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Emotions and you

What is an emotion

An emotion is a physiological state within your body. You experience this feeling in your physical body and react to this. It is in fact subconsciously caused by your thoughts and beliefs, around events. These emotions can be positive or negative.

Why do we need emotions

Emotions help you to take action, avoid danger and instinctively protect yourself. They are behind your decisions. When you understand emotions you begin to understand your behaviour and that of others. Even when you believe you are making a decision rationally, your emotions are behind it. By knowing how you will react, you adapt your behaviour accordingly. Emotions can be good but they can also lead you astray if you haven't learnt to control them.

How can you manage emotions

You need to understand and manage your emotions.

You may not always be in control of them - sometimes they control you. The aim is to learn how to stay on top of them.

Emotions can be scary. They can rise up out of nowhere and a behaviour follows. Your aim is to recognise emotions and learn how to handle them. This will help you feel more in control and reduce outbursts.

When you are emotional, the rational side of the brain is not in charge. This means that reason and logic don't work.

Therefore, first, you need to learn to calm down. This may take time. Especially at first.

Next you need to label the feeling that you had. When it happens again in the future you will easily be able to refer back to this label.

Acknowledge the emotions - they are real and valid. It can be good to discuss them so you can learn to express yourself.

Now consider ways you can deal with and manage this emotion in the future. Review each option. If you can - have two options or strategies that can be employed in the future.

Often when your emotions get on top of you it is helpful to check your expectations.

Check for a mismatch between your expectations and what actually happened.

To help prevent emotional outbursts you can plan ahead and problem solve after. By preparing and reviewing you will be more in control.


Emotions are important to you. You need to understand and manage your emotions. You can do this by calming down, labelling the emotion and considering options for dealing with similar future situations. This will lead to long term benefits for them.

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