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“The world is a comedy to those who think, a tragedy to those who feel” – Horace Walpole was simply implying that people who can manage their emotions are happier than the ones who don’t. It has been found that there is a link between intellectual capacity and emotional control i.e. A higher level thinking is more likely to occur in the brain of a student who is emotionally secure than in the brain of a student who is scared, upset, anxious or stressed in other words emotionally insecure.

For us women and our emotions, we’re inseparable. Our emotions are part of us; it is how we were designed to function. Because of conditions like hormonal imbalance and the likes (other related hormonal issues), we cannot rely on our emotions for guidance. That is why I believe that the most successful women today are those who have acquired the skill of emotional intelligence and are practicing it. They have learned to govern themselves and controlling their outcome instead of being led by their emotions. It is therefore imperative that every woman (young and old) learn to manage her emotions, the earlier the better. Will it be easy? No! Is it doable? Absolutely and like any other skill/ discipline it does require effort.

The good news is that as humans we have the ability to think through scenarios, contemplate our actions or responses to situations. According to some academics, our emotional brain reacts before our thinking brain, which is why it is of importance that we develop a measure of control.

Now sketch the following scenario in your head : Woman A: suffers extreme menstrual pain, has mood swings, takes a lot of sugar in her coffee, went through outrageous traffic, throws temper tantrums at work or in public to make her point across, wakes up to her tasks only when she feels like it, she relies on her emotions for guidance.

Woman B: regularly goes for her annual check-up, takes supplements, eats healthy choices, she wakes up to her task even when she does not feel like it, she thinks things through and is not led by her emotions.

Between the two (A & B) who is most likely to live a balanced, happy and fulfilling lifestyle? Which one would you rather be? Woman A: the ticking bomb ready to explode on anyone, the unpredictable personality or Woman B: the woman who knows how to manage herself, the one who is well put together. We all desire success, no one purposely wants failure, disappointment or any other negative outcome in his or her life. For this reason, it only makes sense that we choose option 2 (Woman B).

But, Lerato how do I start? When and what do I do to manage my emotions? My answer is, I do not believe in a general prescribed formula. With such cases one would really have to first of all observe their current condition and then secondly, describe their desired future condition in order to thirdly create a structure/plan in place to execute or carry you from where you are now to where you want to be. E.g. For weight loss, you would first of all get on a scale to see your current weight. You would also calculate your BMI to assist in determining a goal weight which will then assist you to design a workout program and an eating plan to get you to your goal weight.

This is what you can do to start managing your emotions: Take responsibility. Do not be responsive rather visit your clinic/gynaecologist for your medical check-up (pap smears etc.) When you notice irregularities in your monthly cycle or mood, be quick to go and see a health care practitioner, you might have hormonal imbalance or a condition that can be treated. Live a healthy life style, exercise, eat healthy. Most importantly have what I call “a chair moment” this means having a moment with yourself. Deliberately setting aside time to sit down with you. This is a time you use to have a mental cleansing: when you consciously choose the information you want to delete, the information you want to keep and also an opportunity to upload new information, the information you want/need. To have an effective chair moment you would ideally be sitting still, cell phone off, social media off, and you would be in a quiet place meditating to your relaxation.

Now, obviously like any other thing that is good for you, you cannot do this exercise once off and expect continuous results. To obtain optimum results, you need to include the chair moment in your daily activities, otherwise as often as possible. Remember, you may not have the ability to manage others, but you have full authority to manage yourself. Use this skill for a better focus which will certainly enable you to fulfill your purpose.