It’s extremely important to experience and express emotions, and they play an intrinsic role in how we react to certain situations. Our emotions can help us to make decisions, form positive relationships, interact with others and even help with self-care.
That being said, they can become out of control and can also take a toll on your mental health and relationships. Emotions are not consciously controlled. The area of the brain that deals with our emotional state is called the limbic system and research suggests that it evolved relatively early in human history, meaning it’s primitive.
Our emotional responses are often very powerful such as the need to cry, retreat or shout. These responses are based around the evolutionary will to survive. Have you ever felt so angry that you said something you wish you could take back? Or have you ever talked yourself out of doing something that would have benefitted you because you were nervous or scared? Gaining control over our emotions helps you to become mentally stronger. Luckily, anyone can learn to control them – you just need practice and dedication.
Here are some tips for managing your emotions:
- Don’t react straight away.
When you feel the need to say or do something straight away, take a deep breath and stabilise the impulse. Take five minutes to breathe deeply which will give you the opportunity to think things through. As you start to feel calmer, remind yourself that these powerful feelings are only temporary.
- Recognise and label your emotions.
It’s important to acknowledge when you’re feeling. Are you nervous? Disappointed? Angry? Sad? Labelling how you feel can make things easier, and you can start to realise how the emotions impact your decisions.
- Keep a journal of your emotions.
Write down your feelings, the triggers and the reaction they evoke so that you can reflect on them. This will help you understand specific triggers and circumstances, making it easier to come up with ways to manage them more productively.
- Practice meditation.
Meditating can help you boost your awareness of how you’re feeling. This is because meditation involves sitting with your emotions, noticing them without judging yourself or attempting to change them. It also helps you to relax and sleep better.
- Speak to a therapist.
If your emotions continue to feel out of control, try speaking to a professional. Difficulty controlling your emotional state can be related to trauma, family issues or other underlying problems. A therapist can support you to explore the factors contributing to your uncontrollable emotions, address mood swings, manage and reframe your feelings.
If you’re struggling with controlling your emotions, get in touch with Dalton Wise today.
Check out last week’s Wellness Wednesday all about managing stress HERE