How to master your emotions

In this article I will teach you how to master your emotions and use them as a tool for personal growth. I will also explain how to let go of stress, worry and resentment and use these negative feelings to change your life.


Understanding emotions

”Negative feelings mean you are going the wrong way.”- Steve Pavlina

Emotions can be used as a tool for personal growth. Negative emotions transmit you a signal that something needs to change.

The way you interpret your reality can have a massive impact in your life. Read more about how to change your negative emotions here.

Negative emotions don’t last forever. You can overcome the most challenging situations by changing the way you think, interpret and feel about them. Read more about how to change your thoughts here.

Emotions come and go and don’t define who you are. However, they are a reminder that you need to make changes in your life. These changes could involve moving away from the situation, improving the situation or changing the way you interpret the situation.

When you ignore your emotions, they intensify and take control over your life. Negative emotions that are not addressed can be as damaging to your physical and psychological health as an illness you refuse to treat.

The first step in changing negative emotions is to acknowledge they exist. Once you recognise and accept your negative emotions, you are ready to change them.


Feelings of not being good enough

”Be good to yourself. Listen to your body, to your heart. We’re very hard on ourselves, and we’re always feeling like we’re not doing enough. It’s a terribly hard job. ”-Marcia Wallace

Feelings of not being good enough are experienced by the majority of people. These feelings reflect low self-esteem and self-confidence.

In order to challenge these feelings, you need to find out what triggers them, in which areas of your life you feel this way and what negative thoughts you identify with when you feel you are not good enough.

Moreover, self-esteem can improve by acknowledging all of your accomplishments and celebrate your achievements. Don’t underestimate the power of small steps towards your goal.

Why you are defensive

‘’Our love of being right is best understood as our fear of being wrong.’’- Kathryn Schulz

There is also a reason why you are defensive. By understanding the underlying cause of why you feel defensive, you will learn a lot about yourself.

The reasons why you become defensive are usually related to your ego. Find out how your ego can influence your emotions here.

The 2 main reasons people feel defensive are:

  • Inability to accept the truth. People become defensive when they are accused of something that they know deep down to be true. They refuse to accept this truth about themselves and defend themselves with anger and denial.
  • Your beliefs or values have been attacked or challenged. When you strongly believe in something, either religious, cultural, political or beliefs about yourself and others, you feel the need to defend your belief. If you strongly identify yourself with that belief, when is challenged, you experience a strong emotional reaction.

By identifying the reasons why you become defensive, you will understand your emotional reactions better. Objectively analyse the reason why you felt offended and ask yourself if your beliefs are true.

People hold many beliefs that are not serving them well. Letting go of these beliefs will help you let go of the negative emotions that are created through them.


Letting go of stress

”You must learn to let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway.”- Steve Maraboli

Stress doesn’t exist on its own; it is caused by how you evaluate a situation and identify yourself with it. There are two types of situations causing stress: situations you can control and avoid and situations you cannot control or avoid.

For those you cannot control or avoid, you need to learn how to better deal with them. If something is outside of your control and your emotional reaction won’t change it, why would you stress about it? (think of a traffic jam).

In order to change the negative emotions you need to challenge the way you think about the situation. Whenever you experience stress due to an event that you have no control over, ask yourself what could you think or believe about the event that would reduce or remove the stress.


Letting go of worry

”If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.” – Dalai Lama

Stress is an emotional response to something that is happening in the present moment; Worrying is an emotional response to your concern regarding past or future events.

Worrying about either past or future is unnecessary. Worrying about the past won’t change the past. There is absolutely nothing you can do about it.

Most of the times, things you worry about will never happen. Even if they do, worrying about them beforehand won’t help respond in a better way.

In order to let go of unnecessary worries, you need to divide them in two categories: things you worry about and you have control over and things you worry about and you have no control over.

The things you have control over are usually your actions, behaviours and attitudes. You can choose how to respond to past and future events.

Let go of the worries you have no control over. Accept them as they are and take positive steps towards the things you can change.

Stop caring what other people think of you

“What other people think of you is none of your business. If you start to make it your business, you’ll be offended for the rest of your life.” – Deepak Chopra

No matter how loving and perfect you aim to be, some people will never like you. People judge other people based on their own values and beliefs.

Your self-worth should not be based on the opinions of others. You are not responsible for anyone else’s thoughts.

The only thing you should be responsible for is to be the best you can be and live your life being true to yourself. When you accept that you don’t have to be liked by everybody, you can be your true self.


Let go of resentment

‘’Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies’’- Nelson Mandela

Resentment is the inability to let go and forgive a person who hurt you in the past. Most often, resentment occurs when you are unable to confront that person and instead you re-play the negative event in your mind.

Resentment is build when someone attacks your trust, love or respect. This becomes personal and it grows as you feed or repress the emotion.

However, resentment provides you with an opportunity to learn how to forgive and let go. It teaches you that you need to love yourself and value your peace of mind more than anything else.

Most people are conditioned by their family history to behave in certain ways. They react based on their level of consciousness, following same patterns they have been thought.

It takes a great mind to challenge and change their behaviour. People believe without questioning that this is the way they are. In fact, no one is just as he or she is.

Understanding that people who hurt you might have a different level of consciousness based on how much they have been conditioned in the past, will help you let go of the resentment.

Discuss your feelings with the person you resent and forgive them. Do this for you, not anyone else. Your happiness is the most important thing.

Final thoughts

I hope this article has helped you understand your negative emotions and have thought you how to use them as a tool for personal growth and happiness.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to answer them.

All the best,


  (Accredited Counsellors, Coaches, Psychotherapists and Hypnotherapists)

For counselling and coaching appointments scan the QR code or press here.

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19 thoughts on “How to master your emotions”

  1. It has taken me a long time to come to an understanding with the fact everything is temporary.
    So any stressors that come my way, I see them for what they are, temporary. They are passing just like the wind. In an instant they are gone.
    My mom would always say (and she still does) “This too shall pass”. Now I follow that up with “It may
    pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass.” :o)
    For me, the older I get the easier it is to let things go. It’s just not worth wasting time on negative energy.
    Spend time on things that really matter in your life. We are here to have fun.

    • Hi Teresa,

      Thank you for your comment. Great advice you have given there. Letting go of negative emotions is not a quick, easy process. But with perseverance and better understanding of how emotions are formed and how they function, everything is possible.

      Wish you all the best,

  2. Great article and I like your use of uplifting quotes.
    Negative emotions are hard, yet they do play a big role in getting to know one self. As you have explained quite well.
    Like Teresa said, I too find it easier now that I am aging to let go of what doesn’t serve me. Not that you have to wait until you get older for negative emotions to pass. But maybe it helps realising that eventually it will be easier. 🙂

    • Hi Hannie,

      Thank you very much for your comment. I believe that negative emotions are not necessary decreased in intensity with age, but with knowledge and experience. The more you understand your emotions, the easier it is to let them go. With time, people learn the hard way how to let go of negative emotions. Understanding your emotions at an early age will change your life for ever and will help you avoid all those negative situations.

      Wish you all the best,

  3. Hi Ioana,

    I love your article as it really resonates with me as a leader of a team. Emotions are important because within a team, one person’s emotion can infect the whole team. Especially if that is a negative emotion.

    When I was an engineer and part of a team, negativity was very common. A negative attitude only had to come from one team member, and suddenly everybody had a negative attitude. It seemed a lot more difficult to infect the team with a positive attitude.

    I will keep working to try to keep the team positive and I’ll let you know how I get on.

    Thank you for sharing and keep up the amazing work.

    All the best,


    • Hi Tom,

      Thank you very much for your comment. Negative emotions can indeed change the dynamic of a whole team and it is enough to have one negative person to influence the others as well. Good luck and please keep me posted with your progress.

      Kind regards,

  4. I love Mandela’s quote: “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” Very powerful and very true. Thanks a lot for sharing another very helpful post. We all deal with two sets of emotions, and our lives are shaped by which side we chose to empower. However, there’s no way to escape those ugly ones from time to time, but it’s possible to deal with them and ultimately, master them as well. I like the quote from W. Shakespeare. “I don’t want to be at mercy of my emotions. Rather, I want to enjoy them, to use them, and to master them.” Great stuff!

    • Hi Ivan,

      Thank you for your comment. I agree with you completely, everyone has both negative and positive emotions. In order to deal with our negative emotions, we need to better understand them. The Shakespeare quote could’t relate more to this article.

      Wish you all the best,

  5. Dear Ioana.
    Thank you very much for your fantastic website. It is amazing that you show people where to start and what steps to take towards love and happiness. I hope more people will know about your website and follow your guidance.
    I love this article about how to master your emotions. The tips and advice provided are amazing.

    Kind regards,

    • Hi Andrey,

      Thank you for your comment. I am happy to see that you liked my article and my website. Hope to see you back here soon.

      Kind regards,

  6. What a great post. I loved all the quotes you’ve used. Sometimes it’s really hard to take a breath in the heat of the moment, but it’s the only way we can learn to respond instead of react. This is especially true when dealing with children, and also especially important. Love the bit about resentment. It really does only hurt the one doing the resenting. It’s so freeing just to let things go. None of it matters in the grand scheme of things.

    • Hi Debbie,

      Thank you for your comment. I am happy to see that you liked my article. And you are so right, learning how to let go of resentment is the most important gift you can give yourself.

      Kind regards,

  7. Hi Ioana,

    I really enjoyed reading your article and would like to learn more about the influence that ego has in our emotional well being. The problem I find with people who are emotionally volatile is that they have a inherently big ego which prevents them from taking any point of view that is contrary to their own as any thing but hostile. How is our ego formed and why does it become a prominent characteristic in some people?


    • Hi Ali,

      Thank you for your comment. The ego is the self-identity people construct throughout their lives. Ego is a creation of ones thoughts, interpretation of past events and how they identify themselves with their religion, cultural beliefs, political beliefs, age or occupation. The more you identify yourself with these beliefs, the more defensive you become when someone criticise them or have a different point of view.
      When people are not aware of their ego, they become enslaved by it. In order to find peace and master your mind, you need to become aware of how beliefs work and how excessive attachment with these beliefs can negatively impact your life.
      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,

  8. It’s really easy to just focus on what we consider to be our failures. It takes a bit more effort both remembering our successes, and celebrating them too, no matter how small.

    I agree with what you say about control and stress. As human beings we go about our lives believing we have way more control over events and situations than we actually have. The reality is we can only control our reactions to what we experience. Letting go of our sense of control is a good way of paradoxically gaining more control over our emotions.

    Thinking about what other people think of you is also a bad habit. The odd thing about doing this is that often other people are probably not thinking the things you imagine they are anyway. Once you begin focusing on the views of others however, your mind tends to get carried away and invents others people’s thoughts, and you perceive them to be true. This is a very effective but unfortunate way to lose control of your emotions. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Ray,

      Thank you for your comment. I totally agree with your comment about how harmful it is to think about what other people think of you. It requires so much time, effort and it does not describe the reality. Plus, you can’t make everyone happy, so live your life according to your values and principles.

      Wish you all the best,


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