Written by Anna Wang
It can be hard to control our emotional reactions sometimes – it’s part of being human. However, if these outbursts happen often, there are skills you can develop to help regulate your emotions.
Why Should I Learn How to Manage My Emotions?
Oftentimes, one may have good intentions but not use the best ways to deal with emotional experiences. This can lead to excessive drinking, mindless scrolling on social media, etc. Not acknowledging emotions is also counter-productive, as our emotions can erupt after being suppressed for a long time.
Our ability to deal with emotions is called emotional intelligence, or EQ. By learning how to keep your emotions in check, you can help improve your communication with others and help bring balance to your life.
How Can I Manage My Emotions?
So how can you manage your emotions effectively? Here are some simple strategies.
Sensory Grounding: When emotions are high, it can be hard to stay in the present physically. It is important to stay in tune with your 5 senses to stay grounded. A popular exercise you can do is the 5-4-3-2-1 technique – name 5 things you can see, 4 you can touch, 3 you can hear, 2 you can smell, and lastly, 1 you can taste.
Deep Breathing: As humans, we have a fight, flight, or freeze response when we are overwhelmed. This makes it difficult to be logical and emotional at the same time. Deep breaths can help your body relax and calm your feelings.
Accepting Emotions: More often than not, we label certain emotions as “negative”. When you’re overwhelmed by emotion, this can feel shameful. Staying in tune with your emotions and looking at them with a different perspective can be helpful. If you’re not quite sure what you’re feeling, it may be helpful to journal or write your thoughts down.
Practicing Mindfulness: Mindfulness is a meditation technique that focuses on being in the moment. The goal is to avoid thinking about the past or future and be fully in the present. This technique can calm you while giving you a perspective of your emotions.