There are constant pressures all of us have to deal with. It seems like almost every day there’s something that we have to overcome in order to get through the day. Whereas we all have to work through different types of issues, there is one constant that is paramount; we must work hard to keep control of our emotions.

by Jonny Hunter via Flickr

As someone who only yells and loses total control during Syracuse Orange basketball games, I feel that I have pretty good control of my emotions most of the time. But I’m no different than any other person. There are times when external events exhibit emotions I’m not always ready for. I get caught off guard by something, and I don't react as well as I believe I should. If I didn’t have emotions at all, I’d be a robot, and I’m nowhere close to it.

Learning how to work through our emotions, or how to regain control over them when negative forces attack, is vital to being able to maintain a consistency and comfort level that we all wish to have in our lives, and that I'm sure others wish we had as well. Learning how to harness some of that negative energy and turn it into a positive force is what separates the strong from the weak, the rich from the poor, and the effective from the inefficient. It gives one the power to control their own lives, without allowing someone or something else to overcome them for any length of time.

First, let’s look at ways that negative emotions might impact your life.

One, they might make you one of those people who yells at others. That’s obviously not good because it elicits strong and negative emotions in others, and shuts down communication; it could also get you hurt or even killed.

Two, they might make you withdraw and not talk at all, which also shuts down communication. When you decide not to communicate with others, it's hard to get work done.

Three, they might make you immobile, not wanting to do anything at all, which effectively shuts down any positive work or fun you might have thought about trying to do. This is a type of depression that's hard to overcome.

Four, they might make you lose concentration, which means that even if you try to work through them, your work will possibly suffer, either by not being accurate or your not being efficient. You'll hear a lot of people say they work better when they're angry; most of them are wrong.

There are people who actually work better under great periods of stress. Edgar Allen Poe wrote many of his books in one or two weeks. Mozart was known to take only 2 or 3 weeks to compose some of his works. Johann Bach, one of the most prolific composers in history (and father of 23; talk about prolific), often had only a week to write massive works for performance, for fear of losing his job.

These are exceptions to the rule. Most of us don’t do as well, even if we believe we do, under constant pressure. A once in awhile deadline is one thing; as a daily event, it’s another. How do you handle the stressful situations in your life? How do you feel they impact others in the way you handle them? What types of changes can you make in your life to help you deal with these issues in the most efficient way possible?

Extreme emotional trauma does not count when we’re talking about emotions. There’s no way to prepare for things such as the passing away of a family member, or someone being in an accident. These are events that are hard to prepare for, and worrying about them doesn’t do any good because one never knows how they’re going to react. The only thing one can do in instances such as these is to try to realize that they’re not alone, and that there’s always a place to find help for whatever is needed.

Most people don’t take the time to figure out why they react to certain stimuli. If you’re the type who gets depressed because someone says something you don’t like, you need to take the time to figure out why it causes distress. Is there a modicum of truth to what the person said, or does it generate memories from your past? Is your mindset in a negative place and suddenly your feelings of inadequacy are enhanced? Are you the type trying to be perfect and doesn’t like hearing anything negative about your work? Do you allow feelings such as jealousy or envy or even a lack of self confidence to make you more susceptible to negative input?

Most of the time, we can not only provide the answers to the whys, but also the resolutions to them. For instance, if you don’t like how someone says something to you, it’s your right and responsibility to say something to that other person, or ignore them and go away. If you’re trying to attain perfection, you have to realize that no one or no thing will ever be perfect, and deal with it. If you get depressed because of outside forces, you must realize that you’re the one who’s really in control and deal with it however you must.

What can you do to work your way through depression? We’re all allowed a little bit of time to live in that moment, but we must break out of it eventually.

If you can’t do it for yourself, and not everyone can, what outlets do you have to help you? Maybe you need a coach or a counselor or a confidante. Maybe you need more activities such as exercise, or clubs, or maybe even something as simple as getting in the car and going for a short drive. Maybe you’re the type who needs to write it all out, kind of a catharsis, in order to put things in order.

Whatever it is, realize that almost no one permanently loses control of their situations and emotions. Some people are better at it than others; some need help. Don’t be ashamed, no matter how you decide to work through some of your issues.

If you’re the type who usually yells at others, you need to get over yourself and control it. I tend to believe that there are always consequences to overly negative behavior, and anything that happens to you that’s bad because of this behavior is your fault. I’m not saying you deserve to be killed if you yell at someone, but you probably brought whatever reaction you got on yourself. Adults don’t have a right to yell at other adults in almost any situation, unless it’s for that other person’s benefit or safety. If you’re this type, you need to learn how to channel that flash of anger differently.