Emotions play an important role in our life. So being in tune with your feelings is a great thing and can lead to deeper connections and greater awareness overall. However, when your emotions control you, they can seriously limit your ability to think and act clearly in an important situation. You can’t completely detach yourself from your emotions, but you can stop your feelings from dominating your life.
Table of Contents
- 1 Take a few deep breaths.
- 2 Focus on your body and not your mind.
- 3 Look at yourself in the mirror.
- 4 Repeat a mantra.
- 5 Distract yourself.
- 6 Avoid emotional triggers.
- 7 Question your negative thoughts.
- 8 Change your perspective on emotions.
- 9 Worry about your own problems.
- 10 Practice mindfulness.
- 11 Prioritize your own needs.
- 12 Keep a journal.
- 13 Get enough sleep.
- 14 Avoid using drugs or alcohol to mask your emotions.
- 15 Tips
Take a few deep breaths.
If you notice strong emotions kicking in, pause for a moment.
Breathe in deeply through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. Do this five to ten times until you feel your heartbeat slow down and you can control your breathing. This is also a great technique for controlling anxiety. Deep amen is a good way to subtly control your emotions. For example, when you meet your ex, you may not have time to withdraw to get your emotions under control. However, you can secretly practice deep breathing even when you are having a conversation with a person.
Focus on your body and not your mind.
Get up and walk or stretch.
How is your body feeling right now? Notice how the clothes feel against your skin and try to ignore any thoughts you may have. This can help you ground yourself in the now and control your emotional outbursts. Taking a walk in nature is also a good way to ground yourself in the present. You can also massage your own shoulders and focus on the feel of the touch. Or, if you have time, do a few yoga poses so you can feel your body.
Look at yourself in the mirror.
This will help you become more aware of your body and mind.
If you find yourself getting angry, go to the bathroom and stare at your reflection for a few minutes. As you do this, focus on deep breathing and think about ways to increase your self-compassion. After two to three minutes, you will probably notice your heart beating more slowly and your breathing become more even. Going to the bathroom also works as a little break to control your emotions. It’s a good technique to use at work or in public when certain impressions are overwhelming.
Repeat a mantra.
A simple phrase can help you get your emotions under control.
When you find yourself getting absorbed in something, take a few deep breaths and repeat your mantra in your mind. You can choose any phrase you like, but some common phrases include: “This isn’t about me.” “No need to get upset.” “This will pass.”
Do something that grabs your attention and takes your mind off your emotions.
Try to choose something that really engages your brain: do a puzzle, read a new book, search for a word, or draw. The more you can distract yourself from things, the less focused you will be on your emotions. Stay away from meaningless activities such as watching TV or surfing social media. These activities don’t require much attention, so will do little to distract you.
Avoid emotional triggers.
Some things upset us no matter what we do.
If you know you’ll get angry or stressed out if you’re late, plan to leave the house 10 minutes early. If you have an acquaintance that you find particularly annoying, avoid places where you’re likely to bump into them. While you can’t always avoid your emotional triggers, you can do your best to limit them in your everyday life.
Question your negative thoughts.
Negative thoughts can really distort our perception.
To think logically instead of relying on your emotions, you can ask yourself things like, “Is this really true?” Or, “What evidence do I have to support this view?” Over time, you will likely to be able to stop your negative feelings. For example, if you find yourself thinking, “I don’t have any friends,” ask yourself, “Is that really true? Didn’t I hang out with my friends over the weekend?” Or, if you find yourself thinking, “I’m not going to do a good job on this project,” ask yourself, “What evidence do I have to support that view? I can’t predict the future.”
Change your perspective on emotions.
Often we see our emotions as something negative.
Instead, you should see them as a useful tool. If you’re particularly nervous before an interview and you find yourself shaking and sweating, reframe the emotion by saying, “Wow, I have so much energy for this interview!” Your emotions are now something positive instead of them are an obstacle. When you find yourself getting mad at a coworker or getting frustrated with them, remind yourself that you’re just passionate about what you do and you want to do a good job. If you find yourself reacting sadly at having to see your ex, tell yourself that your sadness means you have lots of love to give to your next partner.
Worry about your own problems.
If you’re very empathetic, listening to your friends or family members vent can really get to you. It’s great to care about other people, but it’s also perfectly okay to set boundaries to have time for yourself. If your friend wants to call you and whistle at you about their friend, you can say, “I love talking to you, but I just don’t have the heart to give advice right now. Can we maybe talk next week?” You can also say, “In the future, would you mind if you ask if it’s okay before you call to vent? I like talking to you, but sometimes I’m in a bad mood and I can’t give you good advice.”
Mindfulness can help you control emotional outbursts.
Instead of focusing on what might happen in the future, pay attention to what is happening right now. It can help if you focus on your senses: name a few things you can see, hear, smell, feel and taste to anchor yourself in the now. Mindfulness is generally good for your mental health, especially if you struggle with anxiety disorders.
Prioritize your own needs.
Don’t give other people’s emotions so much space in your own life.
Instead, focus on yourself and your future goals. This can be difficult at first, but if you put yourself first instead of other people, you’ll be happier and healthier in the long run. This can be as simple as refusing a request to do someone a favor. Prioritize your own stress level and think about your needs first.
Keep a journal.
Process your emotions in a healthy way.
Take five to ten minutes each night to jot down what you did during the day and how you are feeling. If you are very emotional, write down what happened and how you handled the situation. If you let your feelings run free, you prevent them from building up and causing you to explode as a result. Keep your journal in a place that only you can access so that no one else can read what you have written.
Get enough sleep.
Studies show that lack of sleep can lead to emotional outbursts.
Make sure you get at least eight hours of sleep each night so you’re well-rested and ready to face the day. Sleep is a very important part of our mental health. So if you get enough sleep, it will have a positive effect on all aspects of your life. When you’re well-rested, you’re more likely to be able to make calm, rational decisions than based on your emotions.
Avoid using drugs or alcohol to mask your emotions.
This will likely only make your problems worse.
Using drugs and alcohol is not a good long-term way to dull your feelings. Instead, your emotions will continue to build up until you deal with them. Self-medication is never a good idea and can leave you worse off than you were before. Food can also be used to calm emotions, whether it’s overeating or undereating. Try to eat regularly when dealing with your feelings.
If you’re struggling with emotional outbursts, it may be worth getting in touch with a mental health professional.
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