This purple pen...
How do you feel about it? Nothing? Indifference? Why? Because it’s just a picture of a pen probably?
To me... I see this and smile. Purple is my favorite color. I remember my favorite purple pen that writes so smoothly.
It’s our thoughts that create our emotions. Most people think that emotions just pop up whenever all on their own. Our emotions differ due to our past experiences and beliefs. It's our thoughts on those past experiences and beliefs that influence which emotion will bubble up.
"...yet all emotions are derivations of five core feelings: happiness, sadness, anger, fear, and shame." -Emotional Intelligence 2.0
When a current emotion is not serving you, maybe try thinking of another time a similar situation made you happy. Challenge your thoughts. Sometimes those thoughts deceive you simply because your brain wants to protect you from the unknown or from the assumptions.
"Knowing why your buttons are what they are opens doors to managing your reactions to your triggers." -Emotional Intelligence 2.0
Instead of just managing your reactions, let's turn those reactions into conscious choices. Instead of just reacting angrily to a "negative" situation, think of a win-win response. That'll diffuse most tension and leave both parties with a lighter mood. Those positive ripple effects can spread wide.
The question then becomes, "What's going through your mind right when you feel something and then decide to take action or not take action?" Take the time (at least a few seconds), to think about why you feel a certain way. Take note of it. Possibly you will notice a pattern that arises and will give you an idea of how to change it (if it needs to be changed/altered).
"Suspending judgement of emotions allows them to run their course and vanish." -Emotional Intelligence 2.0
Don't judge your emotions as good or bad. All emotions are there to tell us something. Happiness tells us that things are great and keep doing it. Sadness warns us. Anger, fear, and shame protect us. Acknowledge the feeling, acknowledge it's purpose, and move through it. Emotions are nothing to be afraid of. Let them tell you what's going on. Let them guide you (to an extent). When the message has been passed, the emotion will fade away.
Once you are able to release judgment and master your thoughts, you can more easily control your emotions and not let them run your life.