4 Positive Steps to Start Regulating Your Emotions

The ability to manage difficult emotions and impulses

Zeenat Merchant Syal, M.A, M.Sc


As humans, we’re emotional creatures. The career path we take, the films we enjoy, and the art we’re drawn to are all influenced by our emotions. Emotions help us choose our friends, those whom we fall in love and stay with for our entire lives…also those whom we’ll leave behind.

Yes, our emotions have power. Emotional intelligence is the ability to harness that power–to understand and manage emotions, so that you can make decisions that are in harmony with your core values and principles.

But we can’t attain true emotional intelligence till we learn to regulate our emotions.

Regulating your emotions is the ability to control your behavior, emotions, and thoughts in the pursuit of long-term goals. More specifically, emotional self-regulation refers to the ability to manage difficult emotions and impulses — in other words, to think before acting.

Regulating your emotions also involves the ability to bounce back from disappointment and to act in a way consistent with your core values.

To begin and make emotional regulation simple for you, below I’m sharing steps that will help you to do just that.

4 Positive Steps to Start Regulating Your Emotions

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

STEP 1->Stop for a second. Pause. Notice what you feel.

STEP 2->Name this feeling. Many of us feel more than one emotion at a time, so don’t hesitate to identify multiple emotions you might be feeling. Also, something to note is usually a strong emotion that hides behind others is fear.

STEP 3->Accept the emotion. Instead of shaming or criticizing yourself for being emotional, recognize that what you are feeling is valid and human. Offer self-compassion.

STEP 4->Make a choice about how to respond. It is difficult to control our emotions as they come up but we can control how we respond to this emotion. Once we understand this, it can be a powerful way to minimize unpleasant emotions.

  • When you feel ANGRY -> Pause until you are able to think clearly so that you can respond rationally instead of reacting.
  • When you feel OVERWHELMED-> Write down what you need to get done, and focus on one task at a time based on importance.
  • When you feel REJECTED-> Acknowledge that this feeling is crappy, but let it not consume you. Rejection is actually a cue for redirection.
  • When you feel INSECURE-> Work on accepting yourself fully, flaws and all. Know that you are more than you give yourself credit for.
  • When you feel DISCOURAGED-> Be kind to yourself and remind yourself why you are trying. Remind yourself of your strengths.
  • When You feel ANXIOUS-> Focus on the present moment and take deep breaths to regulate your nervous system and calm the mind.

The steps above are an exercise to regulate some common emotions that may make us uncomfortable or uneasy in the moment.

They may not work for everyone (as intensity and individual circumstances matter), but I encourage you to try practicing them yourself and see how you feel.

I hope this helps!❤️

Question-> What usually helps you regulate your emotions? Share your wisdom in the comments.

🩷If you’d like 1-on-1 counseling sessions and spiritual guidance with me, come on over here.

With love, Zeenat Merchant Syal, M.A, M.Sc
(counseling psychologist|spiritual counselor)



Zeenat Merchant Syal, M.A, M.Sc

Psychologist & Spiritual Counselor who loves to write on Mental,Emotional&Spiritual Health while sipping on Coffee. 💌 https://tinyurl.com/4t7uyb7k