Being The Boss of Your Mood: How to Control Emotions

Being able to properly express emotions is crucial to your social, personal, and professional success. Emotions are directly related to our responses to situations. When we are in tune with them, we are better able to:

  • Make decisions,
  • Take care of ourselves,
  • Manage our day-to-day interactions,
  • And have more successful relationships.

Emotions can also take a toll on our interpersonal relationships and health when they become out of control. With a little practice, being the boss of your own emotions is very doable. Let’s get started!

Which Primary Emotions Exist

There are five large emotions that are composed of several smaller ones. These include: anger, fear, disgust, sadness, and joy. Let’s break it down.

Joy (or excitement) occurs when people feel good. You might smile or laugh and generally feel relaxed. Some emotions associated with this feeling are:

  • Love,
  • Pride,
  • Relief,
  • Happiness,
  • Excitement,
  • Satisfaction,
  • Peace,
  • Contentment.

Sadness happens to all of us now and then. It can surround a loss or rejection and often ends with tears. Some more emotions for sadness are:

  • Gloomy,
  • Troubled,
  • Lost,
  • Helpless,
  • Unhappy,
  • Grieving,
  • Heartbroken.

Fear is the response to any kind of threat. Depending on what it is, our reactions can range quite a bit. Fear can make you feel:

  • Worried,
  • Desperate,
  • Stressed,
  • Confused,
  • Anxious,
  • Nervous,
  • Doubtful.

Anger is a strong emotion that is our reaction to injustice. Many people see anger and think of it negatively, but it is perfectly normal to feel angry. Some words you could use to describe your anger are:

  • Mad,
  • Insulted,
  • Cheated,
  • Bitter,
  • Frustrated,
  • Annoyed,
  • Irritated.

Disgust is our reaction to unwanted or unpleasant stimuli. Disgust protects us from things we want to avoid. You may feel:

  • Offended,
  • Disturbed,
  • Uncomfortable,
  • Horrified,
  • Loathing,
  • Disapproving.

Be prepared to check in with yourself when you are feeling sudden emotions. Interrupt yourself and ask:

  • What am I feeling right now? Identify the specific emotion.
  • What is making me feel this way? Identify the specific source.
  • Does this situation have another explanation that makes sense?
  • What do I want to do about this situation?
  • Is there a better way to cope?

Impact Of The Emotion

Intense emotions are not always bad, but it is when they get out of hand that there is a problem. Emotions that get out of hand may lead to:

  • Trouble at work,
  • Difficulty relating to others,
  • Relationship conflict,
  • Emotional or physical outbursts,
  • Substance abuse.

It is easier to identify problems when you understand the impact. You do not want your emotions on overdrive all the time, but you do not want to switch them off entirely either. When you repress emotions, you are preventing yourself from experiencing feelings. This can be conscious or unconscious. What is important is that you are controlling your emotions, not suppressing them.

Meditation and Emotions

If you practice meditation, this might be a go-to method of coping for you. Meditation helps you increase your awareness of the present moment. When you meditate, you help yourself sit with your thoughts and feelings. The purpose is to notice them without judging them or changing them.

Learning to accept your emotions will help you better regulate them. Relaxation and better sleep are a few other benefits of meditation.

Meditation helps you become more resilient. As you learn to manage your thoughts and feelings, you can bring more strength to other aspects of your life. Start with breathing exercises and focusing on your senses. As you do this, you will notice yourself becoming hyper aware of your immediate surroundings.

For more tips on meditation or to learn more about its benefits, check out these articles:

● How Yoga and Meditation Influence Mental Health

● What is Meditation

● How to Choose The Right Meditation Style For You

Managing Your Stress

If you are under a lot of stress, managing your emotions can be difficult. It is easy to react quickly based on emotion if you are under stress or feeling tension. This is why properly managing stress is so important.

Mindfulness and meditation practices (as we mentioned earlier) are great ways to cope with day-to-day and long term stress. While it may not get rid of it entirely, it will make it easier to live with. Get enough sleep, socialize, and make time for relaxation for best results.

Looking to learn more? Check out our How to Effectively Relieve Stress article.

Here are a few highlights from the article:

1. Practice guided meditation. Guided imagery and meditation are great visualization techniques that help reduce stress and calm us down.

2. Practice aromatherapy. This is a holistic and fairly simple approach to relieving stress. Scents are known to reduce stress and alter brain waves.

3. Avoid caffeine and other stimulants. As much as possible, limit your consumption. They do much more harm than good.

4. Maintain a balanced diet. Certain foods really affect your mood and energy level. Comfort foods provide temporary relief from stress where maintaining a proper diet is key to keeping stress at bay.

Know When and How To Express Yourself

Sobbing uncontrollably or throwing a chair across the room in response to a tragic loss might be ways of coping, but there is a time and a place. For some situations, we have to exhibit a level of restraint. No matter how upset you are, screaming or behaving dramatically will not be good in a job setting. Know when you should be mindful of your surroundings and read the room.

Know when it may be better to sit with your emotions vs react. We have a great article on anger management, give it a read for more.

Talking To a Therapist

If your emotions are overwhelming and you are unsure of how to proceed, seek professional help. Long term emotional dysregulations can be linked to mental health conditions like borderline personality disorder or bipolar disorder. There may be trauma connected to these emotions that needs to be worked through with a licensed professional.

On Mental Treat, we have a variety of mental health professionals who can help you work through regulating your emotions. Simply click here to access the platform and begin your search. Use our intelligent filters until you find the right professional for you.

A Word From Mental Treat

Emotions can be difficult to talk about. With so much stigma surrounding mental health, it can feel like there are few avenues to turn to and even fewer solutions. We are here to tell you that that could not be further from the truth.

Everyone struggles with coping with their emotions. Whether people call you “sensitive”, “hot-headed”, or “naive”, we all have emotions that are sometimes too present. With stress relief, counseling, and being cognizant, we can regulate our emotions and present the best sides of ourselves. We wish you the most success as you start your journey and hope you can find the support you need on Mental Treat or otherwise. As always, take care, and be well.

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Natalia Korsakova

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