Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has founded courses that provide techniques and tools to live a deeper, more joyous life. He has established nonprofit organizations that recognize a common human identity above the boundaries of race, nationality and religion. His goal is to uplift people around the globe, to reduce stress, and to develop leaders so that human values can flourish in people and communities.


Secrets to mastering emotions

Peace Initiatives


Secrets to mastering emotions


People tend to get angry, and then sad, and then angry again. People go through the cycle of emotions without awareness. A child gets angry and then cries as well. However, they snap out of an emotion easily. They start giggling even when their tears have not dried. But adults take months, sometimes years to overcome these emotions. What prevents adults from snapping from this cycle, from being in the moment? It is because our emotions are stored at certain points in our body. An event is just a trigger for these emotions to come into play.

Swim or drown: How do you snap out of an emotional pattern?

Pay attention to the effect of emotion on your body

Every emotion has a corresponding sensation in the body. It is connected with the endocrine glands. The way the body influences the mind, the mind can influence the body too. Just start observing the sensation in your body that emotion has created. As you observe, you will notice the emotion starts dissolving. That way, even a big event can be a source of strength rather than of weakness.

Know that emotions don’t rule you. You have a say!

It is common for us to react when we are not attending to the mind, our source of inner strength. Through meditation, we can get centered. It does not mean that you become dry and don’t experience emotions. You don’t lose your ability to perceive the consequences when you express your emotions. Emotions do not rule you. They are like the river Ganges, old and new at the same time.

Amidst a storm of emotions, be solid like a rock.

Don’t let emotions carry you away. Emotions are like sunshine. Smile and spread them all around you.

Understand your pattern with the breath

Emotional well-being can only be achieved when we pay attention to our breath and state of mind. Breath is the link between your mind and body. Breathing techniques like Sudarshan Kriya help you understand the patterns that we have cultivated over a period of time. So we can snap out of the pattern. They can exist but you cannot drown in it. You can swim in it. Spirituality and meditation are ways in which we can enjoy the richness of emotions yet not get carried away.

Your emotions are like a river

No emotion is very fresh. On the other side, every emotion is very fresh. Today’s anger is today’s anger. When you’re angry, this emotion is right now. But we’ve had this pattern before also. The river Ganges is very old. But the water is very fresh.

How to stay happy and centered most of the time?

Cultivate a habit to stay happy

If you focus on what doesn’t work every day, then our mind gets adjusted to such a pattern. Sadness becomes a habit. Likewise, we can cultivate a habit to stay happy. Focus on the things that you can be grateful for. According to Patanjali Yogasutras, practicing contentment gives one incomparable happiness. Adopt the principle of contentment in your life.

Don’t get disheartened with rejection, instead focus on your strength

When you go within, you know you are the light and the love that you’re seeking. You don’t need anyone’s approval. When people reject you, they simply don’t know who you are. Once they know who you are they can’t but love you. Pay attention to your good qualities. Your flaws and weaknesses are but temporary. Strength is your nature. When you focus on your own strength and go deep within yourself, you will discover how lovely you are. That type of inner strength is what makes you stand out in the world and achieve what you want. Just do it for a few days and see.

Never reject yourself

Nature has made you a very precious human being. Remember that! If someone doesn’t recognize it, it’s their fault. There’s a diamond lying and someone doesn’t recognize it, it’s their blindness. You must pay attention to yourself. You are in trouble when you reject yourself and look for approval from people. Stop rejecting yourself from today.

Stay free from prejudices

How we perceive the world around us also influences our emotional response to it. If our intellect is clogged with prejudices and notions, we keep projecting the same notions in the future. We continue to reel in fear, anxiety, and negativity. So, we need to free our mind from prejudices. Knowledge helps in this. While meditation helps us train our minds to be in the here and now.

Based on Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s talk on ‘Mastering Emotions’ dated March 18, 2020