Why is it so hard to control your emotions?

Why do you feel so much?

Being a teenager is sometimes difficult, no matter what everyone else says. Your teenage years are a confusing and stressful period where you may feel immense pressure to learn about yourself and figure out your future. You might be experiencing puberty, peer pressure, bullying, rejection, struggling to maintain your grades or even trying to preserve your mental health in general.

It also doesn’t help to be misunderstood or judged by your parents or others for your reactions to these struggles. It’s normal to feel angry or want to cry when someone hurts you, physically or emotionally. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed by your responsibilities sometimes or to be unsure of yourself. It’s normal to have crushes or to be attracted to people in your class or your your group of friends. Likewise, it also normal to be upset if you get rejected by someone or experience failure. None of these feelings or thoughts make you weak in any way and, while they should be controlled in some situations, avoiding or pretending you don’t feel certain things is more dangerous in the long run.

How can you control it?

Forcing your feelings into a box to save your pride or your composure only works for so long. This strategy is great for being able to function when we desperately need to but, sooner or later, the box will be far too full to help us any longer. Here are some steps to facing your emotions and overcoming them:

  1. Identify and accept the feeling for what it is. Do you feel envious that someone has something that you don’t or can do something that you can’t? Do you feel sad or lonely because you feel like there’s no one you can trust? These feelings are normal and shouldn’t be repressed or ignored for long.
  2. Express your emotions without hurting others. You can be honest with people about how they make you feel, without being cruel. If it feels safer, entrust your thoughts to a journal.
  3. Find realistic but healthy ways to love yourself. This can be emotional or physical affection from a loved one, your favourite comfort TV show, your favourite songs, a spa day, or just a long nap.
  4. Remember that emotions come and go. Life is full of emotional highs and lows that can come when you least expect it, but they will not break you.

Does it get better?

Yes…but sometimes it can get worse for a bit too. Becoming an adult won’t suddenly make everything better. However, with work and practice dealing with your emotions over time, those feelings can be a lot less overwhelming. Being kinder to yourself and giving yourself the space to feel what you need to is the key to coping with those emotions no matter how old you get.

When should you get help?

Though your emotions can sometimes feel impossible to overcome, severe emotional changes can be a sign of deeper mental health issues. This can take the form of any  of the following:

  1. Severe or prolonged sadness or feeling hopeless
  2. Struggles with alcohol or substance abuse
  3. Sudden changes in eating or sleeping patterns
  4. Reckless and/or life-threatening behaviour

If you experience any of these, please call us at 800-4321 or 131 for free at any time or use our webchat at childlinett.org.