5 Steps to Manage Your Emotions
Emotions are a complex aspect of the human experience and can involve a wide range of highs and lows throughout our life. When funneled down to the basics, it is widely accepted that human emotions can be categorized into six main emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, fear, surprise and disgust. As physically portrayed in the popular animated movie Inside Out, these emotions are shown to be vastly different but provide a critical part of our existence.
Everyone, throughout their lifetime, will experience these emotions in one way or another. While we expect and anticipate these emotions during different situations, there are circumstances in which we feel these emotions be particularly heightened. Rapid changes in emotions can be the cause of many different factors in one’s life; from being genetically predisposed or experiencing negative triggers to physical changes or not having good models for emotional regulation. Whatever the reason is that can cause these emotions to spin out of control, there are steps and strategies that can help to manage them and create a strong base for long-term emotional regulation.
Step 1 – Identify Your Feelings and Physical Symptoms
Take the time to be able to identify and realize when your emotions are starting to spiral. You might feel differently, more on-edge, more out of control. If you can stop and pinpoint what it is you are feeling, you will be able to more effectively manage your emotions and gain that control again. This is easier said than done but oftentimes a spiraling emotion is charged with an underlying physical symptom. Have you ever been so hungry that even the slightest inconvenience sends you over the edge? How about being so exhausted that every little thing is frustrating to you? These factors can easily perpetuate your emotions. If you are able to take care of a physical underlying symptom, there is a good chance it will help to address your emotional response.
Step 2 – Embrace and Validate Your Emotions
Deeply sad experiences and huge, exciting experiences are all emotions someone will feel in their life. We will all deal with the ups and downs, and it is important to understand that we will all feel this way at some point. Manage your emotions by being ready to feel a certain way about an aspect of your life. Many times, on the journey to regulate your emotions, you can fall into the trap of downplaying and sweeping your own feelings under the rug. This tactic can lead to build up and unresolved emotions that actually provide the opposite of a healthy regulation in your life. You feel these big emotions and they are valid. Embrace what you feel and get comfortable with the idea that you will experience this. The more you are comfortable with what you are feeling, the more you will be able to manage all the emotions involved.
Step 3 – Take Some Time and Space Away
In the heat of emotionally charged circumstances, an important and physical thing you can do is to briefly step away. There is a lot of power in knowing and feeling when you are starting to spiral out of control and taking the initiative to give yourself some space. This space can help calm you down, clear your mind and be able to return to the circumstance more level-headed and ready to be your best regulated self. This time away can be spent breathing or talking to loved ones until you are ready to confront the issues and set yourself up for success in the future.
Step 4 – Manage Stress and Focus on the Positive
Tension and stress can trigger high emotions quite easily. Managing your stress will, in turn, help to manage your emotions as well. The stresses of life won’t go away all together but coping with the stress and high emotions can make them more manageable to live with. Coping with your stress could look like getting more sleep, engaging in hobbies or talking with friends or loved ones. Negative emotions can weigh on you and can even cause you more stress, so try to focus on any positive emotions in your life. These emotions can often be overshadowed by the negative ones but noticing the positive in your life can help you stay on top of your emotions and feel lighter and happier.
Step 5 – Consult a Therapist
Despite all that you can do to help you manage these emotions on your own, sometimes it is not always enough. If you still find yourself overwhelmed, it may be time to seek out a therapist. A professional can offer you a compassionate space to relay your struggles and receive beneficial strategies to assist in your emotional regulation journey. The therapy services offered at All About You Therapy Services provides a judgment-free and caring environment that can help fulfill your self-awareness goals and give you more strategies to better regulate your emotions. Contact us today to share what is on your mind and continue your journey to effectively manage and thrive with your emotions.