You walk down Pedestrian Walkway, listening to your iPod with the sun shining on your face and a cool breeze lightly patting you on the back.

The weather is near perfect; you could walk outside in shorts and feel comfortable.

You've had a long day, but you managed to miraculously pull yourself through it. Seeing your friends throughout the day helped to put you into a happy mood, though; for the moment, it seems as if everything is at peace.

However, that peace is soon disrupted. Whether it's someone who irritated you with a misplaced comment or an unexpected situation suddenly coming up, you soon find your positive mood disrupted.

Brimming with anger or straddled by sadness, you're overcome by your emotions.

We all have those moments in our lives when we're happily enjoying life, only to have it rudely thrown into chaos by unforeseen circumstances. Though we try to get past such problems, we are still gripped by our emotions, feeling mad, sad and everything in between. When we do get past such mood swings, it may take days or even weeks for us to get over them.

Our moods and emotions are influenced by multiple factors in our environment. Generally, people feel more energetic and positive in sunny or calm weather. Depending on your personality and the people that you surround yourself with, it may make it easier or harder for you to get control over your moods and thinking.

Your emotions are directly linked with your mind, so if something is or has been bugging you for an extended period of time, the higher the chance that you'll continue to think about it until you take action on it. I've found myself trying to avoid or ignore problems, hoping they would go away.

Unfortunately, by not doing anything my mind continually kept thinking back to it – by forcibly trying to hide the problems, I actually continued to think about them, and as a result the thoughts and the resultant bad moods kept occurring.

I was talking with several friends of mine about video games, and an idea came up into my mind – what if we could make a save file of ourselves?

We could "save" the current mood that we're in and "load" into it later on when needed. When you're having a bad day, you could simply search for a previous mood, and instantly you'd be happy again.

Of course, reality is never as simple or convenient as that.

We shouldn't let our emotions rule us. Sure, we enjoy having them, but that doesn't mean that we should let it completely dictate how we act. We need to learn how to keep them under control. If we don't, not only can it be embarrassing, but it displays a lack of self-control.

The focus is not necessarily what other people may think of you, but how you may act in stressful and difficult situations.

How can you become successful in your future occupations if you can't stay calm? Not all situations can be solved with brute force and verbal beatings – some require you to stay calm and collected and think beforehand.

Training yourself to keep your mind and attitude in check requires practice. Professional athletes take this to heart every day, constantly honing their physical and mental strength.

Performing under pressure, they've learned how to break past negative emotions, focusing solely on what they must do instead of what might be.

For those of us that aren't them, there are things that we can still do to train our mental and emotional fortitude.

Changing the types of people that you are around to ones with more positive and happier outlooks would doubtlessly help to give you some control on your moods. Taking time out of the day to tell yourself to "stay strong" sounds a bit cheesy, but it can help a lot in the long run.

Since each and every person is different, however, there are different methods of self-motivation.

In the end, though, the point is there – don't let emotions control you. You control you, nothing else.

Jan Urbano is a senior in biological sciences. He can be reached at jurbano@utk.edu.