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Managing Emotions

Did you know that emotions are something we are able to manage? Emotions are typically triggered by something occurring in our lives. Sometimes, we reflect on the emotion and judge ourselves for it. Sometimes, we bottle the emotion up or try to ignore the emotion - which typically will cause us to explode later on. Ideally, though, what we would do is accept the emotion, feel it, manage it, and let it pass.

Think of the waves in an ocean. They are always there: starting, growing, crashing, and repeating. Emotions are the same. Something starts our emotion, it grows, it hits its peak and crashes, and then a new emotion begins. When the emotion is peaking, we can choose to manage the emotion in a healthy manner.

Emotions occur for everyone- both the positive emotions and the negative emotions. When the negative emotions come, what can we do to manage it?

Strategies for handling the emotion include:

  • Taking a break

  • Finding a healthy outlet- including finding a hobby, doing something creative, or talking to someone who will help you deal with the feeling in a healthy manner.

  • Exercising

  • Practicing mindfulness

  • Name the emotion- sometimes, emotions get complicated, and it is difficult to recognize what we are feeling. Once we can identify what we are feeling, we respond differently to it.

So why is this important? When we manage how we handle our emotions, we positively influence how we think about situations and how we act. It will lead to us having positive emotions last longer and negative emotions fading quicker. Try it out!

By Anna Borrelli, MSW

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