What do I do when my emotions start to overwhelm me?

16 Answers
Last Updated: 10/14/2019 at 9:49pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Dominecaa White, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

Emotional challenges take a toll on who we are and can limit us from being our best. My desire is to help all clients experience freedom from emotional bondage.

Top Rated Answers
Gemma8483
January 10th, 2015 11:35pm
Write down all the facts about whatever you are going through, notice how facts are less scary than emotions and thoughts.
Anonymous
July 14th, 2015 8:15pm
When your emotions begin to overwhelm you, one good thing to do that I have discovered is finding something to ground you. Is there a poem you like to read? Could you write out your emotions? Allowing your brain to focus on one task can be helpful. Additionally, I like to teach myself to "ride the wave", don't fight the emotions as they will get more overwhelming. Allow yourself to feel the ins and outs of your emotions.
Spade
January 13th, 2015 3:49pm
I like this simple method: Breath in, count to four. Breath out, count to four. Doing something simple like focusing on breathing and counting can help relax you and help settle what emotions you may be feeling.
Anonymous
February 10th, 2015 9:37am
First and foremost: breathe. If you're body's not fed with enough air, it'll start playing tricks on you, so keep breathing and slowly process your feelings bit by bit when you're ready. Try to see what made your emotions surge like that and see if you can do something about it, like, say, walking away from triggers?
FlowerInDisguise19
April 11th, 2015 8:09am
You can try different coping mechanisms to help manage your emotions when this happens, you could try writing a diary, a series of poems or stories about how you feel to let your thoughts out onto paper. I've tried it myself and it really helps! :)
spoopyhooty
November 3rd, 2015 2:15am
Did something just happen? In that case allow things to cool down. Give yourself time to let your emotions settle (and give him time too) because outbreaks of aggression/sadness often cause adrenaline to spike, which can really cloud judgement. When emotions seem to build up every wall of your mind, it is best to take a break. Drink water and do something that you enjoy in personal quiet times. Do you like reading? Go online and find a book you may like to read. There are plenty of sources to read books for free online. Listening to music helps you? Youtube or ListenOnRepeat is a great idea! Best of luck!
SentimentalSinbad
December 21st, 2015 6:04am
Take a step back from the situation. Go for a walk, listen to music, go for a drive or take a shower. Emotions are weird like that; find what concerns you, and back away from it.
StrengthDaisy95
December 22nd, 2015 12:27am
It's really difficult to control emotions, especially when they're all swarming in at once and overwhelming your mind. I find it really helps to ground myself. This means focusing on the outside world and reality, instead of getting caught up in what's going on inside my mind. Try focusing on 5 things that you can see at that moment. Then move on to 5 things you can touch. Next, 3 things you can hear. This makes you able to calm yourself more effectively at that moment, and gain perspective on what exactly it is that you're feeling. Separating yourself from overwhelming emotions, even for a few moments, can really help.
Sierra8D
March 14th, 2016 10:19pm
Listen to music, and whatever mood your feeling at that time, listen to the opposite of that emotion. If you're feeling upset/depressed listen to something upbeat like pop music. Or if your feeling angry listen to something calming, (Maybe sometimes it won't even have to be actual music, it could be the sound of an ocean too!) Or maybe drawing out what you're feeling and drawing on the paper as well what's making you feel that way. If you're feeling down, draw on a piece of paper what's making you feel that way. Then crumble up that piece of paper and throw it away. (This resembles throwing that thing that's making you feel that way, away so you won't have to feel that way anymore). Hope this helped! :)
Aloyeenaa
July 25th, 2016 1:04pm
Calm down and try to meditate whatever.. Actually it depends on the type of an emotion.. is it happy or sad.
DoctorDDDandy
November 14th, 2016 7:25pm
Deep breathing works for me. I know this sounds like the most generic answer in the world but it's all in the way you do it. When most people breath in they do it from their chests. You take a deep breath in through your gut and let it expand naturally, then you let it out slowly. This gives your brain more oxygen which helps cool things down a bit.
Lirra
December 20th, 2016 11:41am
When MY emotions overwhelm me, I try to slow my breathing and take deep breaths. I will go to some place quiet like a bathroom and focus on my body. I will remind myself that although anxiety can feel really terrible, it can't hurt me. I remind myself that I am safe. Calming down doesn't happen by itself. I have to really focus on it.
Sunshine201
March 6th, 2017 6:46am
Either distract yourself from the situation that is causing an overwhelming emotion for you,,, or getting aside a bit from the scenario, do deep and slow breathing mindfully,
Brittany8013
November 14th, 2017 3:13pm
This is a great question! There are many things you can do, such as mindfulness, distraction techniques, and much more! If you are unsure how to practice these, myself or another listener would be happy to assist you! You can also search this site for different ideas!
Anonymous
January 30th, 2018 9:10pm
I listen to music and close my eyes and it helps me to switch off my brain and reset. Today is a new day and today with be MY day.
Amalfi
October 14th, 2019 9:49pm
I think there are several answers to this. In the past, I was an unknowing advocate of simply trying to distract myself but I found that this didn't really help me resolve anything. So when the distraction ended, no emotional growth and no resolution took place. Now, when I feel overwhelmed, I try and do the opposite. I try to focus on the emotions and feel them fully (even if they are somewhat scary) in a controlled fashion. To help steady the process, I have found writing them out in a journal to be immensely helpful and calming. Also, getting into a calm, comforting environment and then focusing on breathing can help me experience what I need to experience and grow in the process