How To Control Your Emotional State

We all have our ups and downs. Some days you feel on top of the world, you ooze a sexy masculine confidence that women love whereas other days you couldn’t be bothered to shave — you scowl at the thought of doing anything interesting and avoid all outside contact. Many guys accept this with a “que sera, sera” mentality. They feel it is just the natural ebb and flow of things, that taming your emotional state would be too chaotic of a task.

Those who do wish to change usually use hokey terminology talking about “energy” and the “universe.” They’ll seek guidance from another source so that they do not have to take responsibility for letting their emotions get out of check. People also seek a quick cure for a continual state of happiness, but what they do not realize is that happiness is transient.

I do believe there is a way to wrangle your emotions that relies on you, your habits and the power you have to respond to various stimuli. Essentially you must minimize the negativity and maximize the positivity in your life by altering certain habits.

take a step back

Minimize Habits That Lead To Negativity

Take a moment to think about any time you’ve lost control of your emotions. When did you last get angry, depressed, hateful, etc.? What do you do when you’re out talking to girls that hurts your success? Do you have unreasonable limiting beliefs? Do you believe you always need to be happy to be successful? Do you get frustrated when you have anxiety because of any of the above?

If you think about the above long enough and are mindful when such emotional states occur you will begin to notice a trend in what triggers them.

For me the biggest habits that lead to a negative state of mind, in which I lacked motivation, was depressed, and stayed inside all day, were my nutritional habits. I started to recognize a pattern: I’d go out drinking or eat highly processed foods, I’d wake up the next day tired and dehydrated, then I’d stay inside all day watching movies because I didn’t want to go to the gym or talk to people. The cycle would just endlessly repeat until the natural ebb and flow of things took me to a high point.

Maximize Habits That Lead To Positivity

Repeat the exercise above. When was the last time you felt on top of the world, when did you last feel invincible, when did you last have no anxieties? When were you on fire when talking to girls, what were you doing that made you so successful? What were the thoughts running through your head?

Again if you pay attention you will begin to see patterns. You’ll start to realize what habits lead to a great mood.

For me I felt the best when ‘rewarded’ with something. Whether it was having great sex, sharing something with a friend, new PRs in the gym, busting my ass in the library and getting a good grade, or learning a new skill.


The Keystone Habit

Roosh brought up keystone habits in a recent article titled “One Approach A Day.” Essentially it is an innocuous habit that has a much larger effect than planned.

For me I started a few keystone habits: I started the day off with a nice cold glass of lemon water and my vitamins. In doing this I started drinking more and more water leading me to be less dehydrated, more energetic and making better food choices.

I also made a rule that as soon as I start talking myself out of something reasonable I would force myself to do whatever it was I was trying to rationalize my way out of. Maybe I’d start thinking “I’m kind of sore and I still haven’t seen the new episode of Game of Thrones, I think I’ll go to the gym later.” I know I wouldn’t go to the gym later so I would immediately get up and put on my workout gear. Just by doing this I started getting in the mood for lifting — I’ve also heard of guys packing a gym bag every night and leaving it in their car.

The peaks and troughs of our emotional state should not define us. As a man, whether it be through eliminating negative triggers or forming positive habits, you should be fully in control of your emotions. Use the power of a keystone habit to enact much larger scale change so you can be in a perpetual state of positivity, or at the very least, neutrality.

Read Also: How To Change Your Bad Habits

39 thoughts on “How To Control Your Emotional State”

  1. Controlling the emotions is a fool’s errand, because emotions, whether good or bad, come and go. Rather, the goal is to control one’s reaction and behavior to the emotions that you do have.
    Did that cute girl brush you off or call you a prick? Sure, you’ll feel crestfallen afterward, but there’s no reason why you should remain in a funk. Ditto for anything else negative, especially if it’s the “small stuff.”
    Introspection or therapy might be useful if you find yourself feeling negative emotions too often. IMO, what often gets overlooked is the nature and frequency of reactions to stressful situations. Drinking or eating too much? Hmmm . .. maybe this is your way of self-medicating. It’s always a good idea to sit down, slow down, and take inventory. Finding the root cause will go further than just willfully changing your mental and emotional state.

    1. Feeling crestfallen after a rejection is natural and helps the brain learn by changing its neural pathways to not make the same mistakes again. Likewise, feelings of reward reinforce positive behaviors.
      If someone could shut off their emotions they’d be in a perpetual stasis, stuck in repetition, never doing anything new or attempting to actually live life. Sound familiar? Yup, this is exactly what hard drug users experience – their extreme emotional ups and downs deaden natural emotional responses to normal life events.

      1. “Feeling crestfallen after a rejection is natural and helps the brain
        learn by changing its neural pathways to not make the same mistakes
        Only if you understood what the mistake was in the first place. To improve, you have to see where you might have gone wrong. Otherwise, this is just brain training to avoid future pain, not necessarily learning from it.

        1. The problem is often self blame among men, which can lead to an eternal loop question of “what did *I* do wrong?”, when the real problem was the chaotic nature of the indecisive and reckless female.

        2. Indeed. Self-blame is a natural reaction to something that’s outside of your control. But, not all the time. How much conditioning have you received that enables you to fall into the trap of blaming yourself? This is where you have to dig deeper to understand the wider problem. “Mistakes” you thought you made really don’t turn out to be mistakes.

        3. Indeed. Self-blame is a natural reaction to something that’s outside of your control. But, not all the time. How much conditioning have you received that enables you to fall into the trap of blaming yourself? This is where you have to dig deeper to understand the wider problem. “Mistakes” you thought you made really don’t turn out to be mistakes.

  2. ALCOHOL used to be a positive vibe generator, but I find that older I get the more it unleashed the beast within. And, I’m one opinionated (negatively) prick!
    So, I’m totally with you on the morning hydration, vitamins, supplements, teas (ala Tynan), etc. I avoid the coffee for various reasons– too much caffine, stained teeth, bad breath, but tea’s good.
    I also turn OFF the TV. What a shithhole of negative, feminist liberally biased crap. It’s a negativity dynamo that get me so ticked watching the utter stupidity of the world that I had to disconnect from the mainstream media. Unfortunately, the alternative media, while perhaps intelligent and engaging, is even more barbed and negative because it’s commenting on the vapid retardeness of the culture at-large.
    I think my new plan is the start tapping into the so-called positive-energy chick movement where so-called spirituality trumps manly reason, and anything felt is good and positive. I cringe at how worthless I think it is, but can’t help see the effect it has on the female psyche, even it it’s nothing more than a placebo effect.
    My version of “Happy Thoughts” is Tosh-styled rhetoric. But I guess I’ll have to explore the realms of “The Secret” and the works of Peale, Hill and the Dalai Lama are where I should direct my attentions.
    Yoga anyone?

    1. The idea that positive-energy spirituality is a chick-friendly nonsense is somewhat a blue pill idea. Women don’t control sex access for a proper red pill man, and for a proper red pill man, neither should they (or beta manboobs) own spirituality.
      The essential manliness of hardcore spirituality is engraved in Vedic philosophy, for example, and in the original teachings of the Buddha (less so in the loosey-goosey version of Buddhism now popular in the West… stay away from the Dalai Lama, he’s basically a pussified Tibetan version of feel-good multi-culti “Jesus is _____” Christianity.
      For men who want to stay hard but who also want to gain access to their spiritual side, aside from daily meditation (the real key), I’d recommend Julius Evola (especially “The Metaphysics of War,” “Eros and the Mysteries of Love: The Metaphysics of Sex,” “Ride the Tiger,” and “The Doctrine of Awakening”) for the Viking-inclined; René Guénon (“The Reign of Quantity”) for the hyper-intellectual; Alan Watts (download his talks off any torrent site; most of it is in the public domain) for the Zen-inclined; CS Lewis (a cringeworthy beta in his dealings with women in his real life, but a rousing writer) and GK Chesterton (underrated bad-ass) for the Christianity-inclined. There’s a host of other great stuff, of course, but those are some pretty tough hombres who knew and explained the power the spirit can have over the material world.
      Been thinking about submitting an article to RoK about “red pill spirituality”… maybe I’ll get around to it soon.

      1. Evola is classic, as is Watts. I have yet to find another excellent introduction to Taosim than Watts’s.
        Thomas Merton is also good as the crossroads between Christianity and the Eastern traditions.
        And, let’s not forger that Schopenhauer had a keen interest in Eastern traditions.

        1. Merton is great. Forgot about him. Along those lines: Meister Eckhart, the 13th-14th C. theologian, who Watts actually studied in great detail and discusses in some of his talks.

      2. A “red pill spirituality” post would be great. Maybe write a ‘beginners guide to…’ with some book reviews or overviews of various schools of thought.

  3. When it comes to emotions and negative thoughts I find that a number of things help me:
    nutrition- eating paleo essentially (no starch/sugar/dairy/processed food, etc.), avoiding dehydration as stated in the article
    sleep- this is a huge one, when you have your sleep dialed in on a consistent basis you wake up feeling bulletproof and feeling like a total BAMF ready to dominate the day, huge for your hormones, this is also the toughest one to nail down, definitely find that when I am not sleeping well, negative thoughts pop up much more easily/frequently
    stress management- deep breathing on a regular basis, try to remain in the present and avoid thinking about the past or future or going through scenarios in your head, realize that shit happens and life is about how you react, perception is king when it comes to stress and realizing you are in control
    exercise- some regular resistance training, make sure not to overdo it or get sucked in to doing too many HIIT sessions, you should always leave the workout feeling better and more energized than you went in, if you don’t you’re probably just beating yourself up and something else that helped me a ton was never going to failure on a set, huge difference in recovery and gains
    women- remember to always remain in a state of amused mastery when dealing with them (heartiste) and also remember that you can’t get frustrated/angry at them as they’re just acting in their nature, and to do so is futile. plus maintaining a positive vibe will be much more conducive to your goals of banging chicks than being a negative nelly or denialist beta will.

    1. Good and useful points about nutrition, sleep, exercise, and women. When it comes to stress management, proper breathing does indeed help, and I’d also recommend some Cognitive Therapy.

    2. On a side note, recognize that prescription medications might contribute to negative emotional states. If nothing else, addiction and side effects.

  4. “you scowl at the thought of doing anything interesting and avoid all outside contact”
    sounds like me on a good day…. yearrgghh….. the perils of being a mad genius…

  5. This was a PERFECTLY timed post for me, thank you, and let me use this opportunity to validate it.
    I was in a pretty good to awesome mood for the last couple months, eating much better, losing weight, started going to the gym, was more social at work, talking to attractive women at work (I am married but not dead, right?).
    Well, in the last couple of weeks, various events at home contributed to me getting less sleep, not going to the gym and screwing generally with my body clock which had been pretty used a certain schedule.
    Add to that I went off the wagon a little bit with my eating habits (more sweets, more carbs, etc.).
    Well, the last couple of weeks my mood and mental state too a nosedive, and I started to gain back a little weight rather than lose it. I was a little mystified as to why, thinking it must have been all a mental trigger, but reading this post I realize that physically I also felt worse.
    Just then I realized that there were a lot of OBVIOUS contributing factors to my emotional and mental tailspin but had been oblivious to it. This is a HUGE insight.

  6. It just affects you if you let habits decide what you want to do. Why not take control of your life and do what you want i the present instead? There’s seriously nothing that is stopping you from going to the gym if it isn’t a physical problem.
    Read Master Dogens comment, pure gold and a lot of good thinkers and writers he mentions but you don’t really have to read or learn certain stuff. It’s already there, in you and to really trust yourself and making you responsible for your life is what counts.
    You don’t really have to learn certain techniques to get women if you come that far in believing in yourself. Just act like you want, like the true you. Not the one society wants you to be, not the one your parents wants you to be but instead the true you, the male of a long line of males dating back to the beginning of mankind. It’s all there, just believe it and stop letting has-beens and what if-moments affect you.
    As long if it’s doesn’t kill you don’t worry.

  7. Recent article about sleep here at ROK and now nutrition — both of these are great articles because most of us forget just how important this simple things are. Somebody else also mentioned yoga — excellent as well. I would like to add in: acupuncture and raw foods diet.

  8. Best thing to do is to observe how other men handle difficult social scenarios. I noticed the most successful are always detached guys who don’t really care what people think of them.
    One told me that it’s as easy as imaging that other people’s opinions and emotions are not nearly as valuable as your own. As in, if a dog barks at you, do you get angry at the dog? Or is it just a stroke of bad luck?

  9. Embrace negative emotions. They are not your enemy but a natural and necessary condition for growth. Don’t try to avoid it or hold it in but accept it, understand it. Use it to understand yourself.
    If you remove the negative, the positive will cease to have any meaning. If you fill up the valleys there will be no more mountains.

    1. I agree with what you’re saying, trying to be neutral at all times is pretty pointless, but I’m talking about keeping negatives as valleys instead of chasms. Its easy to slip into a bad mood or being depressed if you keep reinforcing habits that make you feel like shit.

    2. This isn’t what the article is suggesting. It is providing suggestions to avoid the far more catastrophic “swilling in your own shit” passive self destruction scenario.

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