Control Overwhelming Emotions (And When to Get Help)

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Human beings are emotional creatures by nature. Emotions are a natural response from the body and brain in relation to everyday experiences and actions. Knowing how to effectively manage your emotions is imperative to your happiness – and in some cases, the happiness of others. Feelings of happiness, of course, don’t require much managing (unless you find yourself laughing at a funeral). However, when you’re feeling angry, anxious, stressed, or depressed, many tend to keep these emotions under control by ignoring them or holding them in.

Pent-Up Emotions Make Things Worse

So, what happens when you choose to allow your emotions to control you, instead of you controlling them? There are a number of things that could go wrong. Some of them include:

  • Worsening negative feelings
  • Anger, frustration, mood swings
  • Body aches
  • Depression
  • Physical harm to yourself or others
  • Self-medicating with drugs or alcohol
  • Damaged relationships
  • Weakened immune system
  • Heart disease, stroke
  • Fluctuating weight
  • Lack of concentration or focus

Many people think that holding in your emotions is essentially the most effective way to deal with them. However, this is far from the truth. There are some easy steps you can take towards making a change, but if you’ve started self-medicating, harming yourself, or threatening others with harm you need to get professional help. You may require rehab recovery services and counseling or therapy to get back on the right track. And when you get back on track you will need to spend time rebuilding relationships after addiction.

Controlling Unwanted Emotions

How can you keep those negative feelings from getting the best of you? It will take daily effort, but with time, you can learn to control your emotions with these tips:

  • Let it out – obviously, keeping your feelings in isn’t the answer. It is better instead to let it out. Cry, shout, scream, break a glass, throw a pillow, do whatever it is you need to do to acknowledge your feelings and be in the moment.
  • Change your thoughts – After you’ve given yourself some time to feel what you’re feeling, it’s time to refocus your attention elsewhere. You do this by changing your thoughts about your circumstances. Perhaps you’re stressed about the bills and your limited income. Instead of thinking about the money you don’t have, think about what you are able to cover. It can help to ease your feelings and help you to find peace or at least, contentment with your circumstances.
  • Don’t be quick to react – reacting on emotion can oftentimes make things worse, especially when they are negative feelings. Before you respond to something, take a moment to yourself. Take a few deep breaths, try to change your thoughts, and then address the matter if necessary.
  • Be mindful of the company you keep – if you find yourself constantly in a negative space, it could be the people you surround yourself with. If you’re in toxic relationships or have friends who are pessimistic, emotionally abusive, or negative, you may need to remove yourself from them for a while so you can get your own feelings in check.
  • Diet and exercise – you’re probably tired of hearing this advice, but to be honest, what you eat and how active you are can have a major impact on your emotional well-being. When you’re eating mood-boosting foods and eliminating foods that can keep you down as well as exercising which also boosts your mood, eventually, you’ll find that improving the way you feel is easier.
  • Treat yourself – sometimes a little TLC can go a long way in improving your mood. Give yourself a bath, go for a walk, binge watch a few shows, or whatever it is you do that makes you smile.  

Everyone has negative feelings. It’s not bad or wrong to have such feelings either. It only becomes a problem when you try to control them by holding them in or taking it out on others. These tips will help you to learn to acknowledge your feelings and then control yourself so they don’t overwhelm you. 

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