How can I stop being emotionally weak?
Allow yourself some rest. Take a short break during the day to calm yourself down. Get up, take a short walk around the block, stretch, read something that makes you happy, text or phone a friend, write an email. Do specific things that make you happy and relieve your stress. This will help you stay calm and focused so that you are perfectly prepared if you do get into a difficult, emotional situation.
- If you find yourself about to burst into tears, already shivering with anger, or want to scream like crazy, you should just walk away. Go to the bathroom or any other room to regroup.
Relax your expression. Constantly going through life with a strained frown could also affect how you react in a particular situation. If you keep grimacing like you're about to cry, it will make your tears even more likely. Instead, make sure to keep a neutral expression on your face or even smile slightly. Although you won't be able to turn off all emotions with it, a relaxed facial expression will still help you to ward off an impending crying attack or a fit of anger.
- Try to inhale slowly through your nose for four seconds. Hold your breath for two seconds, then exhale through your mouth for six seconds. Repeat this exercise.
- Begin meditation and relaxation techniques to better control your emotions. Regular yoga sessions can help you manage stress. You can also shed a wonderful light on why you feel the way you feel.
- Taking deep breaths can really help you when you find that at an inopportune moment you suddenly become very emotional. If you have to cry or feel the urge to scream, take a moment to take a deep breath and collect yourself.
Refrain from making decisions when you are emotionally troubled. When your overflowing emotions have just struck full force, you should avoid making important decisions. In such emotionally charged moments you are unable to think clearly and therefore cannot make sensible, well-considered decisions. Avoid answering difficult questions when you are emotionally troubled. You might say something in the affect that you will later regret. Instead, you should remove yourself from the situation. Give yourself enough time to process your feelings before making decisions.
- STOP. This abbreviation stands for "Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired". What this means is that you should check to see if you might be hungry, angry or afraid, lonely or tired right now. If so, get something to eat, take a walk, talk to a friend, or take a nap.
- Be quiet and unresponsive. Don't react to everything. There are some things you should just ignore and let them go by.
- Stop racking your brain all the time. Exaggerated emotionality sometimes leads us to turn a mosquito into an elephant. We take a small, irrelevant thing and it becomes a huge problem in our head. Learn how to turn off this type of thoughtful reflection so that you no longer produce inaccurate versions of the truth.
- Find out why some things upset or hurt you. Is there a way you can influence how another person treats you? Can you calmly and respectfully address this person who upset or hurt you?
- Don't take criticism too seriously. If someone has criticized you, consider the criticism as an opportunity to become better as a person. However, if you find the criticism unjustified, you should believe in yourself enough to simply ignore the criticism. Other people will always criticize you; it's a normal part of life. Learn to take criticism with composure.
Adam Dorsay, PsyD
Licensed psychologist & TEDx spokesperson
Controlling your emotions takes practice. Instead of trying to be less emotional, it is better to get control of your emotions. Feelings are like a second language, and you need to understand that you will sometimes be a little clumsy as you learn to deal with them. There's nothing wrong with that, just be patient with yourself.
Decide if the other person intentionally hurt you. Try to see what happened from the other person's perspective. Did she want to hurt you consciously? Was she just trying to help? Was the other person really mean to you or was they trying to bully you? If you find that there is no sign that the other person was intentionally trying to hurt you, you should instead focus on understanding your own feelings and reactions.
- This strategy will also help you think carefully about your reactions and their consequences. What will your boss / work colleague / friend think of you tomorrow if you overreact completely today?
Talk to someone. If you're having trouble managing your emotions properly, you should talk to someone else about it. Your friends and family care about you and will surely be happy to help you. Talking openly about your feelings can sometimes also help you finally dispel pent-up emotions. If that doesn't help either, you might consider getting therapy. A psychologist or psychotherapist could help you process your feelings in a constructive and healthy way.
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