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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
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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
December 20th, 2015 9:00pm
The first step is to breathe in and out, and stay ourselves. Emotions are not a bad thing in itself, but sometimes we need to control them because of a specific situation, or because they are hindering our lives. Breathing in and finding peace helps us identify these feelings, and control them if need be.
December 23rd, 2015 1:15am
I recommend that you try to figure them out here or by talking to a therapist. Doing this would help you to know what your emotions are and what they mean and then you could take control of them.
December 23rd, 2015 4:54am
Start of by trying to figure out what you are feeling, what is causing it, and who do you trust to talk to about this? Then go from there and figure out ways you can control, or just change how you are feeling by daily actions or by making bigger positive changes.
December 23rd, 2015 3:02pm
You can learn to control your emotions by understanding what triggers affected how you were feeling.
December 24th, 2015 12:02am
Everybody has an outlet, you just need to find yours! Writing is a common one. This helps control it.
December 24th, 2015 12:10am
I think to learn how to control your emotions when you don't know what they are you just have to think before you do anything and try when you can to discover the emotion you are feeling by looking inside your self and assessing your reactions to things.
December 25th, 2015 8:21am
Sometimes, doing simple everyday things like deep breaths and walking helps you physically with releasing any adrenaline you may have and clearing your mind. Once you can get a less muddled perception of yourself, emotions start to become much more cooperative and understandable.
December 25th, 2015 5:47pm
Sometimes it may be beneficial to try and identify your emotions. Work through them, see what the triggers are, or what causes these emotions. Try and take a step back and look at it objectively. If you can identify the causes, or thoughts that trigger emotions then it could be possible to begin to identify and learn to control.
December 25th, 2015 7:17pm
My mom used to tell me that we can't quite control how other people act. We also can't control our own emotions. It's how we react to feeling these emotions that we can control. Technically, you can't control your emotions. Still, you should try to find why you're feeling the way you're feeling so that you can maybe find out how to address them. That's the first place to start.
- Expert in Managing Emotions
December 26th, 2015 3:54pm
Emotions are hard or can't be controlled. Its good if you can find a way to handle the emotions and deal with then rather then control them.
December 27th, 2015 12:13am
In my experience, when I'm feeling emotional and I just don't know why, I listen to music. Sometimes the lyrics of a song will put my own feelings into words, and that helps me to decompress and really evaluate why I feel the way I do.
December 30th, 2015 3:58am
Well, you can start by keeping a journal or log of what is going on. The situation, if you can pinpoint specific feelings or physical responses. Then about after a week or longer, re read those entries to gain perspective. You may not necessarily know which emotions they are, but you would atleast know the triggers. When you know the trigger is when you can learn to manage those feelings. This can be done by taking a break and walking away, breathing or thinking of something funny. Of course it all depends on the situation.
December 30th, 2015 7:12am
It can help to chart how you feel at certain times of the day, and changes that may occur in your mood based on certain situations or people. Once you can connect the changes, you may be able to perceive each individual emotion. While we can all experience emotions, they take place in different ways for each individual . The only person who knows what it feels like, is the person who is experiencing it,
December 31st, 2015 1:36am
Controlling your emotions is different for everyone. We all have our own tricks and triggers that help us manage how we feel. The key is to find what works for you and keep doing it
December 31st, 2015 8:35pm
Take deep breathes, sleep, and try to list the attributes of how you feel to figure out what emotion it is.
January 1st, 2016 12:59pm
It is important to talk to someone about how you feel. It is important to let someone you trust know how you are feeling so you enable yourself to get the right support you need to get through the situation in a positive and helpful way.
January 2nd, 2016 4:15pm
well first you have to start recognizing them, not defning them, making relations between your behaviors and responses and wether you feel or not "good", and after that start to alaze it may help a lot now to describe them along with the situation that caused them i.e: " My teacher screamed at me today for something i wasn´t doing, i felt angry for that". you don't need to define in exact words what happines, or sadness, or frustration, or anger, or any emotion, but to differentiate the in the way you feel them, once you do that you'll begin to understand how your emotions are something natural, there is no way to escape them, but the trick will be to also understand that there is a time and place for everything and that will come along the way of learning about your own emotions.
January 3rd, 2016 4:01pm
well, the direct answer to that is to obviously try and figure out what these emotions are. You can do that by asking yourself some questions-- In what situations do you usually feel the need to control these emotions? *What* are you trying to control? Can you try and categorize whatever you are feeling? Is it a positive thing or a negative thing? More often than not, it's either overwhelming anger, sadness, frustration or sometimes, even happiness. But once you can zero in on what's bothering your stability, then you can target that particular emotion and work towards controlling it through counselling, meditation, exercise, yoga, breathing techniques, etc.
January 3rd, 2016 6:36pm
Increasing self awareness is one way to control emotions. It's definitely not easy, but easiER to change one's emotions once they are aware of what they're feeling. How to do this? One can see a professional counselor who can assess and explain what you're actually feeling. I personally get more out of researching, reading, and learning about what I'm feeling on my own. Everything from articles, to personal experiences, to psychology and psychiatry textbooks to memoirs. With the internet, all it takes is googling exactly how you feel even though you may not know what you're feeling, and thousands of results pop up. The internet is a valuable resource and should be utilized to the maximum.
January 3rd, 2016 7:02pm
It's always helpful to distract yourself from it. Take deep breaths, inhale and exhale consistently. Stay away from all thoughts.
January 6th, 2016 5:37am
Clear your mind and think logically if there is anything to be upset about. If there's not then distract your mind by taking on an activity until you feel better.
January 8th, 2016 9:05pm
Okay, not knowing emotions is one of the meanings of depression so, the best way to control and manage your emotions is to understand yourself by searching deep in yourself and what's the stuff that makes you feel your emotions , you have to understand that everything is based in thoughts, accurately believing them, if you believe something this is gonna hurt you :| and will have effects on you . for example if someone calls you and tells you your house is burning you gonna turn sad and angry but if he tels you that he was just joking you gonna relax , that's only because you believed that your house was burning ... that's why you have to manage your ideas and thoughts and don't let them be like real for you, if you believe that you can succeed you gonna succeed!
January 9th, 2016 11:09am
By learning self hypnosis and mediation,a person can succeed to control emotions or atleast to tackle them better.
January 9th, 2016 3:39pm
I understand what you mean. This is extremely difficult to handle, but you should try to breathe. Give yourself some time to just relax- try dedicating a half hour to relaxing and breathing deeply alone. You need to get over these emotions you are feeling, which may be very difficult.
January 9th, 2016 7:57pm
That's a really tough question am in the process of trying to find the answer to this question myself at the moment am just trying my best to work my way through that particular emotion at that moment although this is a hard thing to do
January 10th, 2016 10:30pm
It can help just to relax for one second, just stop and breathe. I then like to write down how I'm feeling at that moment and can establish what emotions I'm feeling and can then control them from there.
January 13th, 2016 11:31am
It may sound a little cheesy but try meditation - just sit by yourself in a quiet room and focus on emptying your mind of everything. Close your eyes and just sit there for a while. It's even better if you can work it into your routine as a regular thing. Writing your feelings down can also really help you to get your thoughts in order which is really helpful for self-reflection.
January 14th, 2016 1:53am
Personally i think you're better off accepting your emotions rather than fighting them. After all, emotions are what makes you, you. Trying to understand what you're going through and what you're feeling can be very difficult. If you find that your emotions reappear after a specific event, try avoiding that event or anything that may trigger you to remember it. Stay positive.
January 15th, 2016 6:21pm
Its difficult to allow ourselves to feel our own emotions fully, and even if we do, in the moment that feeling is all there is - it's difficult to compare to anything else. This seems even more so when we are in a distressed mood, it absorbs us and it's hard to imagine anything else. For me it works to focus on my heart. For some reason that place can sum up a lot of my feelings. Try to find one word to describe in what state your heart is. Broken? Scared? etc. Then you can go from there to find what sort of help you might need.
January 17th, 2016 5:25pm
Take a deep breath and realize you have all the time in the world to learn how to control your emotions. Take it one day, one hour, one minute at a time. Maybe find a hobbie, I like to work out when I'm feeling anxious and confused about my feelings, it really helps!