How To Be In Control Of Your Emotions: 28 Top Strategies

In today’s article you’re going to learn everything you need to know about how to be in control of your emotions.

While there is nothing wrong with any emotion, some emotions, if not controlled, can cause significant discomfort. Fortunately, it is possible to regulate and overcome these unpleasant sensations through various mental health practices and lifestyle changes.

How To Be In Control Of Your Emotions:

1. Recognize when emotions are taking control of you.

Recognizing when your emotions are out of control is the first step to regaining control. Ask yourself how you are feeling physically and mentally at the time, and then try to locate this in the present moment. Mindfulness and awareness, as well as sound thinking, are essential to capturing your emotions before they get out of control. You will begin to anchor yourself in the present moment by simply recognizing it.

Physical reactions such as an accelerated heart rate, tense muscles, and rapid or shallow breathing are possible.

Mentally, you may lose focus, feel scared, panicked, overwhelmed, or as if you are not in control of your thoughts.

You should slow down and focus on only one aspect of your body’s response at a time. For example, if you feel nervous, pay attention to how your body feels: “My heart is pounding like crazy.” “My hands are wet.” Instead of judging your feelings, acknowledge and accept them as they are.

2. Take a big breath in to relax.

When you give vent to your emotions, it’s common for your breathing to also get out of control, adding to the tension and worry. When you find yourself panicking, take a few deep breaths to calm your mind and body. Try the concentrated deep breathing method for the most effective remedy.

To begin this technique, place one hand on your chest and the other below your rib cage. Counting up to four times, take a slow and deep breath in through your nose. As you inhale, notice how your lungs and abdomen expand.

Hold your breath for 1 or 2 seconds, then exhale gently through your mouth. A good goal is to do 6–10 deep breaths every minute.

Start with 2 breaths and keep practicing if the full 4 breaths are too much for you. Just try to take as many deep and calm breaths as possible.

3. To clear your thoughts, focus on bodily sensations.

When you lose control of your emotions, you often lose track of who you are and where you are; you become consumed by feelings and lose track of where you are. To counteract this, try to pay attention to objects right in front of you or to bodily sensations you are experiencing.

Grounding exercises use most or all of the five senses to help you stay grounded in the present moment. Speaking aloud is especially beneficial because it distracts you from your feelings. Grounding yourself and stopping the spiral of emotions can be as simple as returning to your body and focusing on the present moment.

Look around you and explain out loud what you observed. Listen to the noises you may be making and say them out loud. Pay attention to the smells around you and try to sense them with your tongue. You might say, “The carpet and walls are different shades of gray, and abstract paintings in green, red, blue, and white hang on the walls.” I can smell brewed tea and fresh file folders in the office. “

Think about how you feel sitting in a chair or holding a mug of tea. Pay attention to how your clothes feel and if any muscles feel sore or stiff. You can focus on something as basic as the position of your hands in your lap.

Brew a cup of hot tea and concentrate on how you feel right now as you drink it. What impression did the cup make on you? What does it smell like? How does it taste? Make a note of this and then read it aloud to yourself.

Describe the picture aloud in as much detail as possible.

When you are anxious, have a combination of essential oils with you to smell. Allow the scent to envelop you and talk openly about what you like about it.

4. To relieve physical and mental tension, try relaxing your muscles.

Scan your body to determine where tension is accumulating, and then encourage yourself to relax that area. Relax your shoulders, loosen your fists, and release your tense legs. Shake your fingers and relax your neck. Physically relieving stress can go a long way towards calming your thoughts.

If you have trouble relaxing your body, try progressive muscle relaxation (PMR). Starting at your toes and moving upward, you will methodically tighten and relax the muscles in groups. If you can’t focus on uncovering specific areas of stress, it can be helpful to use a tried-and-tested strategy like this one.

5. Imagine yourself in a peaceful, safe environment.

Choose a relaxing and calming place, whether it is real or imagined. Close your eyes and visualize it in as much detail as possible while breathing softly and evenly. Allow your body to relax and your thoughts and emotions to quiet down in the tranquility of your safe place.

A safe place can be a beach, a resort, a temple, a bedroom-any place where you feel comfortable and relaxed. Consider the noises you will hear, the sights you will see, and even the smells and textures you will encounter.

Try to quickly imagine your safe zone if you can’t close your eyes or see it in its entirety. Take a few long, calm breaths to remind yourself of that peaceful, focused feeling.

If you have difficulty visualizing a bad feeling, imagine it as a real thing that you can remove from your safe zone. For example, imagine that your tension is like a pebble that you can throw away by imagining it leaving your body.

6. Make your own “happiness box” or “comfort book.”

Fill it with good memories, such as photos and mementos. To complete the book or box, print out inspirational sentences that you like. Include a gratitude list or notebook, as well as any comforting items. For example, the box could include a fun book, some candy, a beautiful mug, and a box of tea. When you are feeling down, take out that book or box.

You can also design a digital version of your happy book by including photos, memes, inspirational phrases, gifs, and other images that make you happy.

7. Find out what your true feelings are. 

When emotions are out of control, learning to recognize and name them can help you regain control. Take a few deep breaths, then force yourself to look directly at your feelings, even if they are painful. Then think about what is causing the feeling and whether it is masking something else that you are afraid to face.

For example, consider what makes you so afraid to approach a person you like. It may have a significant impact on your future, or maybe you feel pressured to perform well in front of her. The source of the fear may be the fear that her liking you will depend on how you look. 

A person may not be aware that naming their feelings is a talent. You can help yourself learn to recognize feelings by doing dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) exercises.

Remember that there is no such thing as a “bad” feeling. Telling yourself that you don’t need to feel anything is a way to make yourself feel worse. Rather, pay attention to your feelings without judging them. Accept them as normal and allow yourself to experience them.

Reflect on your feelings by embodying the character who is experiencing them. Then return to the source of the feeling.

You gain control over emotional upheaval by identifying and recognizing the true feelings that trigger them. Once you’ve identified it, realize that the emotion is just a sensation and that it doesn’t have to have real power over you.

SEE ALSO: How To Deal With Impossible Person: The Ultimate 27-Step Guide

8. Allow yourself to work through your feelings.

Keeping feelings bottled up or ignoring them will not make them go away. It is important to allow yourself to ruminate on your emotions because they will build up and reappear in the future. However, it is not necessary to dwell on them. Instead, set yourself a time limit, such as 15–30 minutes, to express your feelings.

For example, you can call a friend to vent, or write down your feelings in a notebook.

If you are sad, you can take some time to cry alone.

If you have a bodily reaction to an emotion such as anger, worry, or jealousy, you may need to do something physical to relieve it. You can go for a short walk or practice martial arts.

9. Consider your options for resolving this issue.

Sometimes you may feel emotionally out of control because you are unable to cope with the circumstances around you. This can lead to “ruminating,” a “broken record” cognitive cycle in which you unproductively obsessively think about an unpleasant thought or mood. Break this loop by focusing on aspects of your circumstances that you can change.

Make a list of things you can take care of instead of dwelling on problems at work and wondering, “Why am I doing so poorly?” You can discuss ways to be more productive with your supervisor, seek advice from someone more experienced, or start experimenting with alternative methods of dealing with stress.

Accept the things you cannot change by your own efforts. Allowing yourself to let go of the desire to “fix” or “manage” every aspect of a situation is one way to relieve stress and emotional turmoil (1).

10. Make the best possible decision about how to proceed.

When you are ready to take action, make sure it is a conscious decision and not a reaction to another emotion. Think about how and why you want to act in this situation. What values does this response represent to you? Does it also make logical sense?

Take a moment to reflect on your moral beliefs. What would you like to see happen as a result of this situation? Which choice do you think you would be most proud of? Then consider which line of action is most likely to lead to the desired outcome.

For example, if someone insults you, your options are to do nothing, retaliate, or firmly tell them to stop. Consider how you want this scenario to end and how you can achieve it without compromising your values.

11. Recognize defensive behaviors in yourself and others.

Defensive behaviors not only cause uncontrollable emotions but also give the impression that you are overly emotional. If you are anxious, upset, or personally attacked, you may adopt a defensive attitude.

However, it is very important to listen to other people’s ideas without taking them personally, especially if they are helpful. Defensiveness can be overcome by minimizing the threat in a situation and being curious about other people’s ideas. Defensiveness manifests itself in the following ways:

  • Refusing to pay attention to harsh criticism
  • Making excuses for failure is a common occurrence.
  • Shifting responsibility to others
  • To keep people off your back, you cross your arms.
  • Without talking to anyone, you make a list of reasons why you are right.
  • You ignore other people’s opinions.
  • You use sarcasm or criticism of others to deflect attention from yourself.

12. Be aware of your emotional triggers and try to avoid them.

Activities, people, places, objects, or events that trigger certain feelings in you all the time are triggers. You can mentally prepare yourself for triggers by planning ahead for them.

For example, suppose your brother annoys us every time we goof off. Before going out to an upcoming family gathering, you can quietly take care of yourself and then plan how to get away from your brother during the day. You can arrange to meet another family member or go out to pick up the dishes. Limit the amount of time you spend with your brother, and leave early if necessary.

13. If someone tries to annoy you, don’t do anything.

Take a deep breath and keep your cool if you suspect someone is trying to upset you just to get you to react. Keep your cool and don’t let anyone get attached to you. If you keep your cool, the person who is urging you to act will get irritated and eventually give up.

When you are ready to talk, calmly express how you feel. You can say, “I get annoyed when I feel like you’re just trying to get back at me.”

Then address the topic and ask for their opinion, and then listen and respond to what they have to say. For example, you might say, “Let’s cut to the chase and talk about what matters most, which is getting the job done on time.” What suggestions do you have? “

14. Do the opposite of what you normally do.

Stop if you notice that you are reacting to strong emotions in a way that is not typical for you. Think about what would happen if you tried to do something completely opposite to your typical reaction. What impact would it have on the outcome? Try this new approach instead of the previous one if you find it good or fruitful.

For example, you might get irritated when your husband doesn’t do the dishes regularly. Instead of starting an argument, set a goal to wash the dishes and then sweetly ask your partner to help.

If this seems difficult, start by changing one small aspect at a time. Instead of yelling at your partner, tell them how you feel in a calmer tone. If it’s still too difficult, take a 5-minute break and walk away. Eventually, you can come to a lasting change in how you respond.

SEE ALSO: How To Be Diplomatic And Tactful: Use These 21 Quick Tips

15. Withdraw from the situation that makes you feel bad.

Sometimes the best solution is to walk away and avoid the triggers that make you feel bad. If the situation can be easily changed without harming others, do everything you can to get rid of yourself and your bad moods.

For example, if you work with people who are unfocused, you may become irritable during meetings. One way to deal with dissatisfaction is to ask to be transferred to another department.

16. Express your thoughts in a direct and confident manner.

Learning to speak assertively allows you to express and regulate your emotions and make changes in bad circumstances. It’s okay to express your opinion or say no to things that make you uncomfortable or that you just don’t have time for, as long as you do so in a direct and considerate manner.

If a buddy invites you to a party, you can respond with something like: “Thank you for thinking of me!” I’m not a big fan of crowds, though, so I’ll skip that this time. Why don’t we meet for coffee instead? “This is a way to express your emotions rather than hiding them inside and letting them rule you.

17. Using “I” statements, make your point without criticizing others.

This type of communication allows you to convey your feelings without accusing or disparaging others. Stop before you say something that could be perceived as an accusation or judgment and turn it into an observation or opinion.

Instead of saying, “You don’t care about me,” you can say something like, “It upset me when you didn’t call me back when you said you would.” “What happened?” you might wonder.

18. It is a good idea to invite others to present their point of view.

There is no scenario in which there is only one side. Inviting others to express their opinions can help you understand their point of view and provide a level playing field. Active listening can also help you calm your own emotions, which gives you more control over them and allows you to incorporate their ideas.

Asking “What is your opinion on this topic?” is a good question to ask after expressing your point of view.

19. Use judgmental language such as “you should” or “ought to” as little as possible.

These words have a blaming tone and can create feelings of irritation and resentment that things are not going your way. Stop using “should,” “ought to,” and other expected words or phrases when you notice yourself using them. Remember that nothing and no one is flawless. Accept imperfection and accept things as they are now as a challenge.

Instead of telling yourself, “My spouse should never hurt my emotions,” remind yourself that it was nothing personal and that you both make mistakes.

Show yourself warmth and compassion if you see yourself being hard on yourself. For example, if you think to yourself, “I should have studied more for that exam.” Replace “I won’t pass” with “I studied diligently and am prepared to the best of my ability.” I will cope no matter what happens.

20. Regular exercise helps you relax and relieve stress.

Physical activity, especially calm and repeated exercise such as swimming, walking or jogging, can help calm your mind and senses. You can also try calming classes, such as yoga or Pilates (2), which focus on relaxing, stretching movements and breathing methods.

21. Use your senses in new ways to relax your body.

To incorporate this method into your daily self-care, focus on beauty and enjoy the world around you. When you feel anxious or out of control, focusing on gratitude and bodily sensations can help you calm down. Experiment with different approaches, such as:

  • Relaxing by listening to peaceful music
  • Petting a dog or cat is a common activity. Studies have shown that regular interaction with a loving animal relieves depression in addition to focusing the senses.
  • Taking peaceful walks and admiring the beauty of your surroundings.
  • bathing in a hot tub or showering in a hot tub. Most people feel relaxed and calmed by the physical warmth.
  • Making a favorite dish and enjoying it

SEE ALSO: How To Be More Approachable In Any Situation: 16 Strategies

22. Use self-touch to relax.

People need loving contact to survive. Positive contact triggers the production of oxytocin, a powerful hormone that improves mood, lowers stress, and makes people feel more connected to others. Techniques to help you relax in a stressful situation include

A good way to start is to place your hand over your heart. Feel your heartbeat as your chest rises and falls and your skin warms up. “I deserve love” or “I am good” are positive affirmations you can repeat to yourself.

You hug yourself. Squeeze yourself tightly by crossing your arms over your chest and placing your hands on your upper arms. For example, “I love myself.” is a good statement to repeat.

Put your hands around your face and stroke it with your fingertips, as you would with a child or loved one. Repeat some positive phrases to yourself, such as: “I am lovely.” “I am a good person.”

23. Find time to meditate.

Meditation is a great way to alleviate anxiety as well as improve your ability to cope with stress. Regular mindfulness meditation can also help you regulate your emotions. You can sign up for classes, use online guided meditations, or learn how to do mindfulness meditation on your own.

Sit up straight in a quiet, pleasant environment. Take a few deep, cleansing breaths and concentrate on one aspect of your breathing, such as the sound or expansion of your lungs when you inhale.

Include all the other parts of your body in your concentration. Pay attention to what your other senses are telling you. Try not to judge or place too much emphasis on one experience.

Accept each thought and feeling as they arise, acknowledging them without judgment. If your concentration begins to wane, direct your attention to your breathing.

24. Repeat aloud mantras that affirm your own value.

The basic premise of mindfulness is to accept your current experience without resistance or judgment. This is easier said than done, but as you practice mindfulness methods, you will find that they develop new “habits” in your brain. When you are in a difficult situation, say encouraging things to yourself, such as:

  • This mood will not last forever and will pass.
  • My feelings and opinions are not facts.
  • I am not obligated to act according to my feelings.
  • Even if it is unpleasant, I feel good in the moment.
  • Emotions come and go, but I have been through them before.

26. Address the source of your mental distress so you can move forward.

If you are having trouble controlling your emotions, dig into your personal past to find out what is causing them. Understanding the source of your emotional pain will help you figure out how to accept it and heal from it.

Consider how your family handled disputes when you were a child. Did your parents express their feelings or hide them? Were there any emotions that were not allowed to be shown? What emotion made you feel most uncomfortable, and how did your family deal with it?

You may also want to include milestone events in your life, such as a divorce, death, or a major change, such as moving or losing a job. What feelings did you experience and how did you respond to them?

26. Examine and challenge beliefs and habits that are based on fear or irrationality.

Identifying the source of emotional anguish enables you to address and overcome the beliefs that cause it. Take a step back and objectively identify any negative thoughts, such as fear or inadequacy. What is the source of these harmful feelings? What are your options for confronting and overcoming them?

For example, the feeling of not being good enough may manifest in “positivity-disqualifying” thinking: if someone says something nice about you, it doesn’t matter; however, if they say something unpleasant about you, you “knew it all along.” Challenge yourself by focusing on all the positive aspects of your life.

Emotional turmoil caused by fear can manifest as a tendency to jump to conclusions, which is what happens when you form negative judgments based on a lack of evidence. At each step, stop and examine the evidence supporting your conclusions to challenge this pattern of thinking.

Whatever additional complicated unpleasant feelings are discovered, virtually all of them can be eliminated by asking yourself for unbiased truth and showing yourself compassion.

27. Create a notebook in which you can practice self-reflection.

Writing a journal about your emotions can help you learn to recognize emotions. It will also help you understand what triggers certain emotions and how to deal with them, both usefully and harmfully.

Use your notebook to validate your feelings, express compassion for yourself, reflect on the sources of specific emotional reactions, and take responsibility for and control your emotions.

In your journal entries, ask yourself questions such as: “How am I feeling right now?” Is it possible that something triggered this reaction? What do I need when I am in this state? Have I felt this way before?

28.Transform negative thoughts into positive ones by reframing them.

Developing a more optimistic view takes time and effort, but it can help you cope with uncertain or uncomfortable feelings or events. At the end of the day, write down 1 or 2 positive events that happened each day, even if it was just a great song you heard on the radio or a joke.

A good exercise is to replace rigid statements with flexible ones. For example, if you’re worried before a test, you might believe that studying is pointless because you won’t pass anyway.

Instead of believing that you won’t be able to improve, think to yourself, “I’ll prepare more cards and sign up for a study group.” I may not get an A on the exam, but I’ll know I did my best. You’re more likely to succeed if you approach the situation as something that can be changed with a little effort.

I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article about how to be in control of your emotions. I sincerely hope its contents have been a good help to you.

Przemkas Mosky
Przemkas Mosky started Perfect 24 Hours in 2017. He is a Personal Productivity Specialist, blogger and entrepreneur. He also works as a coach assisting people to increase their motivation, social skills or leadership abilities. Read more here