There's a lot going on in my life. In fact, I'm sure there's a lot going on in your life as well. You may even be ignoring some of those things right this very second as you read my article—in which case, thanks for stopping by! But if college has taught me anything (it's taught me many things, but this one is important) it's how to prioritize. Prioritizing goes right along with time management and that sort of thing, but what I'm specifically talking about in this article is prioritizing and choosing what to do with your emotions.
Some people have many emotions, some people have few, and some people seem to have an adequate amount. But one thing is the same among all people: we all have a certain emotional capacity that we cannot overload or we will have a mental breakdown. I'm sure you've all experienced this at one point or another, especially being in college, but what if I told you that there was a way you could have fewer mental breakdowns?
"But Celine, we don't get to choose how we feel..."
Oh, really? That's where you're wrong. You are completely in control of your emotions, how you feel, and how you let others "make" you feel. With knowledge comes power, so with the power to control your own emotions you can basically keep tabs on your emotional capacity and do your best to keep it below the boiling point. I know it's hard to control how you feel, so you should allow yourself to feel whatever you feel whenever you feel it, but be willing to let things go if they are harmful or unnecessary.
Letting go is hard, and sometimes it feels like we are giving up, but your well being should come before your pride EVERY TIME! Let me give you an example:
Once I had plans to get dinner with a friend of mine after I got off work. As soon as my shift ended, I went over to the restaurant, got a table, and waited. I told the waiter I wouldn't order until she arrived so I just sat at the table alone for a good half hour. My phone died and I wasn't able to contact her so I used a coworkers phone to call her and it went straight to voicemail—her phone was dead too. After about an hour of waiting, I'd lost faith and ordered my food to go. As soon as I paid for my food and was walking out, she breathlessly came running through the door. She, almost tearfully, explained to me that she took a nap, but set an alarm to wake herself up in time for dinner—however, her phone died so her alarm didn't go off.
If this were a movie, I would've been mad and it would've tested our friendship in some incredibly dramatic way. But, to be quite honest, I didn't want that unnecessary anger. Even though I could've been mad, there was no reason to be because what happened wasn't her fault and she had no malicious intent. So I made the choice not to be angry, and my emotional capacity still had plenty of room for emotions that were necessary.
I'm not trying to downplay anyone's feelings, if you feel something then it is a valid feeling, but that doesn't mean it is something you need to feel. Being angry at my friend for something out of her control was completely pointless so, even though I was angry at first when she stood me up, I quickly let that needless emotion go when she explained the situation.
Along with deciding what emotions are not important, you must be able to discern which are. Feelings you have to really think about typically include anger, sadness, and everything related (always let yourself feel whatever happiness comes into your life—you deserve it). You should allow yourself to feel sad for a healthy amount of time, but you still need to know when to let that sadness go—you need to let it go when it is no longer useful or necessary. You cannot grow from sadness or anger, only from how you overcame the situations that caused those emotions.
If you pay attention to nothing else in this article, know this: your emotions are valid