The importance of
Each of us plays many roles in our lives – from being a breadwinner, a friend, a role model to our children, to being a caregiver for our elderly parents. These responsibilities often come with different sets of challenges and concerns.
At times, we feel overwhelmed or drained. Such feelings often manifest themselves as intense emotions. By learning how to manage these emotions, we can take better care of our own well-being. This will in turn get us into a better position to support our loved ones and overcome any challenges ahead.
What are emotions
and why do we feel them?
It’s normal to feel
all kinds of emotions
6 basic emotions
An emotional state
leading to feelings of
hostility and frustration
A strong emotion that
results in the feeling of
A primal emotion that is
important to survival and triggers
a fight or flight response
A pleasant emotional
state that elicits feelings
of joy, contentment, and satisfaction
An emotional state
characterised by feelings
of disappointment, grief
A brief emotional state,
either positive or
Why is it important to understand
and manage our emotions?
Although emotions are an instinctive and natural thing, it can sometimes be intense and overwhelming.That’s why we can all benefit from understanding and managing our emotions healthily.
Watch this video to see why it’s important to acknowledgeand manage our emotions as they arise.
How do we manage our emotions?
- Practice noticing and identifying our emotions by using the feelings tracker to identify how we are feeling.
- Avoid brushing away or pretending not to have certain emotions as we might get overwhelmed and become less effective at managing them. Our feelings are there to help us make sense of what’s going on!
- Check in with our body too. We may also feel some body sensations with certain emotions – perhaps our face gets hot and muscles tense up.
- Accept all our emotions as natural and not something to avoid. Seek to understand and figure out what happened that got us feeling this way.
- Our emotions can arise from many things. It could be from events, situations, or even our own thoughts or memories.
- Knowing what brought about that feeling and why we felt that way would also make it easier for us to have a better grasp and assess on how best to manage our feelings.
- Consider whether things are really as bad as they seem. Sometimes, unhelpful thinking patterns may magnify the negativity of the situation. For example, we may overgeneralise and think, “I have failed once, I will fail again for sure”.
- When we have such negative thoughts, we can use My Positivity Guide to reframe such thoughts by focusing on the good things around us.
- Shred away these unhelpful thinking patterns using the Emotions Explorer.
- Think about the best way to express our emotions or regulate them, so we can feel better. For example, would it feel more conducive to gently confront someone or work off the feeling by going for a run?
- Consider doing more of the things we enjoy, such as spending time in nature, listening to music or even sleeping. We can also try exercising as it has mood-boosting effects and relieves stress.
- Learn relaxation skills such as:
- Pick up deep breathing exercises as a method of relaxation
- Practice progressive muscle relaxation where we tense a group of muscles as we breathe in and relax them as we breathe out
- Use guided imagery where, for example, we imagine ourselves at the beach feeling the warm breeze on our skin
- Consider mindfulness where we slow down our racing thoughts and be aware of our body and mind
How do we talk about our emotions?
Talking to others about our emotions can also help us explore new perspectives and understand our thinking patterns.
A friend, parent, relative or colleague can be people we can talk to. For a start, we can reach out to the person we trust and say, “Can we talk for a minute? I have something to share.” We can then share how we feel and why. We may just find ourselves surprised that someone can help us feel better and assure us that we are not alone.
We don’t have to wait for our problems to be big or have a special time to talk about them. It’s good to practise talking about them earlier as it allows us to notice them.
We don’t have to talk about every feeling we have but noticing our feelings and saying how we feel and why, is good practice and a healthy way to express them. It is also okay to not know why we are feeling certain emotions. We can still say something like “I feel angry but I don’t know why.”
The more we talk about it, the easier it gets. It doesn’t just help us understand ourselves, but also increases the connection that we have with people who matter to us.