101 Ways to Regulate Your Emotions for a Happier Life

101 Ways to Regulate Your Emotions for a Happier Life

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If you want to regulate your emotions, there are plenty of tips out there to help you do so. Everyone is different, so the methods that work for you might vary compared to others. The key is to find the ways that work for you and learn to implement them in your life regularly.

Emotions can be hard to control, so if you want a more positive way to express yourself, these tips can help. If you tend to feel like you will explode or can’t handle your emotions, these ideas will help you.

You can teach yourself new skills to regulate your emotions. Plus, you can continue developing skills that you already have to improve your emotional well-being.

101 Ways to Regulate Your Emotions and Be Happier With Your Life

Are you ready for our mega-list of ways to keep your emotional responses in check?

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1. Practice Breathing Techniques

Breathing techniques can help you regulate your emotions for a couple of reasons. First, they release tension that causes stress or anxiety. Additionally, breathing techniques can help you clear your mind and think about your emotions better.

2. Do Yoga

Yoga can help you calm down as you can process your emotions better and relieves stress. It also eases anxiety and can help you feel peaceful.

3. Practice Mindfulness

When you are mindful, you will maintain awareness of your thoughts and feelings. It helps with the acceptance of things you can’t change and helps process your emotions.

4. Cuddle or Spend Time with Your Pet

Spending time with your pet can always help you regulate your emotions. Not only do pets help you calm your nerves and thoughts, but the sensory sensation helps with grounding.

5. Write in a Journal

When you write out the way you are feeling, you can understand your emotions better. Plus, getting the words out on paper can help validate your feelings and help you release them.

6. Use Visualization

When you are struggling with emotional regulation, try visualizing happier things. Start by imagining your perfect day and see how it helps you.

7. Spend Time Outside

Fresh air can help you clear your thoughts and wrap your head around your emotions. You can work through whatever you are going through as you feel the breeze on your skin.

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8. Find Something to Laugh About

If you are alone, look up funny videos that you can laugh about. When you are with someone else, tell each other jokes to get you laughing. By laughing, you will release tension and stress, helping you regulate your emotions.

9. Focus on the Present

By focusing on the present, you will experience fewer negative emotions. Thinking of the past or fixating on the future will do the opposite. Stay present in the moment you are in rather than ruminating about anything else.

10. Do Things That Make You Feel Successful

The thing you choose to do can be anything, as long as you know that you will be successful. If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut, this can help give you an emotional boost.

11. Exercise

Exercising helps you regulate your emotions because it clears your mind and promotes chemicals that make you feel relaxed and happy. It also boosts your brainpower and reduces stress.

12. Count Backward from Ten

As you count backward, focus on your breathing. Take a deep breath between each number. Once you get to one, start over if you still don’t feel better.

13. Take a Nap or Go to Bed Earlier

Taking a short nap can give you an emotional boost, helping you regulate your emotions better. You won’t be as irritable, and you can think more clearly. Likewise, go to bed early when you are struggling so that you make sure to get enough sleep.

14. Do Something Creative

Any form of creativity will help you control your emotions. Try drawing a picture of something that makes you happy, working on a scrapbook, or doodling.

15. Be Flexible in Your Mindset

If your mind keeps going to the worst possible scenario, try being flexible with your thinking. Tell yourself that while the worst thing could happen, something positive could too. Consider other possibilities instead of just the bad ones.

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16. Use a Stress Ball

When you are trying to process your emotions without reacting too soon, try using a stress ball. It will help you control your emotions as you work through them.

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17. Cuddle Up with Your Favorite Blanket

Sometimes you just need some comfort in your life to help you with self-regulation. When you are struggling with your emotions, try this technique to see if it helps.

18. Use Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations can help you shift your mindset from the negative. Use affirmations targeted to controlling emotions for the full effect.

19. Reduce Vulnerability

You must avoid becoming overwhelmed physically, mentally, or emotionally. Ensure you are getting enough sleep and exercise, and treat any physical ailments you are experiencing.

20. Write a Letter

When you want to say something to another person but aren’t sure how to say it, try writing a letter. Doing so can help you work through your emotions as you get your thoughts across to the other person. By the end of the letter, you might even decide that you feel better and don’t need to send it.

21. Lay Back and Watch the Clouds

Taking a moment to bask in the beauty of nature can help you refocus. As you breathe in the fresh air, your mind will clear, and you will be able to process your emotions better.

22. Reward Yourself

When you feel that you handled a situation well, reward yourself. Indulge in a binge session of your favorite TV show or do something else that you normally don’t give in to.

23. Increase the Number of Positive Events

If you increase the number of positive events in your life, it can replace the negative ones. Try doing this, and you will notice that it becomes easier to regulate your emotions.

24. Look at Photos That Make You Happy

To help you regulate your emotions, look at pictures of things that bring you joy. This could be pictures of your favorite places or pictures of your loved ones.

25. Set a Regular Daily Routine

With a routine, you will have an easier time managing your emotions. You will know what to expect each day, and it will be easier to move forward while maintaining positivity.

26. Watch a Movie You Love

Sometimes sitting back and watching your favorite movie can help you clear your head. It will bring you comfort, distract you, and make you feel happier. Then, when you come back to your emotions, you will have a better idea of handling them.

27. Modify the Situation

If you feel nervous about something, try practicing ahead of time. It will make the process easier and less intimidating, helping you stay in control of your emotions.

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28. Talk About Your Feelings

Talking about your feelings helps you release the negativity and understand the emotions better. You will begin to see why you feel the way you do, and you can process it as you talk it out.

29. Ask for Help

There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Sometimes, it is all that you need to do for emotional regulation. Taking some of your stress away can make a big difference.

30. Help Someone

Helping others is sure to help you control your emotions, too. When you help others, it boosts your mood and helps eliminate negative thinking.

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31. Take a Break

Everyone needs a break sometimes, and this includes you. When you are feeling overwhelmed or like your emotions are controlling you, take a break.

32. Acknowledge Your Feelings

Identifying your emotions can help you regulate them because you aren’t trying to push them away. Identify them, say them out loud, and then try to consider why you feel that way.

33. Determine the Size of Your Problem

Ask yourself if your problem is big enough to warrant an over-the-top reaction. If not, you will handle it better, but you must first determine the size before you can decide.

34. Shift Your Attention

When nothing else seems to be working, and your emotions are out of control, distract yourself. While it isn’t good to suppress your emotions, it sometimes helps to distract yourself with something else for a while.

35. Give Yourself Choices

When you give yourself choices, you won’t feel like you are stuck or out of control. This will help you process and regulate your emotions better.

36. Prepare Yourself

When you prepare yourself for upcoming situations, you will feel in control of your emotions. Address upcoming events that are worrying you or making you anxious. Then, figure out what you must do to prepare.

37. Tell Yourself That You Are Safe

Sometimes your emotions will be all over the place if you feel unsafe. If that is the case, continually remind yourself that you are safe and there is nothing harmful in your environment.

38. Look for the Good in All Situations

When you look for the good, it will be easier to stay positive and control your emotions. Even when faced with adversity, look around you and find a few good things.

39. Eliminate Triggers from Your Life

Try to identify the things that trigger a lack of emotional regulation in your life. If you know certain situations or people cause you to feel like your emotions are out of control, make a change.

40. Decide How You Want to React

Believe it or not, you can decide how you will react. Sometimes you will feel like you can’t, but even in those situations, you can. Take a moment before you decide so that you can assess the possibilities.

41. Smile

It is hard to feel bad when you are smiling, so when you want to control your emotions, smile. Whenever you are sad, angry, stress, or anything else, look in the mirror and smile at yourself. Then, wear that smile the entire day, and you will notice that you handle your emotions better.

42. Stimulate Your Senses

By stimulating your sense, you will have an easier time regulating your emotions. Find things to look at, touch, listen to, smell, and taste. Chewing gum will help with more than one, so try carrying that with you everywhere.

43. Wait Ninety Seconds Before Reacting

If you wait 90 seconds before reacting, the negativity has a chance to pass through. By the time the 90 seconds is up, you might feel calmer and can react positively instead.

44. Do a Puzzle

Not only is a puzzle distracting, but it makes your brain work in beneficial ways. As you hone in on problem-solving, you will have an easier time with your emotions, too.

45. Make a Schedule That You Can See

Sometimes posting a schedule where you can see it helps regulate your emotions. When you know what you are supposed to be doing at any given time, it can help you focus on what is important.

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46. Clean or Organize Something

Cleaning and organizing is a great way to help you work through your problems. Your brain will focus as your hands stay busy, giving you a chance to think things through and calm down.

47. Take a Hot Bath

A hot bath can help you relax and find peace, no matter what is happening. If you need help with emotional regulation, try taking and bath to see if it helps you.

48. Eat a Snack

Choose a healthy snack because your body and brain need nutrients and vitamins to function properly. When you aren’t hungry and have the vitamins you need, your mental health will improve, too.

49. Get a Drink of Water

You need water to function properly, too, so make sure you drink plenty of it. It will give your body and brain what it needs to help with self-regulation.

50. Take Care of Yourself

You must take care of your body and mind in several ways to achieve emotional regulation. Get plenty of sleep, eat healthy food, practice good hygiene, and see a doctor for any ailments.

51. Focus on Positive Relationships

Toxic relationships should have no place in your life, or your emotional well-being will suffer. Instead, surround yourself with positive people and healthy relationships.

52. Get Moving

Sometimes you just need to get up and move around. If you are stuck at work, walk around the office for a few minutes to get your blood flowing.

53. Have Fun

Doing something fun can help you control your emotions as you won’t be so overwhelmed. Let loose once in a while, and put all of the serious life problems aside for a later time.

54. Talk to a Therapist

Therapists are trained to help you with regulating your emotions. If you find that you can’t do it alone, reach out for professional help.

55. Forgive Yourself

Your emotional well-being will continue to suffer as long as you haven’t forgiven yourself. Let go of mistakes that you made in the past, and work on moving forward.

56. Don’t Expect Perfection

No one is perfect, no matter how much you strive for it. Striving for perfection hinders your ability to regulate your emotions, so avoid expecting perfection.

57. Read a Book

Reading a book puts your mind somewhere else, and your problems won’t seem as overwhelming anymore. You must give yourself a break from your issues once in a while so that you can refocus.

58. Communicate Your Needs in an Assertive Way

You have needs, and you must have them met. If you find that your needs are being ignored, express them assertively. You can’t let your needs go, or you won’t be able to control your emotions.

59. Spend Time Alone

Spending time alone is beneficial because it gives you a chance to connect with your emotions. Do things you enjoy doing alone, and you will notice that your emotions become easier to handle.

60. Listen to Music

Play calming music or music that brings you happiness when you need to work through your emotions. It will make you feel good and clear your head of negativity.

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61. Do Something You Love

When you are passionate about something, it is hard to let negative emotions consume you. Focus on things that allow you to feel happier and better about your life.

62. Don’t Judge Yourself

You might be tempted to judge yourself when you are experiencing emotions. Instead, avoid judging yourself and permit yourself to feel the way that you do.

63. Hug Someone You Love

Hugs can help with emotional regulation because they help you feel loved, cared for, and relaxed. Plus, hugs can help you feel a stronger bond with the person.

64. Choose a Role Model

Find someone in your life that seems to have their emotions under control. Talk to them about how they self-regulate and then practice their behavior in this regard.

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65. Dance

Dancing can help clear your head as you release stress and tension. Turn on your favorite music and dance around until you feel better.

66. List Your Strengths

Sometimes listing the things that you are good at can help you with emotional regulation. It will help you see what you are good at and that you bring value to the world.

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67. Start a Garden

Gardening can help you in a few ways. First, it keeps you distracted as you have something beneficial to focus on. Secondly, it helps you connect with the earth, which helps improve your mood and helps you cope.

68. Do Something You are Good at

You might just need to remember that you are good at something. If that is the case, do whatever it is you know that you are good at. This simple action can make all the difference.

69. Disconnect from Your Electronics

Turning off all of your electronics for the day can make a huge difference in your emotional well-being. When you are constantly scrolling social media and news websites, it can cause negative thinking.

70. Create a List of Things You Love

When you list the things you love, it can help bring perspective to your life. Even when things get hard, you have good things that your love. This can help you regulate your emotions because bad situations won’t seem quite as serious.

71. Change Your Environment

Sometimes you need a new sight to help you with your emotions. Go for a walk, switch rooms, or go for a drive. If you can, go on a trip to experience a new place.

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72. Accept Compliments

It might be tempting to shoot down compliments that others give you, but avoid doing this. When you can accept a compliment, it will improve your emotional health.

73. Shift Negative Thoughts to Positive Ones

Check your thoughts often, and anytime you notice negativity, switch your mindset. Once you do this for a while, it will become a habit.

74. Be Persistent

No matter what you are going through, keep moving forward even when you want to give up. Use persistence to keep sight of your goals, and you will notice your emotional regulation improves, too.

75. Hold Someone’s Hand

Physical touch can help you feel connected, and it can pull you out of negative thinking. When you are struggling emotionally, reach out and hold the hand of someone you love.

76. Focus on Optimism

You can teach your mind to think positively. It will help you stay calm when you feel anxious or stressed, and it will help you improve your life.

77. Talk to a Friend or Loved One

Talking to those you love can help you process your thoughts and emotions. They can be your sounding board as you try to work through your feelings without overreacting.

78. Be Nice to Yourself

Self-love is essential to your emotional well-being. Don’t call yourself names or diminish your worth. Instead, say nice things to yourself just like you would to a friend.

79. Use a Weighted Blanket

Using a weighted blanket can help you feel secure. It prompts your body to release chemicals that calm you down and make you feel good.

80. Eliminate Negative Self-Talk

Change your thought process when you notice that your thoughts are negative or tell yourself you can’t do something. Focus on positive self-talk so that you can help yourself emotionally.

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81. Limit the Amount of Alcohol You Consume

Alcohol is full of nasty chemicals that aren’t good for your mind or body. Plus, it causes you to think negatively and not very clearly.

82. Come Up with a Plan to Fix Your Problems

With a plan, you will immediately feel better. Once you know what you will do, you can let go of some of the negativity.

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83. Find Balance in Your Life

You must have a good balance in your life. Create a balance between work and your home life so that you can feel satisfied in all areas.

84. Consider the Consequences of Your Response

It might be tempting to lash out with the first idea that comes to mind, but that is detrimental. Instead, consider the consequences of what you are tempted to do first.

85. Diffuse Essential Oils

Some essential oils are calming, and others stimulate thinking. You can find an essential oil to help with any aspect of your mind.

86. Have Faith in Yourself

Believing in yourself helps you self-regulate more effectively. You will know that you can get things done, and it won’t overwhelm you quite as much.

87. Do the Opposite of What You Feel Like Doing

When your first instinct is to respond negatively, do the opposite. Doing this will help you react in a better way, contributing to your emotional regulation.

88. Think About Things That Bring Joy

When you can’t do anything else, think about things that make you happy. Think about the places and people you love and the things you look forward to in life.

89. Look for Facts

If your thoughts are negative or you are experiencing negative self-talk, check the facts. It is normally easy to spot when your thoughts are invalid, which can help you switch your mindset.

90. Do Something That Calms You

Once you have determined what calms you, turn to that activity anytime you need help emotionally. When your mind is calm, you can work through your emotions and learn from them.

91. Allow Others to Comfort You

It might be tempting to shut others out when you are having a hard time. Avoid doing that, however, because allowing others to comfort you will help.

92. Go for a Walk

Walking helps you stay in tune with nature while also clearing your mind and helping you think. This might be the best time to think through your problems and come up with beneficial solutions.

93. Play a Game

Playing a game will help you think logically, which will promote emotional regulation. Plus, it is a fun distraction from anything that might be bothering you.

94. Think About Your Favorite Place

Your favorite place is likely the place that you feel the calmest, relaxed, and at home. Envision that place when you are working through your emotions.

95. Close Your Eyes and Relax Your Muscles

As you close your eyes, focus on relaxing your muscles. Do one muscle at a time and work your way up to your body, relaxing each muscle as you go.

96. Come up With Positive Solutions

Create solutions for how you will accomplish your goals. When you have plans in place, you will experience greater emotional control.

97. Compliment Someone Else

Saying kind things to others helps you become emotionally stronger. Plus, it improves your beneficial relationships.

98. Learn as Much as You Can

If you constantly learn about emotions and emotional regulation, you will always have new ideas. The more you know about regulating your emotions, the better you can handle yourself.

99. Disconnect from Negative People

Don’t let toxic people remain in your life. If you can’t eliminate them from your life, then at least limit your time with them as much as possible.

100. Spend Time Self-Reflecting

Self-reflection is essential when it comes to emotional health. Assess your past and current behaviors and find learning opportunities.

101. Scream

When all else fails, find a safe place to scream. Cover your face will a pillow and scream into it. Or, go into an open field and let all of the tension and negativity out.

Final Thoughts on Ways to Regulate Your Emotions in Life

Emotional regulation is key to moving through life positively. To learn how to regulate your emotions, try some of these methods to see what works for you.

Once you have found things that help you, implement them in your daily life. By making these actions a habit, you will continually improve your ability to regulate your emotions.

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Sarah Barkley is a lifestyle blogger and freelance writer with a Bachelor's Degree in Literature from Baker College. She is experienced in all things related to parenting, marriage, and life as a millennial parent, but loves to learn new things. She enjoys the research that goes into a strong article, and no topic is off-limits to Sarah. When she isn't writing, she is immersed in a book or watching Gilmore Girls. Sarah loves reading classic novels but also enjoys a good thriller.

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