Help! How do I stop my emotions from taking control of my life?

Dear Friend,

I recently realised that I often make decisions based on my mood at the time, and I usually end up regretting my choices. I want to learn how to be a more rational and responsible person. How do I stop my emotions from taking control of my life?

Sincerely, Sentimental Me


Dear Sentimental Me,

Making rash decisions without really considering the consequences is a problem that many people have. Intense emotions can be hard to handle and take a toll on a person, so let’s talk about how to understand and manage them.

Create a buffer

The best and perhaps most obvious advice is to give yourself some space before making a decision. Do something that takes your mind off how you’re feeling, something that brings you peace – maybe you can take a walk, play video games, or listen to some music. Then, after giving yourself a break to let your emotions subside, you can come back and look at your problem with a fresh perspective.

Accept your emotions

Emotions are a natural part of being human and are not all bad. Even negative feelings like anxiety, anger, and sadness can teach us important lessons. They make our lives colourful and challenging; if life were always easy, it would be hard to learn something new. So rather than repressing your emotions, a better goal would be to learn how to regulate and understand them.

Identify your thoughts and feelings

Quite often, simply recognising and identifying your emotions can help you regain a sense of control. For example, are you depressed because you lost something important? Angry about being treated unfairly? Anxious about being confronted? Try to spell out exactly which emotions bubble to the surface; it can help you gain important insight into your mind.

Express your emotions

You have to feel your feelings; it’s crucial for getting through distressing emotions. Keep a personal journal – whether digital or on paper – where you can write about your feelings, or write a letter to yourself. It might help you uncover some patterns and emotional triggers, and you can also keep track of how you reacted to different situations. This will let you learn more about yourself and help you understand how to better control your emotions.

You also don’t have to go about this alone; talking to someone you trust is an excellent way to vent and validate your feelings. They might also be able to give you some advice or tips that worked for them when they faced a similar problem.

You’ve got this, Friend of a Friend

This was answered by clinical psychologists from the Department of Health under Shall We Talk, a mental health initiative launched with the Advisory Committee on Mental Health.
Source: Young Post