How do you know when to control your emotion versus just feel them? I know you’ve mentioned both, but they almost sound like contradictory methods of coping…?
If an emotion has come into awareness and you’re already feeling it, it’s too late to control it in the sense that I mean control.
Feelings you have to manage and process. They’ve already bubbled up from your unconscious mind, and unless we’re talking about particularly dark and dangerous shit, it’s almost always better just to feel your feelings and then move on.
When I talk about controlling your emotions, I’m talking about a certain level of unconscious (or perhaps a better term would be preconscious) control. It’s about finding yourself in a mental and physical state where negative emotions don’t bubble up in the first place. It requires a fair bit of self-knowledge, self-control, and self-discipline. It has to be practiced. That’s why it’s so difficult to do.
There are all kinds of ways to practice what I’m talking about — mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, autogenic training, autohypnosis, breathing exercises, yoga, all the various flavors of meditation, and so on, and so on.
Feel free to google any of that stuff if it interests you, but don’t expect any magic tricks. None of it’s easy.