8 Tips To Manage When You’re Feeling Emotional
Updated November 28, 2019
Reviewer Lauren Guilbeault
Feeling emotional is a normal part of the human experience. Although it may be hard to cope with our emotions at times, they do serve a purpose. Stress reminds us of what is important in our lives and keeps us on our toes. Pain or despair may not seem like a good thing, but it reminds us who and what has significant meaning in our lives.
At times, though, feeling emotional can get in the way of our lives. The sad feelings we have to make it difficult to perform well at work or enjoy our free time. Stress and anxiety become major annoyances and can alter our judgment, resulting in bad choices made or avoidance of important things.
When you are feeling emotional and overwhelmed, there are things that you can do to manage these feelings. Having better control over your emotions will make you feel much more empowered in every single area of your life. Here are some tips to get you started.
Try Breathing Exercises
Our bodies are amazing things. Did you know that we are programmed to be able to calm ourselves down? When we practice deep breathing, our bodies send a signal to our brains to produce oxytocin, a chemical that tells our brain to relax.
There are many different breathing techniques that you can use to reach this goal. One popular one is called four by four breathing. Any time you are trying to relax, you want to start with your back straight and your feet planted on the floor. Place each hand on top of your knees and close your eyes. Breathe in through your nose for four seconds, hold for four seconds and out through your mouth for four seconds.
To get the full effect of this, you will want to continue in this state for five to ten minutes. You may not see the results straight away, but if you commit and keep moving, you will. This is a wonderful technique you can use while out and about and at work because it doesn't require any special equipment. It is also discreet and quiet.
Combining breathing exercises with meditation is another great idea. Meditation is a practice that millions around the world to reduce anxiety, quiet the mind, and put emotions in check. If you don't know where to start, begin with a guided meditation. These are super easy and can be as short or long as you want. Just 15 minutes a day can show great improvement in self-control and focus.
Keep A Journal (Don't Skip This One)
Anyone that is feeling emotional can benefit greatly from having an outlet. A commonly used version of this is called journaling. Sure this one is 'old school,' but it is still recommended for a reason.
The idea of journaling is to let your emotions out by writing them on a page. It doesn't have to be coherent or make sense to anyone but you. Some people choose to keep a running list of bullet points or affirmations. Others see more results from doing small doodles or other artistic works in their journal. The beautiful thing about this method is that it doesn't require structure. Whatever you feel will have the best results for you is what you should go with.
Another useful part about journaling is its way of indexing your emotions. If you keep a journal and you are trying to minimize feeling emotional, look back on previous days and weeks often. Was there something in your life that was causing stress that could have been avoided? Are you making decisions that are ultimately hurting you in the long run? It can be difficult to be honest with yourself when asking these questions. If the goal is to be less emotional, though, it is necessary to be.
Don't Take Life Too Seriously
If one thing is true about life, it is this: it goes on. No matter what you have going on that you feel is detrimental, it will pass. If you find yourself getting stuck in a rut because you feel like is kicking you down, try not to take it too seriously.
The truth is, none of us are getting out of this alive. Bad things will happen, and they will take a toll on you emotionally. If you can accept that and understand that the way you are feeling plays a role in your life, things will be easier. If you didn't feel the bad things, all the wonderful and pure things in life wouldn't be so wonderful and pure. No matter how bad you might feel, remember that this will only make you more grateful when you feel good.
Ultimately, the unexpected and negative things that happen to us are a part of life. There isn't a thing you can do to stop them, but you do have control over your outlook on things. Try to maintain a healthy and balanced perspective, and you will find you have much more control over your emotions.
Talk To Someone
Sometimes the only thing we need to feel good again is a shoulder to cry on. We all have our home team. These are the people that love and support us and make up the fabric of our lives.
The problem with most people is this: we don't want to "bother" others with our problems. When it comes time to be there for a friend or family member, we show love and compassion. We want to help the people we love. So why are we afraid to reach out when we need it?
Take advantage of the support system you have around you. If you need someone to talk to or to sit with while you mull over your own emotions, reach out and ask for it. Isolating yourself will only serve to make matters worse, and your friends and family won't mind if you ask them. You are only hurting yourself if you resist.
Take A Hot Bath
Backing up and taking a moment to relax and breathe is important even if you are in good spirits. When you are feeling emotional, this could be a great way for you to wind down and relax.
Draw a hot bath and light a candle or add some scented bath salts to your water. Play some calming, low music, and dim the lights. This would be a good time to use your newly found breathing exercises, too. This is your time to reflect and collect your emotions. Let your mind explore the week and all its happenings. Brainstorm ways that you can prevent feeling emotional in the future.
This is the time that you should take for yourself and take it often. We can all use a recharge, especially at the end of an emotional day. You deserve it.
Let It Out
The only way through emotions at times is to let yourself feel them. Far too often, we choose to deal with our emotions by not dealing with them at all. Bottling them up will cause more pain and heartache in the future.
It might seem redundant to let your emotions go when your goal is to stop feeling emotional. The thing is, though, that some emotions won't go away until we deal with them. For example, when you lose a loved one, the grieving process is hard and long. There are so many different emotions that we go through. Pain, heartbreak, anger, fear, to name a few. When you are facing these, the easiest thing to do might be to ignore them and try to live your life as normal.
The bad thing about this strategy is that it never works. You can't run from your emotions. No matter what you do, they are inside of you. You will carry them with you until you choose to deal with them, or they force you to do so. You must recognize the emotions that you feel, let yourself feel them, and then decide how you will heal. This is the only way you can gain your freedom back.
Play A Good Song
The effect an upbeat song has on your emotions might be greater than you think. Studies show music has a significant impact on people and can pull us out of a sour mood.
The next time you are feeling emotional, turn the radio up. Pick an upbeat tune and feel the vibrations of the music. Get into the song! You can sing, dance along with the music or jump around. The good vibrations you will get from the song paired with getting your blood pumping can fix more problems than you think.
This method works wonderfully for calming stress and anger. Much of the time, we need to distract ourselves from the intensity of our emotions until they pass (which they almost always do on their own). The five minutes you spend listening to your favorite song can be all it takes to see yourself through the emotions you are feeling.
Check Into DBT
The next section covers the reasons why you should consider talking to a therapist. If you choose to go this route, ask about DBT. This is a special kind of therapy that is used specifically to help people learn to keep their emotions in check. It can help you learn to guide and label your emotions, figure out how to regulate them, and oppose urges that are not healthy for you.
DBT greatly improves communication skills and helps produce better responses through 4 main modules: core mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.
Talk To A Professional
If the emotions you feel are too overwhelming or you feel you can't deal with them on your own, it may be time to talk to a therapist. Some issues are too deep, and emotions are too strong to deal with on our own, and that's okay!
The trained counselors at ReGain are logged in and ready to help. ReGain's online platform will enable you to match with the perfect therapist for you in minutes. The best part is you can connect with this person right from your living room - no more annoying commutes to stuffy offices!
With some determination and wisdom, you can conquer feeling emotional. You already have all the tools you need; you must learn how to use them.