Though there is nothing particularly wrong with any emotion, several can cause significant discomfort when left unchecked. But how to control your emotions, thankfully, you can regulate and overcome these unpleasant sensations by using various mental health practices and making lifestyle adjustments.
Way number 1: Your Mind and Body Need to Refocus
1. Pay attention when you feel your emotions slipping away from you
Recognize how to control your emotions and when they are out of control as the first step in regaining control. Ask yourself how this makes you feel physically and intellectually, and then try to pinpoint it in the present moment. Mindfulness, awareness, and reasonable thought are required to catch you on how to control your emotions before they spiral out of control. You will begin to ground yourself in the present moment just by recognizing it.
- Physical reactions such as a higher heart rate, tense muscles, and rapid or shallow breathing are possible.
- Mentally, you may begin to lose focus, feel frightened, panicked, overwhelmed, or feel like you have no control over your thoughts.
- Slow down and concentrate on only one aspect of your body’s response at a time. For example, if you’re feeling anxious, notice how it makes you feel in your body:
“My heart is racing.” “My palms are wet.” Rather than criticizing your sentiments, acknowledge and accept them for what they are.
2. To relax, take a deep breath in
When you let your emotions run away with you, it’s common for your breathing to become out of control as well, adding to your tension and anxiety. Take several deep breaths to calm your mind and body when you find yourself spiraling downward. For the most effective solution, attempt a purposeful deep breathing method if you can.
- Place a hand on your chest and the other below your rib cage to begin this technique. For a count of four, inhale slowly and deeply through your nose. As you inhale, notice how your lungs and abdomen expand.
- Hold your breath for 2 seconds before softly exhaling through your mouth. 6-10 deep breaths each minute is a good target.
- Start with a 2 count and work your way up with practice if a complete 4-count is too much for you. Simply attempt to take as many deep and steady breaths as you can.
3. To clear your thoughts, concentrate on bodily sensations
When you lose control of your emotions and don’t know how to control your emotions, you often lose track of who you are and where you are. You become engrossed in your feelings and lose track of where you are. To combat this, force yourself to pay attention to objects right in front of you or the physical sensations you’re having.
- Exercises to bring you back to your feet to assist you to stay grounded in the current moment, employ most or all of your five senses. Speaking aloud is especially beneficial since it diverts your attention away from your feelings. Grounding yourself and stopping your emotional spiral can be as simple as returning to your body and focusing on the present moment.
- Take a glance around and explain what you observe aloud. Listen for any sounds you can make and say them out loud. Take note of the odors around you and see if you can detect anything with your tongue. You could state, “The carpet and walls are various hues of blue, with abstract wall art in blues, reds, greys, and white. In the break area, I can smell coffee brewing as well as old file folders.”
- Consider how you feel while sitting in your chair or holding your coffee mug. Take note of how your clothes feel and whether or not any muscles are sore or stiff. You can concentrate on anything as simple as the position of your hands in your lap.
- Make a cup of hot tea and concentrate on how it feels to sip it right now. What is your impression of the cup? What does it smell like? What does it taste like? Make a mental note of it, then read it out to yourself.
- Aloud, describe a picture in as much detail as possible.
- When you’re anxious, keep an essential oil combination with you to smell. Let the aroma wash over you and talk aloud about what you enjoy about it.
4. To ease the physical and mental strain, relax your muscles
Scan your body to see where your stress is stored, then urge yourself to relax that area. Relax your shoulders, unclench your fists, and release the tightness in your legs. Shake your fingers and roll your neck. Physical stress relief can go a long way toward calming your thoughts.
- Try progressive muscle relaxation, or PMR, if you’re having problems relaxing your body. Starting at your toes and going upwards, you’ll systematically tense and release your muscles in groups. When you can’t focus on discovering specific regions of stress, reverting to a tried-and-true strategy like this can be helpful.
5. Visualize yourself in a peaceful, secure environment
Choose a relaxing and calming location, whether it’s actual or imagined. Close your eyes and visualize it, filling it with as many details as possible while breathing gently and evenly. Let your body relax and your thoughts and control emotions to be quieted by the peacefulness of your safe zone.
- A beach, a resort, a temple, or your bedroom—any area where you feel comfortable and relaxed—could be your safe spot. Consider the sounds you’ll hear, the sights you’ll see, and even the smells and textures you’ll encounter.
- Try to envision your safe area fast if you can’t close your eyes or visualize it entirely. Take a few long, quiet breaths to remind yourself of that calm, centered feeling.
- If you’re having trouble visualizing a lousy emotion, envision it as a tangible object that you can take out of your safe zone. For example, imagine your stress as a pebble that you can throw away while picturing it leaving your body.
6. Make your own “Joy Box” or “Happy Book”
Fill it with good memories, including photos and souvenirs, including a concert ticket stub. To add to your book or box, print out inspiring phrases you like. Include a gratitude list or notebook, as well as any consoling things. An amusing book, a few candies, an excellent cup, and a box of tea, for example, could all be included in your package. When you’re feeling down, take out your book or box.
- You may also design a digital version of your happy book by using photos, memes, inspirational phrases, gifs, and other images that make you happy.
Way number 2: Getting in Touch With Your Emotions
1. Determine what your true feelings are
When your emotions are out of control, learning to pinpoint and name them might help you regain control. Take deep breaths, then force yourself to stare directly at your feelings, even if they hurt. Then consider what’s causing that emotion and whether it’s masking something else you’re frightened to face.
- For example, thinking about taking an extensive exam makes you so anxious. It will have a significant impact on your future, or you may feel pressured to perform well to impress your family. Fear that your family’s love is conditional on your success could be the source of your anxiety.
- You may not be aware that naming your feelings is a talent. You can assist yourself learn to name your emotions by doing Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) activities.
- Remember that there is no such emotion called a “wrong” emotion. Telling yourself that you don’t have to feel something is a method to make yourself feel much worse. Instead, pay attention to the feeling without passing judgment. Accept the emotion as natural and allow yourself to experience it.
- Consider your feelings in the form of a character who is experiencing them. Then go back to the source of the emotion.
- You gain control over your emotional upheaval by identifying and recognizing the real sentiments causing it. You realize that the emotion is only a sensation now that you’ve identified it for what it is and that it doesn’t have to have any actual power over you.
2. Give yourself permission to process your feelings
Keeping your feelings bottled up or ignoring them will not make them go away. It’s critical to allow yourself to control your emotions since they will bubble up and reappear later. You don’t have to dwell on them, though. Instead, set up a time limit of 15-30 minutes to express your feelings.
- You could, for example, phone a friend to rant or put your feelings down in a journal.
- If you’re sad, you might want to take the time to cry alone.
- If you have a physical reaction to and how to control your emotions, such as anger, tension, or envy, you may need to do something physical to work it out. You may take a short walk or practice yoga stretches.
3. Consider your options for dealing with the problem
You may feel emotionally out of control because you cannot control the situation around you. It might lead to “ruminating,” a “broken record” cognitive loop in which you obsess unproductively on the negative idea or mood. Break the loop by concentrating on whatever aspects of the circumstance you can change.
- Make a list of items you can address instead of worrying about problems at work by thinking, “Why am I so bad at my job?” You may discuss ways to boost your productivity with your supervisor, seek advice from someone more experienced, or begin experimenting with alternative stress-management approaches.
- Accept the things you can’t change with your own efforts. Allowing yourself to let go of the impulse to “correct” or “manage” every aspect of a situation is one approach to relieve stress and emotional upheaval.
4. Decide how to proceed in the most effective manner possible
Be sure it’s a conscious decision rather than a reaction to another emotion when you’re ready to take action. Consider how and why you wish to handle this scenario. What are the values that this response represents for you? Does it also make sense logically?
- Take a moment to consider your moral convictions. What do you want to happen as a result of this situation? Which decision do you think you’d be most proud of? Then consider which line of action is most likely to result in the desired outcome.
- If someone insults you, for example, you have the option of doing nothing, retaliating forcefully, or firmly telling them to stop. Consider how you want this scenario to end and how you can get there without jeopardizing your values.
Way number 3: Having a Healthy Reaction to Your Emotions
1. Recognize defensive behavior in yourself and others
Defensiveness causes out-of-control emotions and gives the impression that you are overly emotional. You may get defensive if you are anxious, frustrated, or personally assaulted. It’s crucial, however, to listen to other people’s opinions without taking them personally, especially if they’re constructive. Defensiveness can be overcome by minimizing the threat in the circumstance and remaining inquiring about other people’s ideas. Defensiveness manifests itself in the following ways:
- Refusing to pay attention to harsh criticism
- Making excuses for failures is a common occurrence.
- Passing the buck
- To keep people out, cross your arms.
- Without speaking to anyone, make a list of reasons why you’re correct.
- Ignoring other people’s feedback
- Using sarcasm or other people’s criticism to deflect criticism directed at yourself
2. Make sure you’re aware of your emotional triggers
Your triggers are the activities, people, places, objects, or events that cause you to feel a certain way again and over again. You may plan for your triggers and psychologically prepare yourself once you know what they are.
- For example, suppose your sister irritates you every time you see her. You may do some peaceful self-care before going to the next family gathering and then plan how you’ll get away from your sister throughout the day. You might make plans to do something with another relative, or you might depart to pick up a dish.
3. If someone is attempting to frustrate you, do nothing
Take a deep breath and remain cool if you suspect someone is annoying you solely to get you to react. Keep your cool, and don’t allow them to get to you. The individual who is egging you on will become frustrated and eventually stop if you keep your cool.
- When you’re ready to speak with them, tell them how you’re feeling calmly. “I get upset when I feel like you’re just trying to get a rise out of me,” you could say.
- Then, address the topic at hand and inquire about their opinions, listen and respond to what they have to say. “Let’s actually talk about the issue here, which is trying to finish this project on time,” for example. “Do you have any suggestions?”
4. If you’re angry or upset, take a deep breath and relax
You may clench your teeth and stiffen up if you are irritated. Taking a few deep breaths and relaxing your muscles is a simple and efficient approach to calm down powerful emotions, which may prevent you from doing something you would later regret.
5. Try doing the polar opposite of what you’re used to
Stop yourself if you notice yourself reacting to powerful emotions in a way that isn’t typical of you. Consider what might happen if you tried the polar opposite of your specific reaction. What would be the impact on the outcome? Try that new method instead of your previous one if it becomes positive or fruitful.
- For example, you can get irritated if your husband fails to do the dishes regularly. Instead of the beginning, of a fight set a goal for yourself to do the words, then sweetly ask your partner for assistance.
- If this appears complicated, begin by altering one little aspect at a time. Rather than yelling at your partner, tell them how you feel in a calmer tone. If this is still too difficult, take a 5-minute pause and walk away. You can eventually work your way to permanently modify your reaction.
6. Remove yourself from any scenario that makes you feel bad.
Walking away and avoiding your triggers is sometimes the best reaction. If a situation can be readily altered without causing harm to others, do everything you can to get yourself and your negative sentiments out of it.
- If you’re on a working committee with people who aren’t focused, for example, you might become irritated when attending meetings. One way to deal with your dissatisfaction is to request that you be reassigned to a different committee.
Way number 4: Confident and Assertive Communication
1. Feelings should be expressed openly and confidently
Learning to communicate assertively allows you to express and control your emotions while changing in dire circumstances. It’s OK to express yourself or say no to things that make you uncomfortable or that you don’t have time for, as long as you do so straightforwardly and tactfully.
- If a friend invites you to a party, you could respond with something like, “Thank you for thinking of me!” But you are not a massive fan of crowds, so I’ll skip this time. Instead, how about we meet for coffee?” This will allow you to express your own emotions rather than burying them and allowing them to control you.
2. To express your argument without criticizing others, use “I” statements
This method of communication allows you to communicate your feelings without accusing or disparaging others. Stop yourself before you say something that can come out as accusing or judgemental, and restructure it into an observation or a statement of opinion.
- Instead of saying, “You don’t care about me,” you could try: “I felt hurt when you didn’t call me back when you said you would. What happened?”
3. Invite others to contribute their thoughts
There is no such thing as a scenario with only one side. Inviting others to offer their opinions can help you grasp their point of view and establish a level playing field. Active listening can also help you calm down your own emotions, giving you more control over them and allowing you to put their ideas into action.
- “What are your opinions on this?” is an excellent question to ask after you’ve expressed your perspective.
4. Avoid using judgemental terms such as “shoulds” and “oughts.” These words have a blaming tone, and they can elicit sentiments of annoyance and resentment that things aren’t going your way. Stop using “shoulds,” “oughts,” or other expected words or phrases when you see yourself using them. Remember that nothing and no one is flawless. Accept imperfection and accept things as they are right now as a challenge.
- Instead of saying to yourself, “My partner should never hurt my feelings,” remind yourself that it wasn’t personal and that you both make errors.
- Show yourself kindness and compassion if you see you’re being harsh on yourself. For instance, if you’re thinking to yourself, “I should’ve studied more for this examination.” Replace “I’m going to fail” with “I studied hard and am as prepared as I can be.” I’ll be alright no matter what happens.”
Way number 5: Establishing Relaxing Physical Routines
1. Work out regularly to unwind and let off stress
Exercise, tranquil and repeated exercise such as swimming, walking, or jogging, can assist in relaxing your mind and senses. You can also attempt mind-calming activities like yoga or Pilates, focusing on stretching and breathing to calm the mind.
2. To relax your body, try using different senses in novel ways
To include your daily self-care regimen, cultivate a focus on beauty and peaceful enjoyment of the world around you. When you’re feeling anxious or out of control, focusing on thankfulness and your bodily senses might help you calm down—experiment using various strategies, such as listening to relaxing music.
- Petting a dog or cat is a common pastime. A stable connection with a loving pet, in addition to focusing your senses, has been demonstrated to alleviate depression research.
- Going on a leisurely walk and appreciate the beauty of your surroundings.
- Bathing in a hot tub or showering in a hot tub. Most people are relaxed and soothed by physical warmth.
- Take a bite of your favorite food and relish it.
3. Self-touch can be relaxing. To survive, humans crave affectionate contact
Positive touch triggers the production of oxytocin, a vital hormone that improves your mood and lowers stress. Techniques to help you relax in a stressful situation include:
- Placing your palm over your heart is an excellent way to start. Feel your heart thumping, your chest rising and falling, and your skin warming up. “I am deserving of love” or “I am good” are some positive affirmations you might say to yourself.
- You’re hugging yourself. Squeeze yourself tightly by crossing your arms over your chest and placing your hands on your upper arms. “I adore myself,” for example, is a positive statement to repeat.
- Cup your hands over your face and stroke it with your fingers, like you would for a child or a loved one. Repeat to yourself a few positive words, such as “I am beautiful.” “I am a good person.”
4. Meditation is a good thing to do
Meditation is an excellent approach to alleviate anxiety and despair while boosting your stress management skills. Regular mindfulness meditation can also aid in emotional regulation. You can enroll in a class, use an online guided meditation, or teach yourself how to perform mindfulness meditation.
- Sit up straight in a calm, pleasant environment. Focus on a specific aspect of your breathing, such as the sound or the expansion of your lungs as you fill them with air, as you take deep, cleansing breaths.
- Include the rest of your body in your focus. Take note of what your other senses are telling you. Try not to pass judgment or place too much emphasis on any one sensation.
- Accept each thought and sensation as it arises, acknowledging them without judgment by stating to yourself, “I have the notion that my nose itches.” Refocus your attention on your breathing if your concentration begins to decrease.
5. Self-affirming mantras should be repeated to yourself regularly
The primary premise of mindfulness is to accept the current moment’s experience without resistance or judgment. That’s easier said than done, but as you practice mindfulness techniques, you’ll notice that they become new “habits” in your brain. Repeat supportive phrases to yourself while you’re in a difficult position, such as:
- This mood will not last forever, and it will pass.
- My sentiments and thoughts are not facts.
- I’m not obligated to act on my feelings.
- Even if it’s uncomfortable, I’m okay right now.
- Emotions come and go, and I’ve managed to get through them before.
Way number 6: Efforts to Achieve Long-Term Peace
1. Face the source of your emotional distress so you can move on
If you’re having trouble controlling your emotions, dig deeper into your past to determine what’s causing it. Understanding the source of your emotional pain will assist you in deciding how to accept and heal from it.
- Consider how your family dealt with disputes when you were a child. Did your parents express or conceal their feelings? Were there any emotions that were “off-limits”? What emotion makes you the most uncomfortable, and how did your family deal with it?
- You can also include pivotal events in your life, such as a divorce, a death, or a significant transition, such as relocating or losing a job. What feelings did you experience, and how did you respond?
2. Challenge fear-based or absurd ideas and patterns
Identifying the source of your emotional pain empowers you to address and conquer the beliefs generating it. Take a step back and objectively recognize any opposing ideas, such as fear or inadequacy. What’s the source of such noxious feelings? What are your options for confronting and overcoming them?
- Feelings of not being good enough, for example, may manifest as “disqualifying the positive” thinking: if someone says something kind about you, it doesn’t count; nevertheless, if they say something unpleasant about you, you “knew it all along.” Challenge yourself by focusing on all of the positive aspects of your life.
- Fear-induced emotional turbulence can show a tendency to rush to conclusions, which occurs when you form a negative judgment based on a lack of evidence. Stop and examine the proof of your findings at each step to challenge this thinking pattern.
- Whatever other complex unpleasant feelings you unearth, almost all of them may be challenged by asking yourself what the unbiased truth is and offering compassion to yourself.
3. Negative thoughts should be reframed as good ones
Its practice to develop a more positive view, but it can help you cope with uncertain or uncomfortable feelings and events. Write down 1 or 2 positive things that happened each day at the end of the day, even if it was simply an incredible song you heard on the radio or a humorous joke.
- Replacing fixed statements with flexible ones is a good exercise. If you’re worried about a test, for example, you might believe that studying is pointless because you’ll fail anyhow.
- Instead of assuming you won’t be able to improve, think to yourself, “I’ll produce more flashcards and join a study club.” I may not get an A on the test, but I’ll know I gave it my all.” You’re more likely to succeed if you approach the situation as something that can be changed with a bit of effort.
4. Seek expert assistance
Even though you try your hardest to manage your emotions, you may still feel overwhelmed by them. Talking with a qualified mental health professional can assist you in identifying inappropriate emotional responses and learning new, healthy strategies to deal with your emotions.
Difficulty managing emotions can be a sign of a more severe issue, such as past abuse or trauma, or a symptom of a condition like depression.
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