Regulating Your Emotions; 5 Ways To Take Back Control

Your emotions play a big part in who you are and how you live your life, even if you don’t think they do. Almost every decision we make, and some emotion drives everything we do; the same goes for things we don’t do.

But when you cannot regulate or identify your emotions and channel them productively, you might find you are at an increased risk of making rash decisions or displaying inappropriate or disruptive behavior. This goes for men, women, and children. No one escapes their emotions, and even if you think you’re doing an excellent job of bottling them up, one day, they will break free and potentially upend your life.

Signs you are struggling to regulate your mentions can include;

  • Constantly overwhelmed
  • Being unable to express emotions
  • Feeling out of control
  • Being irrationally angry for no reason
  • Not knowing how you think the way you do in certain situations
  • Being more likely to suffer from substance abuse disorders

It doesn’t matter if you’re 5, 25, or 95; dealing with your emotions is vital to hope you understand who you are and why you act the way you do, forge meaningful relationships, and drive you through life positively.

This post looks at some ways you can control your emotions.


Let’s jump right in with therapy. For some people, due to extreme circumstances, trauma, abuse, or medical conditions, regulating emotions isn’t possible, and for others, it isn’t something they have been able to develop. Going to therapy can be instrumental in supporting you in learning how to deal with your emotions, why you feel certain things, and what your triggers are from dealing with a love addiction because you crave attention and need to be constantly in relationships to deal with life, to getting treatment for substance abuse or for someone to talk to to help you uncover the why behind your actions. There can be many reasons, or no reason at all, why a person goes to therapy, but choosing this route to help you understand your emotions and deal with them in a healthy way is an excellent step to take. Your therapist can help you develop coping mechanisms and identify appropriate outlets and strategies for dealing with each of your emotions as they present themselves healthily.

Ask Yourself What, Not Why

In the heat of the moment, it can be challenging to see the wood for the trees, especially in rage-filled situations, but instead of asking why you are acting this way or why things like this always happen to you, ask yourself what questions instead. This will take some practice but can give you an “out” of the situation and a way to describe what is happening at that moment.

By focusing on what you can do at that moment and what you have to use, you can reframe the situation and bring yourself back off the ledge, ask yourself;

  • What tools do I have to help me out right now
  • What decisions or choices can I make
  • What will feel safer for me in this moment, and what will help
  • What will happen if things don’t stop

Focusing on what you can do instead of why something is happening is a solid way to move out of your current frame of mind and back down to a more reasonable place.


There have been many studies over the years pertaining to the benefits of mindfulness for every area of life, but especially for those who struggle to control or regulate their emotions. Mindfulness is engaging all your senses and diverting your attention to the here and now to help you ground yourself and calm your nervous system.

To connect with mindfulness, you need to practice deep breathing techniques that work for you in any given situation. Deep breathing tells your nervous system you are safe and can de-escalate your flight or fight response. Pulling your attention back to the present moment can re-engage your prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for problem-solving and calming you down.

Stress Management

Stress is deadly and an inevitable part of life, but the difference is how you deal with and control it. But by allowing stress to build up, you risk putting more pressure on yourself, which can cause your emotions to be more dysregulated than they already are.

Practicing stress relieving techniques can take a bit of time, but eventually, you will be able to do them automatically to give yourself a fighting chance.

Tips include;

  • Creating a healthy sleeping pattern to get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night
  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet and staying adequately hydrated
  • Eating at regular times to avoid the hunger pangs and adverse effects of being hungry and to .prevent sugar crashes.
  • Getting outside for at least 15 minutes per day in the sunlight to absorb vitamin d
  • Engaging in a physical activity for at least 30 minutes 5 times per week that raises your heart rate

These stress-busting methods can help you to reduce stress levels so you have a better chance of regulating your emotions and finding that even keel.

Calm Your Nervous System

We already touched upon this in mindfulness above, but calming your nervous system can help you regulate yourself in the heat of the moment. At this point, your deregulation of emotions is coming from your autonomic nervous system, not your brain, meaning you need to engage your senses to help you calm down and regulate yourself, not think your way out of it.

Try touching something you feel soothing, listening to music and feeling the beat through your body, moving gently, listening to another person or your pet’s heartbeat or feeling it, taking a cold shower, or even holding an ice cube.

All of these actions can be soothing and help you out when you need it the most.

Being able to control your emotions will serve you well in many different scenarios in life as you experience new and different things. Talking to a therapist and getting help for why you feel the way you do and what you need to do to move forward is an excellent step in addressing the issue and putting measures in place to ensure it doesn’t happen again.