How to keep your emotions in check

keeping your emotions

How to keep your emotions in check

This article contains how to keep your emotions in check. Not all emotions are healthy. Unhealthy or negative emotions affect us both mentally and physically. Learning to manage or keep negative emotions in check is the only way to deal with them.

Emotions are our internal state of being and our response to an object or situation, the excitement of our feelings either pleasing or painful, the disturbance of the mind caused by an exciting cause, and revealed by some sensible effect on the body.

Emotions can be both negative and positive. Some of the most basic human emotions include

  • Fear
  • Happiness
  • Disgust
  • Anger
  • Surprise
  • Sadness
  • Anticipation
  • Loneliness
  • Jealousy
  • Adoration
  • Amusement
  • Awe
  • Confusion
  • Contempt
  • Desire
  • Disappointment
  • Distress
  • Interest
  • Excitement
  • Pain
  • Envy  etc

Emotions occur in the following order

  • Cognitive order: in this process the individual assesses the event cognitively which cues the emotion
  • Physiological order: the cognitive reaction starts biological changes such as increased heart rates or adrenaline response
  • Action: the individual feels the emotion and chooses how to react either negatively or positively.

We will be talking about negative emotions and how to keep them in check. Negative emotions can come from our thoughts about an event, the way we interpret what happened can affect how we experience the event decides if it will cause stress or night.

Negative emotions like sadness, anger, fear, self-criticism, etc can be very difficult to deal with most of the times especially when we feel negative emotions too often or think about them too much.

Negative emotions affect your :

  • Performance at school or work
  • Relationships with people
  • Physical health
  • Mental health
  • Social intelligence


15 Steps to keeping emotions in check

1. Identify your emotions: to be able to keep your emotions in check you need to admit you are feeling that way, stop living in denial. Knowing what triggers those emotions in you is the first step you need to take before you can talk of keeping them in check.

2. Own your darkness: after identifying your emotions the next step you need to take is owning them. Embrace it as a part of you, think of how that negative emotion has helped you.

I remembered back then in school I was feeling jealous of a fellow student because she was most teachers favorite. I started studying like crazy just to make excellent grades so the teachers would love me too.  Although jealousy is a negative and unhealthy emotion it helped me flourish in my academics then.

When you have accepted that you have harbored these emotions in you then you are way keeping them in check.

3. Don’t always expect things to happen your way: expecting everything to go the way you planned it is one way you start feeling negative emotions. Imagine a situation where you have been promised money repeatedly by a friend and after getting your hopes high every time, your friend couldn’t fulfill any of them.  After a while, you may start feeling resentment towards your friend.  So to keep your negative emotions in check don’t always have high hopes after all the world we live in is unpredictable.

4. Stop blaming others: another way to keep your emotions in check is to stop blaming others. Blaming people for things that happen often gives room for hatred and other hate like emotions. Learn to stop blaming others.

5. Ask for divine guidance: seeking divine guidance and direction is another powerful way to manage your emotions. If you believe in divine beings then you should ask for divine directions to help you manage your emotions. When you pray always ask for divine guidance and direction.

6. See the bigger picture: look beyond what you feel now. Think of what your life would look like in the future without negative emotions clouding it. Let that be the push you need to stop feeling those emotions and start pushing to keep them in check.

7. Replace your thoughts: thinking positive thoughts is a great way to manage negative emotions. When you find your thoughts drifting towards negativities that triggers those emotions in you, push them back, and think happy thoughts.

8. Forgive your emotional triggers: before you can fully manage your emotions you need to forgive your triggers. You may be asking what are my triggers, your trigger could be a person, an event, or even an object that raises those emotions in you. Let us take someone who lost his family member in a car accident and the car involved belonged to ABC car company. Now any car belonging to ABC transport triggers a deep feeling a hatred in him that he wishes he could kill everyone related to that company because of his loose. For him to manage that hatred he needs to forgive ABC car travel.

9.Exercise: it is known that exercise improves moods and decreases stress. exercise increases brain sensitivity for the production of the hormones serotonin, norepinephrine, and endorphins which are known to relieve feelings like depression, stress and also help produce positive feelings. And you will agree with me that when you are having positive feelings there is no room for negativity. Exercise more and feel happy.

10. Take care of yourself if you are ill: knowing that your physical health can also affect your mental health, you need to adequately take care of physical health. You would agree with me that it is easier to feel negative emotions when you are ill compared to when you are healthy. Make your health paramount.

11.Adequate sleep: sleep is very important for you. Lack of sleep can make you to be stressed out and tired which can in turn trigger negative emotions. Make sure you get at least 7_8 hours of sleep every day.

12. Widen your focus: learn new things and enlarge yourself. When you are always busy or occupied, there is little or no room for negative emotions. Set goals for yourself and work towards achieving them. That will help you manage your emotions.

13. Practice deep breathing: when it seems like your head is swimming and negative emotions are trying to overwhelm you, use the deep breathing technique: breathe in and hold your breath for 15 seconds then breathe out. It will help you clear your head.

14. Learn to build positive emotions: positive emotions comes from being happy and doing things that make you happy. Create happy moments for yourself like going to the park with your family, girls day out, and things like that.  Make sure you are always being positive.

15. Talking with friends: there is a saying that a problem shared is half solved already. learn to unburden yourself on trusted friends who are willing to listen.

16.Therapy: you can always resolve for therapy for the help you need to massage your emotions.

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