Emotions are no different. They come in demanding attention… or at least they seem to be demanding attention but what they really want is an action. They are – or at least they behave – as independent entities that vie for control over your body. They have their place and that is as an information source. They tell you whether or not you like something. Whether or not you are happy. But they are useless as a decision maker.
Just as the child’s tantrum tells you that the child wants ice-cream doesn’t mean you have to give it ice-cream. It may have had enough ice-cream already and any more would give it diarrhea so you simply say “No” and let it tantrum away. Watch it tantrum! there is nothing so amusing as a child’s tantrum in my opinion. Emotions are exactly the same!
Sometimes situations that you do not want are inevitable. If you are in the thrall of your emotions you’re going to go mad when they happen. It’s much like you’re a donkey and the farmer’s trying to get you to move a house which is impossible but nevertheless he whips and whips you.
The trick with emotions is to watch them, meditate on them, be mindful of them. Let them settle down before you decide what course of action to take. They are nothing but another voice – albeit a non-verbal one – that gives you advice! Advice is not compulsory.