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How to handle emotions better. Understanding emotions helps to see the world form a different perspective and of course it helps to reach a better life quality.

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How to Handle Emotions and Feelings Better?

How to Handle Emotions Better?

Monika Viskontaite

Instructor Jurgita Babarskiene

PSY 221 Interpersonal Communication

                                                                                                                              March 2, 2011

People have right to choose what kind of personality they want to have. Person is neither bad, nor good. It is said that every person is a “mix” of various emotions and characteristics. We have power to shape and control our character qualities and manners. It is not true that star signs, the position of stars or moon phases have an effect on our personality. Everybody has positive and negative characteristics and this is obvious. However, people see us depending on which we show mostly and which is dominant. For example, there is a category of people, who are always happy, positive, always smiling and very communicative. But can it be so? Are they never mad, jealous, sad or disappointed? Of course they are. That kind of people tend to show only positive emotions and they manage to control their negative ones. There are no bad emotions or feelings, because every emotion and feeling is important and necessary, it shapes our personality.  

It is hard to imagine our life without emotions. “Emotions are the glue that connects you to other people and gives meaning to life. They are the foundation of your ability to understand yourself and relate to others“. (Developing Emotional Awareness, 2011). There is a saying that emotions are like notes for music. If there are no notes, there is no music. The same happens with emotions. If person does not have emotions, it is just a body without ability to respond to the environment.

Different emotions lead to various responses, so it is essential to be aware and be in control of your emotions. However, it happens that very often we cannot say what do we feel for a person, or we do not know how to express it. What do I feel? Where does the emotion come from? What can I do to change my emotion? Lots of questions and answers are deep inside us. Understanding emotions helps to see the world form a different perspective and of course it helps to reach a better life quality.

“When you are aware and in control of your emotions, you can think clearly and creatively; manage stress and challenges; communicate well with others; and display trust, empathy, and confidence“. (Developing Emotional Awareness, 2011). But if you cannot control emotions you loose control of yourself and it is more difficult to communicate with others. The power of developing emotional awareness helps to enjoy more fulfilling relationships.

Robert Plutchik described emotions as colors: some are simple and some are blends.

There are eight primary emotions such as joy, acceptance, fear, surprise, sadness, disgust, anger, and anticipation. These emotions can combine and form mixed emotions. First of all, if you want to diagnose person’s condition you look at primary and secondary emotions which give you a fuller picture of person’s state. However, to find real cause of the person’s condition it is necessary to look for the primary emotion. The secondary emotions reflect person’s mental processing of primary emotion. (Primary and Secondary Emotions, 2012). image00.png

It is obvious, that we have lots of emotions, each emotion for different situation. But how is it possible not to loose control of all those emotions? How to handle emotions better? Nobody likes people who are too emotional and of course there are situations where emotions are not even tolerated or allowed. What is the key to learn how to manage emotions? First of all, in order to gain a sense of emotional control you need to learn what it is your emotions are trying to tell you. At the time when you realize that your feelings are there to make you aware of your needs, wants and desires, then you will not consider any feeling as “bad“. This is the first step towards emotional control. (Emotional Control, 2011).

Let‘s take an example of well known emotion – anger. When we express anger we show that we or someone we know of have suffered something unfairly. However, many people tend to hide anger and push it deep inside. Others found a way of distracting themselves from even thinking of the feeling they are experiencing. Some people say that they learned to control anger since childhood; parents used to say: “nice girls don't get mad, “or boys don't cry“. Those kinds of messages have an effect on further understanding about emotions. If we understand what our emotions are trying to tell us and we act appropriately on that information, we discover the inner reserves of strength we need to move ourselves through difficult situations. (Emotional Control, 2011).

It is easy to see when person is emotionally healthy, because he/she is in control of his/her emotions and behavior. It helps to handle challenges, build strong relationships and have fulfilling life and finally when bad things happen they tend to deal with it and move on. It is very important to invest enough time and put some effort to build or maintain emotional health. The more time you invest to it, the stronger it will be. The good thing is that there are many things which can help you to boost your mood and get more enjoyment out of life.

First of all, you can try to use the NLP or Neuro-Linguistic Programming technique called the Swish, which is a very popular emotion control technique. This technique teaches you to replace an unwanted thoughts or emotions with a more appropriate and more useful ones. The most important aspect using this technique is that your brains learn how to switch or re-direct from harmful emotional responses to solutions that are well thought out and rational. Here are the steps in using Swish technique:

  • Develop your own replacement feeling. It is like asking yourself “How do I want to feel instead?”.
  • Find the trigger of unwanted mood. Ask yourself “What occurs just before this negative emotion begins?”.
  • Put the replacement in the corner of unwanted image.
  • Let the negative image become smaller. At the same time let positive replacement image become larger and closer until it replaces the negative image completely.

(R. Small, 2012).

The second technique which helps to release unwanted emotions is called EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Tapping. It involves tapping various parts of the body – wrist, eyebrow, cheek, etc. People use this technique to alter normal reactions to stimuli and promote healing.  That can help to transform painful or unwanted emotions, beliefs or thoughts into peace, joy, confidence, and creativity. (R. Small, 2012).

Another effective way to deal with emotions is seeing stressful situation and imagining that you react to it calmly and confidently. Ability to see positive results before they happen gives a bigger chance that it will really materialize. (R. Small, 2012). Visualization is nice way to control your emotions when you are in a situation where you cannot leave the situation behind or go take a break. It could be time at work or in a special meeting. This is a perfect time where visualization can help you control your emotions. This will take efforts and ability to concentrate in order to ignore the things that are going on around you. Easy way to do it is picture yourself during vacation when you felt relaxed and not stressed out. (L. Mackenzie, 2006). image01.jpg

All in all, learning how to handle emotions better is easier said than done. It is impossible to learn how to control emotions overnight. It’s going to take some time and a lot of effort. Some people may even consider seeing a professional who would help them to learn how to do it and it is completely normal. Just be patient and you will find that you can probably control your emotions a lot better then you think you can.


Primary and Secondary Emotions, 2012. Retrieved from:        http://changingminds.org/explanations/emotions/primary_secondary.htm

J. Segal, M. Smith, M.A., and L. Robinson. Developing Emotional Awareness, 2011. Retrieved from:        http://www.helpguide.org/toolkit/developing_emotional_awareness.htm

Emotional Control, 2011. Retrieved from:


R. Small, 5 Emotional Control Techniques, 2012. Retrieved from:


L. Mackenzie. How Does Visualization Work?, 2006. Retrieved from:        


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