Learning how to control your emotions is an essential skill that can be learned.
Emotions are various forms of feelings, positive or negative, that results in physical or psychological changes which affect our thoughts and actions.
Psychology emotion is often a personality mood. It is our body’s response to the happenings around our environment. Therefore, the ability to control your emotions increases your emotional intelligence and improves your interaction with people.
Our emotions tend to escalate to a point where we find it difficult to control. I remember breaking a mug due to over-excitement because of a gift from my father.
Irrespective of the nature of your emotions, if you cannot learn to regulate them, it may lead to dire consequences.
These methods can help you in your learning.
1. To Control Your Emotions, First Identify How You Feel
Identifying your emotions requires you to do two things:
First, it requires you to monitor your emotions in a given situation. An example of such is how you feel during an argument.
Are you cool-headed or got tempered during an argument? Knowing what emotions you feel during a particular time can help you to control your emotion during that period.
Lastly, this helps you to monitor what emotions you are prone to. Often, we hear people say things like “I easily get angry”, “I am easily irritated”.
Understanding what emotions you’re quick to exhibit is one step in learning how to manage and control your emotions.
2. Question Your Emotion
Taking a moment to question why you are feeling a certain way can help to control your emotions.
A roommate of mine was prone to anger every time he returned from the school market. He’d shout and argue, then throw a tantrum.
To help him manage his emotion, we would first identify his primary emotion – anger. Then we question why he was always angry when he came back from the market. It turned out that his annoyance was a response to the outrageous hike in the prices of goods in the market.
When you’re feeling a surge of emotion, you can take some seconds to question why you’re feeling such a rush. It could be a gift from someone or the death of someone. Whatever is the reason for such emotions, taking a moment to question the perspective of your emotions can help you regulate how you’d act.
3. Intend To Control Your Emotions; Not Repressing Them
You cannot control your emotions by repressing them. We repress emotions because we want to avoid feeling their effects.
Usually, repressed emotions are negative emotions such as pain, sadness, and anger. While repressing such emotions might give you temporary satisfaction, in the long run, it can have dire effects.
Imagine you have a bag and you need to fill it with clothes. The more clothes you fill it with, the less space it has. If you keep stuffing the bag with clothes, it’ll eventually damage the bag.
Our body is like a bag. When we repress our emotions, we’re filling our bodies with negativity. If you do not address these emotions adequately, with time, they can hurt your health.
Rather than repressing your emotions, you should practice expressing your emotions with regulation. When you feel sad, it is okay to cry. When you feel angry, it is okay to punch your pillows.
Whenever you feel the urge to repress your emotions, remember, expression with regulation is what you should rather do.
4. Expression Helps To Control Your Emotions
Our emotions are best expressed through our actions. When you cannot control your emotions, it translates to uncontrolled actions.
The 10 seconds rule state that before we take any action, we should take a deep breath; count to ten, during which we’re analyzing our actions before taking them.
The death of a loved one can cause immense pain and sadness which can lead to the urge to hurt yourself.
To implement the 10 seconds rule, before you carry on the act to hurt yourself, pause for 10 seconds and rethink your actions.
What are the repercussions of my actions? Is it good or bad?
5. Consider Mild Expressions
Since our emotions are expressed through actions, rather than indulge in negative actions, you should consider being kind to yourself.
From the example above, the alternative to hurting yourself includes talking to a loved one, seeing a therapist, or taking a break from social activities.
Another example is how you relate in the workspace environment. You have a colleague who is bad at meeting up with deadlines, leaving you with more work.
While it is natural to get angry and express it through harsh words, there are better alternatives to that. You could find out why such a person is always late on reports, give a friendly reminder in subsequent scenarios or report to HR.
6. Journaling Helps To Control Your Emotional Journey
Keeping a journal to document your moods can help control your emotions.
Journaling involves documenting your emotional experiences as they come, negatively or positively. Just like you’d keep a diary that has a summary of your daily activities, a mood-journal can help keep track of what emotions you frequent and how well you control them.
Writing down your daily experience can help identify your quickest emotions. It also helps in identifying better ways to work through an emotional phase.
For example, if you feel extremely sad about an event, you can write about it. Note why you feel sad about it and three (3) better ways you would think to respond next time.
This way, if such a situation should reoccur, you’re already prepared because you have written alternative actions.
7. Visit A Therapist To Help You Control Your Emotions
Seeking professional help is recommended when you begin to notice a high emotional imbalance.
Our emotions are influenced by our environment. An unhealthy environment cannot foster the development of healthy emotions. In this scenario, no matter how much effort you put into controlling your emotions, you’ll always find yourself responding negatively.
In this case, it is better to see the help of a health therapist. Therapists are professional personnel trained to help people identify health issues and provide support.
Some emotional trauma could stem from family-related issues to financial burdens.
A therapist identifies the root cause of your emotional imbalance and provides support, sometimes medications, to help you manage your emotions.
Although Rome was not built in a day, they’d spent hours of work laying bricks. Thus, to achieve a high level of emotional intelligence, you need to practice the art of controlling your emotions persistently. The keyword is practicing constantly.
Considering that we interact with people every day, we must learn how to manage our emotions.
Building high emotional intelligence improves your self-confidence and how you’re perceived by others. It is one big step into being a better you.
I need you to picture yourself arriving late for an appointment. Unfortunately, you lost the contract you’ve worked hard for. Heading back home in disappointment, it begins to rain, while hurrying to take shelter, a reckless driver drove past you and spilt muddy water on your outfit. What would be your mood at that instance? An ample number of persons give in to anger, transfer of aggression, retaliating with harsh words, smashing valuables, oftentimes shedding tears to let the pain out.
However, your body and mood begin to return to normality after you’ve relaxed, perhaps taken a nap. You start seeking encouragement to comfort yourself, while in that process, flashbacks on the damages you did a few hours ago start replaying in your head, and you wonder “how on earth did you do all that”? Most times you feel you’re been manipulated by an unknown force and can’t find an explanation. Well, the resultant effect of your mood at all times is controlled by your emotions. Therefore, it’s necessary to know how to recognize emotions, likewise learn to manage them to prevent hurting yourself and others.
What are Emotions?
Emotions are intense feelings with biological origin resulting from neuropsychological changes in the human body. Connected with one’s temperament, behaviour, personality, thoughts, moods, creativity, and motivation.
Where Does Emotion Come From?
Psychologists believe emotions are the results of changes within the body, derived from the heart. While neurologists proposed that emotions are produced by the brain. The brain coordinates everything within the body including emotions.
The brain contains a limbic system that houses various tissues in charge of controlling emotions, also, emotions are coded into the DNA. These issues include;
The hypothalamus which is in charge of sexual response, hormone release, and temperature regularly
The amygdala regulates responses to things happening around such as fear and pleasure.
The hippocampus is responsible for preserving and retrieving memories.
There limbic cortex controls mode, inspiration, motivation, and judgment.
Why Are Emotions Important?
Humans rarely pay attention to their feelings until it gets out of control. The decisions you make daily are influenced by your emotions. Likewise, Our response to our environment and situation around.
Mastering your emotions prevents hurts and enables you to coordinate yourself. If your emotions control you, definitely your entire life becomes disarranged. How to recognize emotions are necessary to aid you to control them and channel your energy in the right direction.
Categories Of Emotions
1. Negative Emotions
These are sets of feelings, behaviour, and response which inflict discomfort, pain, and damages on the initiator and those around. Once these emotions begin to control a person, his energy is channelled in the wrong direction.
Furthermore, staying on negative emotions for long increases stress hormones and eventually affects your health negatively. How to recognize emotions with negative effects are easy to spot on the surface and is controlled majorly by the amygdala. There are so many types of negative emotions;
A state of displeasure and hostility. Control by the amygdala in the brain. There is a release of a chemical known as catecholamines which leads to an outburst of energy. Signs of anger include;
- Sweaty palms
- Frown looks
- Forming fist
- Increase in heartbeat
- Grinding of teeth
- Clenching jaw
- Shaking and trembling
- Sarcastic responses
- Yelling and shouting
- Absence of humor.
This is a state of being terrified and uncomfortable induced by someone or something. To recognize fear lookout for the following;
- Rapid Heartbeat
- Sweating uncontrollably
- Raised of eyebrows
- Discomfort in the stomach
- Short breath
- Quick short movement.
A mental disorder with a feeling of depression, unhappiness, and worthlessness. Oftentimes, when things don’t go as planned sadness steps in. Likewise, when one experiences a loss. Methods use in recognizing that one is sad includes;
- Lack of focus/concentration
- Moody looks
- Too much sleep or lack of sleep
- Loss of interest
It’s a feeling of resentment, envy, fear, and insecurity towards someone or something. This is caused by low self-esteem. Signs of jealousy include;
- Giving of false compliment
- Quick to criticize
- Unnecessary show-off
- Unhealthy comparison
- Celebrate failure
- Ignore achievement
Research shows that adults above 65 years feel the heat of loneliness more. Loneliness is a feeling of separation and abandonment. How to recognize emotions displaying loneliness include;
- Drawn to possession
- Negative thought system
- Easily gets annoyed
- Frequent illness
- Cut-off from others.
2. Positive Emotions
These are sets of pleasurable sensations that are always desirable. Once activated it brings peace and enthusiasm. It erases a pessimistic attitude, gives your reasons to live, reasons to help others, and guides you to make profitable decisions. Also, it’s a feeling of gratitude, influenced by the amygdala in the limbic system. There are so many types of positive emotions.
I honestly think happiness is being present and finding joy in every momentAimee Marino
Therefore, Happiness is a choice to maintain inner peace despite your current circumstances. How to recognize true happiness entails;
- Worrying less
- Living in the moment
- Celebrate good
- Enjoy nature
- Love/value yourself
- Laughing out loud
A neurological feeling of happiness and satisfaction with one’s current stage of life while hoping for something higher. Signs to note about contentment includes;
- Being true to yourself
- Setting your needs within your financial carrying capacity
- Confidence in one strength And talent
- Cheerful mood
- Been realistic
- Healthy routine
- Lack of envy and greed
It’s an emotional feeling of affection and attraction towards someone or something which propels you to the extent of sacrificing your all to see them happy.
Hence, they are included as one of your priorities. To tell if you’re in love or someone loves you, check out for the following signs;
- Spending time with loved ones
- Constant thought about what you love
- Notice every little change about that person or thing.
- Speak about that person/thing all the time.
- Cherish and values that person/thing.
- Feeling of happiness around that person/things.
- Been caring
It’s the state of dependability and reliability on someone or in your ability. Signs of trust includes;
- Respect boundaries
- Doesn’t compromise
- Forgives easily
5. Positive Anticipation
This is an eager expectation for an upcoming event. Positive anticipation induces emotions to cope with stress and disappointment.
How to recognize positive anticipation emotions is often trickish because not everyone can differentiate between positive or negative anticipation. Signs include;
- Hyper activeness
- Positive thought
- Planning and orderliness
- Been nervous
How To Manage Emotions
In addition to how you can recognize your emotions, here are ways to control them most especially the negative emotions.
1. Give Yourself Space
The moment you discover two to three signs of your predominant emotions is displaying, deep within you, you’re aware of the usual out-burst around people.
Immediately, excuse yourself from among others to prevent further retaliation, especially signs of anger and jealousy.
2. Develop a Thankful Heart
Don’t spend your entire day complaining about what isn’t right, use that period to appreciate the wonderful things in your life, around you, and in the lives of others.
A thankful heart is an antidote to loneliness and sadness.
3. Take control of Your Emotions
Your emotions are subjected to your will depending on how you use them. For instance when the light goes off, usually you begin to panic due to darkness.
However, don’t give in to fear, decide to take control and search for the nearest source of light, probably your phone. By so doing your bravery and courage comes alive.
4. Generating Positive Energy Helps Manage Negative Emotions
To trash out, negative emotions surround yourself with Positive personalities. Who would encourage you to live out your best version?
Also, read, watch, and listen to something that fills your mind with positivity and hope.
5. Consider Others Before Giving in to Negative Emotions
Your emotions may appear superior to your will and you assume you can’t control it. That’s when you should reflect on the effect the outburst of your emotions would have on others. Hence, calm down and subject your emotions to your will.
The signs on how to recognize emotions are useful in detecting our personal feelings at all points in time and telling how others are feeling. From a psychologist’s viewpoint, our environment influences our emotions. Hence, become conscious of the things surrounding you, which your mind is exposed to. Take charge of your emotions.
Perhaps, you have experienced the effect of negative emotions, do well to share in the comment section below.