Master Your Emotions (2018) details the nature of emotions, how emotions affect you, and the ways you can gain control when negative emotions cloud rational thinking. Furthermore, the book contains powerful exercises that readers can implement for emotional thriving. The author Thibaut Meurisse, is a personal growth enthusiast and blogger.
Master Your Emotions Summary
- Emotions are energy in motion. Like magnets, they attract thoughts on the same wave. When you’re in a negative state, you attract other negative thoughts and by identifying with them, you make the situation worse.
- You can observe your emotions without identifying with them. Start to notice how you feel and observe what triggers negative emotional states. The more you do this, the more you will uncover certain patterns.
- In itself, an event or a thought has no power to alter your emotional state. What generates emotions is the way you choose to interpret the event or thought. This is why two people can react differently to the same situation; one will see a problem and blame external circumstances whilst the other will see an opportunity to embrace. One will get stuck, whilst the the other will grow.
Thibaut Meurisse “Master Your Emotions” Summary
- “An emotion usually represents an amplified energized thought pattern. And because of its often overpowering energetic charges, it is not easy initially to stay present enough to be able to watch it. It wants to take you over and it usually succeeds unless there is enough presence in you.” – Eckhart Tolle
- Emotions come and go, one moment you feel happy the next you feel sad. While you do have some control over your emotions, you must also recognize their unpredictable nature. If you expect to be happy all the time you set yourself up for failure because then you will blame yourself whenever you ‘fail’ to be happy.
- Your emotions are not here to make your life harder but to tell you something, without them you wouldn’t grow. Think of your negative emotions as the emotional equivalent of physical pain. While you hate being in pain, if you didn’t have pain – chances are that you wouldn’t be alive.
- Emotions often signal you to do something about your current situation. Perhaps you need to let go of some people, quit your job, or remove a disempowering story that creates suffering in your life.
- External factors might not be and often aren’t the direct cause of a sudden change in your emotional state. You can be in the exact same situation with the same job and have the same problems as always but experience radically different emotional states. During this period, the only thing that changes is your internal dialogue.
- I encourage you to make a conscious effort to notice whenever such events happen and start seeing through your emotions’ trickery. You might also want to record these events in a journal. By doing so, you’ll have a deeper understanding of the fleeting nature of emotions and as a result, be able to manage them better.
- While I know that I’m not my emotions, I still tend to give them too much credit and fail to realize that they’re just temporary visitors. More importantly, I fail to remember that they’re not me; emotions always come and go, but I remain.
- “Your emotions act like magnets. They attract thoughts on the same wave. That’s why when you’re in a negative state, you easily attract other negative thoughts and by latching on to these thoughts you make the situation worse.”
- “Your tendency to identify with negative thoughts repeatedly is what allows them to grow stronger. The more you focus on your financial challenges, the easier it will be for related thoughts to arise in the future. The more you replay the argument with your friend in your head, the stronger the feelings of resentment will grow… the point is: when you give thoughts room to exist, they spread and become major points of focus.”
- Start noticing how you feel. Record your negative emotions. Look at what triggers them. The more you do this, the more you will uncover certain patterns.
- For example, let’s say you felt sad for a couple of days. Ask yourself the following questions:
1. What triggered my emotions?
2. What fueled them over a two day period?
3. What story was I telling myself
4. How and why did I get out of my slump?
5. What can I learn from this episode?
In Part III of Master Your Emotions, Thibaut Meurisse writes about challenging your emotions, here’s a summary…
- Interpretation + Identification + Repetition = Strong Emotions
- He explains: Interpretation is when you interpret an event or a thought based on your personal story. Identification is when you identify with a specific thought as it arises. Repetition is having the same thoughts over and over.
- Strong emotions means when you experience an emotion so many times, it has become part of your identity. You then experience that emotion whenever a related thought or event triggers it.
- All together, interpretation, identification, and repetition give room for emotions to grow. Conversely, when you remove one of these elements from the equation these emotions will start to loosen their power over you.
- Recall the last time you felt anger, sadness, fear or depression. Now, write down what happened for each of the following:
- Interpretation: What events happened and what thoughts arose?
- Identification: How did you respond to these thoughts?
- Repetition: Did you identify with these thought repeatedly?
Notes on conditioning the mind to experience more positive emotions…
- “Try to see that a thought about a person or an event is merely a thought about that person or event. It is the thought about them that makes you feel the way you do. To change the way you feel, change the way you think.” Vernon Howard
- To condition your mind, the first step is to decide what emotions you want to experience more of. Do you want to be happier, more motivated, more proactive? The second step is to put in place a specific program to allow you to experience your chosen emotions. The final step, is to practice feeling that emotion every day.
- Interpretation: Visualizing certain events or generating particular thoughts you see as positive
- Identification: Identifying with these events or thoughts, by feeling the way you want to feel.
- Repetition: Repeating the exercise regularly for daily conditioning.
- Visualize what you want, being as specific as possible, clarity is power! Vividly envision your ideal day; what would you do in the morning? who would you spend your day with? what would you do in the evening? where would you live, how would you feel? Commit to the vision in your mind.
Notes on using fear to grow:
- The fear of doing something new is often a sign you should go ahead and do it anyway. This indicates a great opportunity for personal growth. When humans don’t move beyond their comfort zone, they start dying inside. As Benjamin Franklin said “some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75.”
- Fear as with any other emotion only exists in your mind. People who end up reaching their wildest goals often do so because they’re willing to leave their comfort zone. Over time, they learn to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. The key is to grow accustomed to experiencing discomfort once in a while.
- “Life always begins with one step outside of your comfort zone.” Shannon L. Alder
- To start moving out of your comfort zone, you can ask yourself: What is the one thing I should be doing that fear has made me procrastinate over?
- Procrastination might suggest that you believe too much in what your mind is telling you. Instead of being the master of your mind, you’ve become its slave. Furthermore, procrastination may be the result of a lack of motivation, this happens when the task you work on is not part of a bigger vision that excites you.
- Look at the tasks you regularly procrastinate over. How can you make them a part of your vision? Can you envision yourself feeling proud as you complete these tasks?
- Clarify your why. The stronger your reasons, that is, your why, the easier it will be to overcome your tendency to procrastinate.
Part I: What Emotions Are
Part II: What Impacts Your Emotions
Part III: How To Change Your Emotions
Part VI: How To Use Your Emotions To Grow
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