From Zinedine Zidane to Mike Tyson, a great many famous people have behaved in an unacceptable and strange manner sometimes. Not that they are oblivious to the fact that millions of people are watching them, or that they would face the consequences of their act. Just that they lose control and the ability to think rationally at that moment of time. They are controlled by their emotions which does not allow them to think before the act. In other words they undergo an emotional hijack where the emotions take over the mind.
In the case of the french footballer Zinedine Zidane who headbutted Marco Materazzi in the world cup finals, ANGER caused him to do the act. Materazzi had allegedly abused his mother or about his birth. At this point, anger caused him to act in such a manner (headbutting).
In the case of Sonny, in the book ‘The Godfather’, as soon as he hears from his sister, Connie, that she had been mistreated by her husband, he gets mad with rage at Connie’s husband, and rushes out of the house madly in spite of the warnings. Not that he was unaware of the high risks of getting killed. He was emotionally hijacked.Yet again, it was Anger which had caused his death.
All these examples give us a clear picture that being emotionally unstable will only cause you to do an action without thinking, and make things worse for you.
The greatest real life example (according to cricket world) of a person who controls his emotions beautifully is M.S.Dhoni. That is what makes him an extraordinary and successful captain. His ability to stay calm even in the most trying and tense situations makes him even greater.
How does controlling emotions make you better? Controlling emotions as such don’t make you better. They only help you from an emotional hijack. This allows you to think rationally for a few more seconds and help you make a wise decision.
The book You Vs You by Soma Valliappan discusses this beautifully. It gives us a good insight into the subject of emotional intelligence.
The science behind the emotions
The emotions are stored in a gland called the Amygdala in the brain.The brain, in this perspective, can be divided into 3 parts : the spinal cord, the limbic system and the neocortex
The spinal cord
The function of the spinal cord is very simple and basic. It takes care of only basic activities like breathing and other metabolic reactions. This is present in reptiles like tortoise.
The limbic system
This is a little more advanced than the spinal cord. The amygdala is located in this part of the brain. Hence the limbic system is responsible for emotions.This is present in mammals like dogs.