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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
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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
MellowTree
July 25th, 2015 3:53am
It is very difficult to control what you do not know or see. The first step is to use self-awareness in determining your feelings. Being aware of emotions is something everyone can do. Documenting these emotions throughout a day or week is very important. Then, and only then, will you be able to control the emotions through direct action steps.
clariageorge
July 25th, 2015 5:38am
Try taking deep breaths, slow and steady. Take a moment/s to yourself to calm your mind and your heart.
OverPouringCup
July 25th, 2015 1:51pm
I always try breathing deep before contemplating , it helps me clear my mind and work out the courage to go through the thought that might have gone through in generating the situation.
BronaghC
July 25th, 2015 10:53pm
The key to control your emotions islelearning what they are first. So try hard and you'll get what they are but first make sure you know what your up against.
Erynn
July 26th, 2015 4:07am
It may help to start by trying to identify your emotions. There are lots of ways to do this - including lists of emotions (I color coded mine, but you might write yours alphabetically or in a wheel, lots of options!), taking a moment to breathe when you are overwhelmed and then try to label your emotion, journaling, drawing, finding quotes that fit your emotions and later returning to ask yourself what emotion that quote probably reflected, and describing your feelings however they feel (tingly, tight, fast, orange, etc). It takes time, and can be frustrating, but working on ways to find out how you feel can be a very important and useful part of learning how to handle your emotions better. It's trial-and-error as you find how to label your emotions. But sticking with it, you'll eventually figure something out. Hang in there friend.
Anonymous
July 26th, 2015 10:25am
If you are at home, try to have a proper sleep, this will let you forget the things you suffering from. You may time spend time with your loved ones, it may help you. But you are thinking too much about something please it will be better to choose a first option. Cause choosing the seconed one may spoil mood of your loved ones too. When you are out somewhere and if you feel so, try listening to music, think of the good moments you spent with your loved ones, take your friends on coffee.
PashT007
July 29th, 2015 12:14am
Sometimes we have to pray, because prayer is the answer to questions we don't even know exist. Saying lord help me, renew my mind and my heart.
SimplyShannon
July 29th, 2015 5:24am
I think it helps to pinpoint where the emotion is coming from, even if you can't label it. "What brought on this feeling?" "What decision can I make to affect the outcome?" By labeling the root and identifying what is causing an issue- you have much more insight into addressing it and finding a resolution.
TheVoiceListener
July 29th, 2015 2:08pm
The most important thing about controlling your emotions is to always try to stay calm. Try to be happy with who you are, what you have accomplished so far, be aware of your surroundings and of things you could do to make you feel more at ease and happier with who you are. Once you achieve that state of happiness within yourself, you know that you can achieve anything and that everything will eventually be ok. Time and self-worth are the only things that will make you control your emotions, and with time, you'll learn what they are and what they mean.
Anonymous
July 30th, 2015 8:15am
Take a moment to sit down, in a neutral envoirnment, where you are comfortable and try to figure out what is bothering you.
peacefulUnicorn25
July 30th, 2015 1:51pm
I think expressing your emotions (talking,drawing,writing) is a way of controlling them as you are not letting them get the better of you :)
Anonymous
July 30th, 2015 7:43pm
Concentrating on your breathing is often a good way to calm down if you are feeling emotional. Do not worry if you cannot identify your emotions or reasons behind them this is quite normal.
Ollieg33
July 31st, 2015 1:38am
Writing down your emotions can somewhat help but personally its to let out your emotions. If you feel like crying, cry. It's okay to let out your emotions. I believe it's healthy to be in touch with your emotions.
keithincracow
July 31st, 2015 10:07am
Find out what they are! Ask yourself "How do I feel at this moment?" "What is making me feel this way?" When you know what your emotions are, and you know what causes them, you can ask "What can I do to change this?" If you want to change them, that is; don't forget, joy, love, and happiness are all emotions, too!
twelvetigerlillies
July 31st, 2015 12:48pm
I try to see emotions as 'positive" and "negative", when im in a highly emotional state, instead of trying to pinpoint exactly what it is im feeling i just tend to think - am i reacting positively or negatively to my environment? And if it is negative, i become aware that these feelings could affect others. so instead, I take myself from the situation and write them down in a book or a piece of paper or my phone (whatever i have spare). Then.. later on I go back and look at it. Once im calm and have a clear head, I can look back at my feelings and objectively try and understand what they are. I find it helps me, the more I do it, the better I become at being aware of what I am feeling.
Anonymous
August 1st, 2015 5:52am
Write down a list of what you're feeling. Sometimes you think you don't know what you're feeling because you're trying to find one specific emotion. You could be feeling multiple though. Work though the symptoms. And if you become too overwhelmed; ask for help.
Anonymous
August 1st, 2015 1:41pm
It might be best to try to do some relaxation excercises to calm the situation. Then it might be good to take some time to try and think about what exactly triggered this reaction .it might be best to work out which strategies will work for you
Toddy
August 2nd, 2015 12:04pm
Becoming aware of your emotions can be a difficult task. But, here at 7cups, you are given many tools to help you recognize and classify emotions you feel. We have multiple test that you can take to understand what you are feeling and then you could even talk to a listener about the feelings!
SupportiveBipolar23
August 2nd, 2015 5:32pm
its tough sometimes to keep a level head about emotions, more so when your not sure what you have. the why i control them. is by breathing sometimes prettying im on the office and stare at the camera. sometimes to make me figure out whats real and not
zanobiaxo
August 2nd, 2015 11:00pm
When you find yourself upset, don't try and pinpoint exactly what it was. Focus more on how to make yourself calm after the storm. Find the positives in a negative situation.
Anonymous
August 5th, 2015 5:01am
Try and relax and think about what is causing your stress. Think about how each thing makes you feel, sometimes being creative like writing or drawing things out can help too.
justkindness
August 5th, 2015 10:04am
One way to learn to control your emotions is getting to know them, so why not jot down how you feel through the course of the day, then reflect on your notes
Anonymous
August 5th, 2015 8:33pm
I find it easier to speak to someone trusted about your emotions, an outside perspective always helps in my opinion. Then you can begin to control your emotions.
Anonymous
August 6th, 2015 12:27am
Emotions can be confusing at times. It can be hard to figure out what is causing you to feel a certain way. However, I find that tracking your emotions can help to manage your reactions. When something happens, identify the event, and recognize your emotional response. Keep a journal, and after a while you may start to see a pattern.
LittleDollie
August 6th, 2015 8:02am
I think in order to control your emotions you would first need to identify them. I personally have found it easier to pin point and understand what I'm exactly feeling just by saying my problems out loud to someone, by writing them down, and by seeking out a therapist. Therapists are particularly great at helping identifying the root of our emotions and how to appropriately label them. It's pretty much their job. Besides listening. The best way to help cope with emotions are to first identify them and figured out what caused them in the first place. Good luck.
Anonymous
August 6th, 2015 2:33pm
try to pinpoint the problem and slowly untangle the web of your emotions. talk about it and it will slowly untangle itself.
supportiveIceCream52
August 6th, 2015 8:30pm
Well the question states your problem. You are skipping a step before you complete it. Stop what you are doing, take a step back, and start over. "What emotions am I feeling?" should be your first thought/question. "How can I learn to control them?" is your second question. In order to make progress you have to complete each step in order before continuing onto the next.
ElectricAly
August 6th, 2015 10:00pm
Stop and analyze what's going on in your life. What is making you feeling that way and why? Once you've determined the cause of your emotions you have a number of ways to help you understand them. Once you understand you can ask a loved one, use the internet, or check out a book at your local library. All of these are amazing resources for helping one cope with issues! The possibilities are practically endless!
KaringKatniss
August 7th, 2015 9:33am
Talking it out is the best way to gain control of emotions while figuring them out, whether it's someone else who identifies them or it's you.
rhythmaticToreador
August 7th, 2015 8:31pm
When I need to control my feelings and don't know exactly how or even what they are I always find solace in music and games. It helps me take my mind off of them especially if it's anger related. If that doesn't work, talking to a trusted friend also helps; especially someone who has experienced similar feelings to myself in the past.