It’s your habits that determine how emotional you feel, especially your mental habits. It’s a common belief that some people are just highly emotional by nature while others have a more stoic and balanced temperament. And even though there are likely some genetic influences on how emotional we are, the much bigger influence is something most people don’t realize.
The following ways will help you to stable your emotions:
- Take a deep breath
There’s much to be said for the power of a deep breath, whether you’re ridiculously happy or so angry you can’t speak. Slowing down and paying attention to your breath won’t make the emotions go away. Deep breathing exercises can help you ground yourself and take a step back from the first intense flash of emotion and any extreme reaction you want to avoid.
- Aim for regulation, not repression
You can’t control your emotions with a click. But imagine, for a moment, that you could manage emotions this way. You wouldn’t want to leave them running at maximum all the time. You also wouldn’t want to switch them off entirely, either.
When you suppress or repress emotions, you’re preventing yourself from experiencing and expressing feelings. This can happen consciously or unconsciously.
- Identify what you are feeling
Taking a moment to check in with yourself about your mood can help you begin gaining back control. Say you’ve been seeing someone for a few months. You tried planning a date last week, but they said they didn’t have time. You’re suddenly extremely upset. Without stopping to think.
- Accept your emotions
If you’re trying to get better at managing emotions, you might try downplaying your feelings to yourself. When you hyperventilate after receiving good news or collapse on the floor screaming and sobbing when you can’t find your keys, it might seem helpful to tell yourself, Just calm down, or It’s not that big of a deal, so don’t freak out.
But this invalidates your experience. It is a big deal to you. Accepting emotions as they come helps you get more comfortable with them. Increasing your comfort around intense emotions allows you to fully feel them without reacting in extreme, unhelpful ways.
- Take a look at the impact of your emotions
Intense emotions aren’t all bad. Emotions make our lives exciting, unique, and vibrant. Strong feelings can signify that we embrace life fully and that we’re not repressing our natural reactions. It’s perfectly normal to experience some emotional overwhelm on occasion when something wonderful happens when something terrible happens when you feel like you’ve missed out.
- Know when to express yourself
There’s a time and place for everything, including intense emotions. Sobbing uncontrollably is a pretty common response to losing a loved one. Screaming into your pillow, even punching it, might help you relieve some anger and tension. Being mindful of your surroundings and the situation can help you learn when it’s ok to let feelings out and when you might want to sit with them for the moment.
- Give yourself some space
Getting some distance from intense feelings can help you make sure you’re reacting to them in reasonable ways. This distance might be physical, like leaving an upsetting situation. But you can also create some mental distance by distracting yourself.