It’s Important to Manage Emotions When Things Get Tough - Here’s How

Updated: May 25

A stressed woman sitting at her laptop needs to learn to manage emotions

Managing your emotions can be difficult. Avoiding or suppressing them may seem convenient, but it’s not helpful and can even lead to health problems. Here’s how to manage and regulate your emotions, even when things are hard.

Key takeaways:

  • Emotions are a normal part of life.

  • Learning how to manage emotions is a skill that has to be learned and practiced.

  • Not all intense emotions are harmful; rather, it’s how we cope with them.

  • Some people may develop maladaptive coping skills like addictive behaviors to avoid or numb their feelings.

  • Learning healthy coping skills can help you manage your emotions.

  • Therapy can be a huge help if you’re struggling to process and manage emotions.

Dealing with feelings aka emotions is a skill that we need throughout our lifespan. Learning how to effectively deal with our emotions can make the difference between developing healthy or harmful habits in our lives. Not all intense emotions are harmful, but certain uncontrolled or repressed emotions can lead to negative consequences, especially when people use maladaptive coping skills.

For example, some people might binge eat (“eat their feelings”) as a coping mechanism, which can lead to negative impacts like poor nutrition and weight gain. Others may indulge in other types of addictive behaviors such as drugs, alcohol, or sex – all of which have negative consequences.

Why is emotional regulation important?

Emotions are constant – we feel them as often as we’re awake. They can provide us with important feedback about the situations we are in, our wants, and our needs. When you tap into your emotions, you can get important information that can help you with:

  • Navigating relationships successfully

  • Managing your day to day interactions in the community, with friends, and at home

  • Making decisions

  • Self-care

Studies have shown that having a handle on emotional regulation is linked to better well-being and even financial success. Doing the inner work now can quite literally pay off for you in the future.

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