Emotional responses are linked to your memory and values. When you understand this link, you also discover the key to managing emotional responses. Here are some positive actions that you can practice to manage your emotions.

1. Self-awareness
Self-awareness is all about knowing how you feel and about understanding the effect that your actions and emotions can have on people surrounding you.

If you can notice and name the way you’re feeling at a given moment, you have taken the first step towards managing your emotions. E.g. when you‘re upset and ask yourself whether you are feeling low, ashamed or hopeless, you are self-aware.
Explore your emotions. Try to put a name against the specific emotion that you’re feeling, but there is no need to analyse the cause and effect of your emotions now. Write down your feelings and what you are experiencing as soon as possible. This will help you to gain insights into your own behaviours and also how others look at you.

2. Flexibility
Objectively evaluating your situation can help you in better management of your actions. Simply put, trying to put yourself in the shoes of others will help to overcome emotional dysfunction. For example, if you feel yourself being pushed by emotions that you think will end in a destructive result, you can try to picture yourself in the shoes of someone you really respect and imagine how they would react. What would your suggestions to them have been under the circumstances? Write down the answers and apply those answers to yourself.

3. Mindful Awareness
Mindful awareness is the state when you are consciously aware of the environment around you and also what is going on with your body. Some exercises that can help you to be mindfully aware are relaxing your eyes or controlling your breathing that can help to calm the inner storm within and see things in a different light.

4. Self-compassion
Everyone needs time for themselves, and you are no different. Set aside sometime every day to practise self-compassion so that you can build some learn to emotionally regulate yourselves. Self-compassion will help you actualise your virtues and talents. It will give you the time to relax your mind and visualise yourself in a more positive and strong way where there is no space for negativity. Some self-compassion techniques are:

  • Positive self-reaffirmations daily
  • Relaxation and breath control
  • Gratitude journaling

5. Self-soothing
When you feel that there is too much toxicity in your life in the form of anger, negativity and self-doubt, self-soothing is something that will help you manage your emotions. Self-soothing happens when you meditate so here are some forms of meditative exercises that you can try out. Self-soothing is considered by scientists to be better than self-confrontation when it comes to emotion management as it gives quicker and better answers.

Music meditation – Set aside some time in your day specifically to listen to music and unwind.
Try reminiscence therapy which is good for resolving emotional conflicts with other people. In this exercise, you simply sit and reminiscence about the good memories you once had with a person you are struggling with now.
While sitting, you also focus on your breathing by controlling your breath and counting your breath.