How to Manage Emotions in Everyday Family Life

Controlling emotions in every day family
life is a key element to having a happy and
healthy home environment. It is not always
easy. It takes awareness and practice to
maintain control over our emotions when dealing
with the other family members in our household.

For many of us, we were never taught to manage our
emotions in a healthy way. For many people they
wear their emotions on their sleeve and are naturally
reactive, to any situation or circumstance that is
in front of them. Then there are the people that
are the opposite of that, who have their emotions
so blocked and buried, they don’t show any emotion
at all. So where is the balance of the two?

Different families have different dynamics. Family
life can be a very interesting situation sometimes,
because you have several different personality
types all living together under one roof in a
somewhat confined space. Some homes are more confined
than others. Plus the dynamics will vary greatly depending
on how many people are part of the family. Some
families have a Mom, a Dad and two children. Some have
a Mom, a Dad and nine children. Some have a Mom and three
children. Some have a Dad, one child and a Grandmother
living together. There are an unlimited number of possibilities
of different family living scenarios.

Every single individual in each of these different family
structures has his or her own unique personality. Each individual
also has their own different way of expressing their emotions.
Sometimes, I would even say often times, you have family
members that have very different, even opposite personality
types and ways of expressing their emotions. This can sometimes
be difficult.

It is important to realize that we are all being programmed as
children. What I mean is, it is our subconscious mind that carries
our core beliefs and from those beliefs many of our emotions
are created.Our subconscious mind absorbs the most information
to create our core beliefs between the ages of two and six years old.
So for many adults, they are running patterns, on autopilot, that
were created as children. So if you grew up with a parent or sibling
that expressed anger very often, when you were a child, and you
were constantly exposed to that, then you may naturally feel and
express anger easily and often. Or you may experience the opposite
and keep your anger repressed, because, on a subconscious level,
you do not want to be like that family member that was always
directing anger at you and the other members of the family.

Now knowing that it is the subconscious mind that creates our beliefs,
whiche create our emotions and how we express those emotions and now
knowing that our subconscious is programmed the most as children, let’s
look at families that have children. If it is a two parent household,
or even a step parent household, and the parents are very kind, patient
and understanding to the children, that is great. However if those same
parents are unable to control their emotions with each other, and they
react to each other and fight and argue, in front of the children,
those children are still being effected by those emotions and it
will show up in one way or another later in their life. And of
course if a parent is constantly losing their cool and reacting
emotionally to the child, or children, that is going to have
profound effects also.

I believe that it is extremely important to manage and control our
emotions in our everyday family life, and even more so if you
have a child or children.

Let’s look at the other family dynamics. In a marriage, how can you
communicate effectively, if one or more of you are letting your
emotions run the show? Strong emotions, like anger, jealousy, resentment,
frustration, are not rational. We cannot communicate
effectively when we are in an emotional frenzy. This goes for communication
between any family members whether it is between spouses, siblings, parents
with children or with Grandma, Grandpa or Uncle John. A happy family
comes from open and effective communication.

Ok, now we know that it is important to keep our emotions under control
in everyday family life. Now, how do we do that? Here are a few ideas
that may help you out.

Begin to practice controlling your emotions in every area in your life,
at work, with friends, in traffic, etc. When you work on managing your
emotions on a regular basis, it will be easier to do it at home.

Recognize that often times, for many people, the home is the most challenging
place to control your emotions. At home you are with people that you already
have very strong feelings for. The feeling of love, can often times trigger
other, non supportive, emotions when we perceive love being taken away, unexpressed
or withheld from someone who we love dearly. The home can also be sometimes
challenging, because our home with our family is where we feel safe to
let our true colors show and truly be who we are, unflattering emotions
and all. Realize, however, that it is great to be you, but it is unfair
to the other people in the household for you to direct your negative emotions
towards them. Just be aware.

Another powerful tool that can assist you in keeping your emotions at bay, is
to just breathe. When someone does something to upset you, pause for a moment
and take a big deep couple breathes. If you are unable to speak in a calm
rational manner, do your best to leave the situation for a moment. Go for a
walk, sit in your room and if possible meditate. Daily meditation can be
your most powerful tool to manage your emotions.

Recognize that even though someone is related to you and shares the same blood
as you, they are not the same as you. Learn to recognize and appreciate the
differences in your family’s personalities, likes, dislikes and ways of expressing
themselves.

Don’t let someone else’s bad mood or upset emotions effect your mood and emotions.
We always have the power to choose to react or maintain our own personal power.
Many times we unconsciously take on other peoples emotions without even realizing
it. Always know that you have the power to choose to be in control of your own
feelings and emotions, it is a choice. To make that choice, it takes awareness
and practice. If you find yourself in the beginning of a conflict, choose to take
the high road and let the other person be right. It doesn’t mean that they are right,
as long as you know what is right, that is really all that matters. Emotions filled
with turmoil can be toxic to everyone around you and mostly toxic to yourself.

Learning to manage and control your emotions and facilitate calm, honest communication
within the family is key to a happy and healthy household and family life. I encourage
you to print this article and share it with the other members of your family, so you
are all on the same page.