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How can I learn to control my emotions when I don't even know what they are?

257 Answers
Last Updated: 04/20/2020 at 6:41pm
★ This question about Managing Emotions was starred by a moderator on 5/12/2016.
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Shawn Wilson, LCSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

I provide supportive counseling and psychotherapy. I utilize cognitive-behavioral and solution focused strategies to address client concerns. Personal coaching is available.

Top Rated Answers
June 25th, 2015 4:07am
You can always change your emotions into art, and you can physically see what you're feeling. Turn it into music, exercise, anything that fits your personal style. Try to connect with your inner self.
June 25th, 2015 4:23am
I find it helpful to try to 'sit with' the emotions. Let them exist, without fighting them. I also take this time to see how the emotions are showing in my body. Is my heart beating quickly? Do I feel warm? All the while, I try to keep in mind that they will, eventually, pass.
June 25th, 2015 6:46pm
accept them, it is normal that your body feels something sometimes that you can not understand. Tell them someone, maybe they know more or had one of them too so you do not feel that lonely anymore
June 25th, 2015 10:50pm
Maybe control isn't the goal. When in doubt, take the time to name those emotions. Explore them. With yourself if you can handle it or with others you trust. How can you control what you cannot put your finger on?
June 26th, 2015 5:07am
One way to control your emotions is to first learn and practice breathing exercising. They work for relieving anger, stress, sadness at times and other emotions. Second is to process your emotions and where they could stem from and third is to do something to help release those emotions in a positive way
June 26th, 2015 9:52am
Try meditation, it can help you find peace and push those unknown feelings aside to make you feel comfortable and at peace
June 26th, 2015 1:49pm
There are workbooks and free resources on becoming more aware of your reactions to situations and emotions. You might want to look up Dialectic Behavioral Therapy or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help you understand yourself, let yourself feel, and be more mindful and in control.
June 26th, 2015 5:39pm
Calming yourself down when you’re frustrated, of course, may be more easily said than done. If you tend to fly off the handle when aggravated, and express your outrage to everyone within earshot (or on the other end of an email), your emotions could be costing you important relationships, your job, and even your health.
June 26th, 2015 11:01pm
I feel that writing out your thoughts in a completely unfiltered format can be helpful. I like to use a website called You can write anything that comes to mind and usually in the attempt to write down all of your thoughts, you gain an understanding of your thought process and your emotions. From there, it becomes a lot easier to know what the correct next steps are.
June 26th, 2015 11:46pm
I know EXACTLY how you feel. I used to deal with controlling my emotions in my high schools days. It is hard to figure out why you feel a certain way, when all you can think about is the anger. Controlling emotions is never easy. I have seen that it is easier to control emotions when you right down how you feel, and the re-visit the journal entry later on. Reading the entry may trigger that emotion in you, and allow you to realize what it was that made you upset. Talking to your friends, family members, or even 7 Cups of Tea may allow you to dig deeper into why you may feel that your emotions are uncontrollable.
June 27th, 2015 9:15am
Write in a journal and keep track of your moods. Describe them and it will make it easier to identify them. You will then see how your emotions function and be able to distinguish them - thus allowing you to make informed decisions on how to control them.
June 27th, 2015 3:14pm
Try to find the root cause first. Then you'll find your answer. There's always an answer. Even when you think there isn't.
June 27th, 2015 3:44pm
يمكنني التغلب على كل المشاكل النفسية , بأستخدام التفكير المنطقي , وجعل الهدف في الحياة ليس العيش فقط , و إنما اكثر من ذلك ..
June 27th, 2015 11:12pm
This is a tricky one because when you don't even know what emotions you are even feeling and controlling emotions can be done in number of ways when it does happen like maybe try mediation or yoga which will help clear your head and help you figure out which emotions you are even feeling as well. This could also include taking a 3 deep breaths sitting down and even keeping a dairy of what emotions you feel and when and where and how will give you a deeper understanding of it all as well.
June 27th, 2015 11:14pm
Life can be difficult, but it's always better to face it with a smile. Think What is better? Live completely sad or try to be happy? You may feel tired all, bored, sad and wanting to die. They are stages. You can not have a rainbow without a little rain. Try to know how you feel and analyzes each option. With love, -C xxx
June 28th, 2015 3:11am
Unfortunately, I don't think that's how emotions work. First, you have to face your emotions. Then, You have to figure out what you're feeling before your can begin to deal with what you're feeling. Knowing your feelings is the root of controlling them.
June 28th, 2015 9:36am
controlling your emotions is one of the hardest steps and it takes a lot of practice, a person can start by breathing in and out due whatever he is experiencing from anger, stress, sadness, or even overwhelmed as you start from there ,you will develop more way by your own to control your emotions
June 28th, 2015 5:15pm
It's best to come to terms with how you are feeling, and for each feeling try to figure out why and what makes you feel this way, and work yourself on from there!
June 28th, 2015 8:20pm
by being calm and not think about too much bt being patient is the key to any door that has success..:)
June 28th, 2015 10:38pm
I think that it is important to learn what our emotions are, but that can take time. Until then, I think using DBT skills such as mindfulness and deep breathing can help to calm us down when our emotions get out of hand.
July 1st, 2015 3:14am
Ask someone to help me to learn how to validate my emotions and how to control them. I can always visit 7 cups of tea in order to do that :)
July 1st, 2015 4:46am
First try and relax. Then try and put a name to the emotion. Understanding it will help overcome it.
July 1st, 2015 8:56am
Honestly, you can't. You have to know what the emotion is before you go and try to control it. What you need to do is get in touch with the inner you, really learn your emotions. Then you can manage them.
July 1st, 2015 6:28pm
Take a moment to breathe, 10 breaths in, 10 breaths out. Be aware of where you are. The ground you stand on, the chair under you. Ground yourself. Calm down. Then begin to asses what made you feel a certain way, and what are positive ways to go about them.
July 1st, 2015 9:15pm
the best way to find your emotions it to take it upon yourself to relax, set aside a little time for yourself to come to terms with the individual emotions you are expressing. If you are finding this difficult, perhaps jot down what has caused your emotional distress and with each new point, clarify the way you feel about that particular situation. By breaking down each situation it helps to take away the pressure and confusion that tackling the entierety of a situation in one go can bring. I hope that my advice will help you to single out each of your emotions as it has worked for me many times in helping to handle emotional times. I wish you the best of luck xx
July 2nd, 2015 1:02am
As hard as it may sound I would say relaxing and clearing the mind and focusing on the positive things instead of worrying to much about the negative things.
July 2nd, 2015 5:33am
I think self reflection can be really beneficial when seeking to identify your emotions. Being mindful and taking time to notice what your body is telling you and how each feeling strikes you differently is a good first step to identifying what you are experiencing. From there, you can learn to harness negative emotions and deal with them appropriately.
July 2nd, 2015 10:56am
The best way I've found is to acknowledge what you are going through and how you are reacting to it. Once you know in which place you're in your life you are, you can break down the way you're feeling and study yourself. It helps to talk about it, because when everything is bottled up, you cannot see what is inside. To change the way we act, we must first know ourselves.
July 2nd, 2015 5:27pm
If you want to control your emotions, it's important to become familiar with them, first. When I want to get in touch with my feelings, sometimes I'll start typing into a blank document on my computer. I type whatever comes to mind without stopping to consider it. The only rule is that you can't stop typing, regardless of what you say. I often surprise myself with where my thoughts go. Afterwards, I can read what I've written and think about the important parts. Then, I delete it and move on. I hope this helps!
July 2nd, 2015 7:07pm
Try to think why you have these types of emotions,when does it happen or what causes it.How do you feel when you get these emotions