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Last Updated on January 12, 2021

Why Am I So Emotional? 9 Hidden Reasons

Why Am I So Emotional? 9 Hidden Reasons

Humans are fleshy bags of emotions. We feel happy when good things happen, get angry when things don’t go our way, and sob when something sad happens.

Sometimes we get so excited we find ourselves hopping around like bunnies.

These different emotions and our ability to feel them are what make us human. Our sensitivity levels and the way we express our emotions, however, differ.

This is the reason some people are considered more emotional than others.

After you express your emotions more intensely than you should, you may find yourself asking questions.

“Why am I so emotional? Why do I cry or get angry over the littlest things? Why do I react to events more intensely than others do?” Below are some of the reasons why this could be so.

1. You Are Only Human

If a loved one dies or you lose something very important to you, becoming emotional is only normal.

If you find out you’re the only one crying or that you’re mourning longer than everyone else, it doesn’t mean you’re overreacting or that you’re strange.

Simply remind yourself that humans are different. Hence, we also grieve differently. The fact that others aren’t crying or outwardly showing how they feel doesn’t mean they are not feeling the same thing you are.

Also, if your emotions do not obstruct your day-to-day activities, it could simply be that you are more sensitive than others.

It could also be that at that moment, your emotions are heightened due to a variety of factors like lack of sleep or stress.

As long as your emotions are not disrupting your life or the life of someone else, you shouldn’t let it deter you. You are just being human.

2. Your Genetics

Having emotions is natural, but if you have people telling you that you are too emotional or you personally feel like you are too emotional, it could be the result of your genetic components.

Some studies have proven that gene variation can cause your brain to be more sensitive to emotions.

Genes like serotonin transporter (the sensitivity gene), dopamine genes, and the emotional vividness gene can trigger heightened activity in certain parts of the brain.

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This, in turn, increases your emotional response and sensitivity to your environment.

Also, if you have a family member with a disorder such as depression or anxiety, there is a chance of you inheriting the affective disorder. Should you want to figure out why you get so emotional, you can check your genes.

3. You Aren’t Getting Sufficient Rest

We all know a lack of sufficient sleep can make one very grouchy.

Imagine after hours spent working late into the night, you finally climb into bed, only to hear your alarm clock ring three hours later, telling you to go back to work.

The first thing on your mind might be to fling your alarm clock across the room or punch your pillow. The feeling of anger or frustration you wake up with can be easily triggered by little things, making you irritable all day.

If you go on for days or weeks with too little sleep, it can also affect your concentration levels, increase the risks of anxiety and depression, and weaken your physical balance.

And with weakened balance, you may find yourself stumbling and running into people or objects – which no doubt will fan the flames of your foul mood.

Good rest gives you a better rein on your emotions. When you are well-rested, you wake up feeling content; hence, your tolerance for negative emotions will be higher.

Without sufficient rest, your tolerance will be lower, causing you to yell or cry over little things.

Read about how to get better rest: Sleep Hack: A Simple Strategy for Better Rest in Less Time

4. You Isolate Yourself

Constantly keeping to yourself and staying away from people/events can cause you to be overly emotional.

Sure, having alone time is great and can be rejuvenating. But when you constantly seclude yourself, it dampens your spirits. It can be demoralizing and can make you cagey.

But when you surround yourself with people, even occasionally, it fills you with excitement. It occupies your mind and takes it away from your worries and troubles.

You also learn to expect different characteristics and types of people, and you learn the best ways to deal with them.

Being around people can get you well accustomed to kind people, gentle people, stubborn people, and mean people.

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Over time, you will learn to ignore the negative people and to keep your emotions in check when you’re around them.

Staying secluded, on the other hand, gives you lots of time to dwell on your troubles. You could spend hours thinking of the things going wrong in your life and getting depressed or anxious over them.

Also, when you’re always alone, you won’t learn to build up your defense against negative people or situations. The smallest provocation could have you breathing fire or sobbing.

Lastly, when you stay alone for too long, you can get lonely. Loneliness is a negative feeling that can make you overly emotional.

5. Poor Diet

The next time you ask yourself “why am I so emotional?” try reviewing your diet. The food you consume or neglect can directly affect your emotions.

For example, you might love eating junk food like ice cream and chocolates. While eating these might be enjoyable at the time, the happy feeling will not last.

The joy and excitement you feel while eating junk food are often due to a sugar rush, and this rush is only temporary. Afterward, you might feel guilty or angry –especially if you are on a diet and it’s not a cheat day.

This feeling of guilt can easily be triggered into something more intense if afterward, you receive unpleasant news or something else goes wrong.

Eating healthy food like fruits, proteins, and vegetables will keep you pleased with yourself at all times. Hence, there will be no guilty or shameful feeling after a meal.

6. You’re Undergoing Major Life Changes

While change is constant in life, there are people who are not open to it. There is a chance that you are one of them. Change can be good and pleasing. It can also be abrupt and unsettling.

And when you constantly feel like the ground has been pulled from beneath your feet, it can make your emotions uncontrollable.

Some common major life changes include relocation, marriage, divorce, childbirth, losing a job, getting a new job, losing a loved one, and so on.

These life changes often come with an underlying vulnerability that heightens your emotions.

When something good happens, you feel happier than usual because you are pleased something good has come out of an uncomfortable situation.

But if something bad happens, your sadness or anger will be more intense because you feel so unstable.

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So if you’ve just undergone some major life change, don’t fret about being overly emotional. Take the feelings as they come (but be careful not to do anything harmful in the process).

In a few weeks or months, when you start adapting to your situation, you will feel more in control of your emotions once again.

7. You Are Stressed

Stress is one major reason people get very emotional. It takes a toll on a person’s physical and mental state. And when you already feel mentally drained, little discomforts here and there can heighten your emotions.

For example, someone could return stressed from work and want nothing more than to climb into bed, only to realize their toddler has poured milk all over the kitchen. So, the person promptly bursts into tears.

On any other day, they might hurriedly pick up a mop and tidy up the place, then scold the child a little. But on a stressful day, their anger or sadness over their child’s actions will be heightened.

Mental and physical stress happens from time to time and has an often temporary effect, but chronic stress can have a permanent effect on a person.

This is why a once calm parent who has two more kids and has to work extra hard every day to provide for their family can quickly become an impatient, irritable person.

If your stress isn’t likely to go away any time soon, check out How to Stay Calm and Cool When You’re Extremely Stressed

8. You’re Grieving

Grieving the loss of someone or something very close to you can heighten your emotions intensely.

So, if your emotions get heightened whenever you see or hear anything that reminds you of the person you’ve lost, know that it’s normal.

Also, if weeks after you’ve lost someone, you react strongly to everything, know that is normal, too. All you need to do is be patient with yourself and give time the reins to ease your grief.

Grief doesn’t only happen when someone you care about dies. You can also grieve after a breakup, an opportunity you missed, or even a mistake you made.

Remember that we all grieve differently, so don’t beat yourself up over the fact that you’re crying longer than everyone else.

9. You’re Traumatized

Trauma is one common reason people get overly emotional. It is often a subconscious response to a horrible event that led to physical or mental harm.

These experiences trigger negative emotions such as fear, anger, terror, guilt, sadness, and shame – sometimes months or even years after the event.

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Traumatic experiences such as accidents, sexual assaults, physical assaults, kidnapping and so on, can lead to enhanced emotions.

Traumatic flashbacks are often triggered by places, faces, names, and objects that remind you of the events. These flashbacks can often lead to overly emotional behavior.

If you have experienced a trauma, you are not alone. There are resources out there for you. Try starting with: How to Overcome a Trauma and Be Even Stronger Than Before

Is it Bad to Be Emotional?

The effect your emotions have on you and the people around you is what determines whether they are good or bad.

If you hurt yourself or others whenever you get sad or angry, then the fact that you are emotional is bad, and you must learn to control it.

Also, if whenever something good happens, you get too happy or excited and find yourself saying things you shouldn’t, you should learn to control it.

But, if your emotional state is not harmful to you or anyone else, then there is nothing wrong with being emotional.

In this case, being emotional gives you the freedom of self-expression. It stops you from suppressing your feelings or suffering in silence.

Also, if your emotions are not in any way harmful, being emotional makes it easier for people to relate with you!

The Bottom Line

As an emotional person, it might be worth it to ask, “Why am I so emotional?” Knowing the reason your feelings are often heightened can help you learn to control them.

If your emotional state is due to a lack of proper diet or exercise, you can work on those. And if it’s due to grief or a major life change, you can give yourself time to heal and adjust.

Ultimately, so long as your emotional state does not make you do things you will regret, being emotional is nothing to be ashamed of. It only means you are human!

Featured photo credit: Ryan Moreno via unsplash.com

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Jacqueline T. Hill

Writing, Blogging, and Educating To Guide Others Into Happiness

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Last Updated on January 18, 2021

How to Deal With Work Stress When You’re Stressed to the Max

How to Deal With Work Stress When You’re Stressed to the Max

Work stress is a modern epidemic. More than one-third of American workers experience chronic work stress. This is estimated to cost American businesses up to $300 billion a year in lost work hours and medical bills[1]. Therefore, it’s important that we start to learn how to deal with stress at work.

Clearly, if you’re suffering from work stress, you’re far from alone. However, this stress isn’t inevitable.

In this article, I’m going to suggest the most suitable ways to cope with stressful situations related to job demands so you can become a happy and productive worker again.

Where Work Stress Comes From

Certain factors tend to go hand-in-hand with work-related stress. The causes of stress include:

Too Much Work

You feel overwhelmed by your work and find yourself saying: “There are not enough hours in the day!” You may be taking on too many projects or staying to work overtime each time your boss asks.

The Job Is Too Easy

If the job doesn’t challenge you with problem solving or inspire you to learn more, you can quickly lose motivation and get stressed, as you feel you’re not growing in the position.

Lack of Social Support

Maybe you feel pressured by coworkers or don’t feel like you’re part of a community at work. Stress increases when we lack positive relationships, even at our job.

Little Praise, Lots of Criticism

A lousy manager uses constant criticism to try to motivate you, but all you really want to hear is “good job.” Even constructive criticism would be a step up.

Very Competitive Work Culture

You may feel like you’re constantly having to compete against your coworkers to get ahead. This can be exhausting and very stressful.

Lack of Control

Your boss or manager likes to micromanage, leaving you with little room to make your own decisions and utilize creativity.

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Aiming for Perfection

While it’s good to do your best, being a perfectionist can be a powerful work stress generator. You may feel like your work is never good enough, which can cause the anxiety you feel while waiting for someone to criticize it.

Low Salary

If you work hard but receive slim financial rewards, you may start to feel unappreciated, frustrated, and stressed.

The Negative Effects of Stress

Chronic stress is bad news for your mental and physical health. These are some health symptoms of stress[2]:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Increased appetite
  • Eye strain
  • Backaches
  • Digestive problems
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia

As one study points out, “chronic life stress has been consistently associated with poorer cognitive function, accelerated cognitive decline, and increased incidence of dementia”[3]. This underlines the importance of avoiding work stress as much as possible[4].

Stress Management at Work

    How to Deal With Stress at Work

    You don’t need to be a victim of work stress. Here’s how to manage stress in the workplace:

    1. Set Aside Some Time for Planning

    If work has become too much for you, and you’re constantly falling behind, it’s time to take a step back. Instead of trying and failing to catch up, you’d be much better off spending some time thinking about your goals and how to prioritize your tasks to improve time management.

    Learn how to set clear goals with this step-by-step guide.

    For instance, if your initial goal is just to get on top of your work (probably for the first time in months), then take 10 minutes to think clearly and deeply about how you can achieve this. Once your goal and tasks are clear in your mind, you’ll be ready for the second step.

    2. Align Your Tasks With Your Goal

    Just knowing your goal and associated tasks is not enough if you want to learn how to deal with stress at work. Many people reach this stage but still fall behind with their work and fail to achieve their goals.

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    The secret is to understand which of your tasks should be high priority, and which ones can be done when you have spare time.

    For example, checking your inbox every 20 minutes may seem to be a productive task for you, but in reality it acts as a constant distraction and a source of stress. Instead, you’d be better off setting aside 30 minutes in the morning and afternoon to check your emails.

    By doing this, you’ll free up the bulk of your day for tasks that can help you reach your goal. These tasks are likely to be things like writing a business proposal, creating a PowerPoint presentation, or finishing an important project.

    These tips on how to prioritize will help you align your tasks with your goals and work 10X more efficiently.

    3. Remove, Change, or Accept the Stressors

    How can you tackle specific work stressors? I recommend the following method that WellCast introduced[5]:

    Take a piece of paper and divide it into three columns. At the top, write remove in the first column, change in the second, and accept in the third.

    Next, think of the sources of work stress that are getting to you the most. Perhaps it’s your paycheck; it might be way smaller than you’d like or feel that you deserve. Don’t worry, this is your chance to break free from the stress surrounding your low pay.

    Which would you prefer?

    • To remove yourself from the company
    • To try to change your salary by asking for a pay rise
    • To accept that your salary is okay for you

    You may be surprised at what thoughts come into your mind. Don’t reject them, but allow yourself time to be clear on how you’d like to proceed.

    If the status quo feels good to you, then write “paycheck” in the accept column. If you decide you want to increase your salary but stay in the same company, write “paycheck” in the change column. And finally, if you decide the time is right to seek a new opportunity at a different organization, then write “paycheck” in the remove column.

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    By being decisive in this way, you’ll immediately feel a sense of control, and your stress levels will begin to decrease. All that remains is to set yourself a clear goal.

    Of course, if you have multiple work stressors, then use your remove, change, or accept sheet to work through all of them to reduce stress. It will be time VERY well spent.

    4. Create Positive Relationships at Work

    One key when learning how to deal with stress at work is being able to accept help outside of friends and family. Not only does it alleviate negative circumstances by creating a buffer between daily tasks and their negative connection, but it will provide a sense of support and relief in your personal life.

     

    Make an effort to create friendships with your colleagues. Go to the after-work happy hour, or just ask a colleague out for coffee at lunchtime. Not only will you have someone to confide in, but you will start to associate positive feelings to work.

    Forming a healthy relationship with your manager or supervisor is also a good way to alleviate stress. Positive, two-way conversations about where you stand in your job, being honest about how you feel, and working together to make a plan of action in terms of improved work conditions and expectations are paramount.

    This will lead to opening up and receiving the necessary resources you need to support or help you.

    5. Take Time for Yourself

    Anyone can get overwhelmed when stress occurs at work, and this can spill into other areas of your life. This is why it’s important to clock out mentally from your job and focus on stress management from time to time.

    Take time off to relax and unwind in order to regain your energy and come back to work invigorated. Make sure you actually do something you enjoy, like spending time with your kids or partner, or visit that city you’ve always wanted to explore.

    If taking time off work isn’t possible in the midst of your stress, take scheduled breaks throughout your day. Sit quietly somewhere, or do some stretches to get your blood flowing.

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    6. Take Mindful Action Towards Your Health

    The irony of work stress is that your healthy habits can take a backseat, which can increase levels of stress. Maintaining and even improving your physical and mental health will keep your stress under control.

    Eat Healthy Foods

    Make sure your diet is full of foods that provide your body with sufficient nutrients. Eat more fruits and green vegetables, whole foods, omega-3 rich fish, and seeds such as flax, chia, and hemp. These types of food ensure your body is working optimally to cope with its stress mechanisms.

    Avoid Unhealthy Foods

    This is obvious, but it’s these kinds of foods you reach for in times of stress and negativity. High-fat foods, such as cheese and red meat, cause sluggishness and tiredness. Foods high in refined sugars, like cookies, chocolate bars, and bread, can be convenient snacks, but they cause you to crash and burn.

    Exercise Regularly

    Endorphins are great for counteracting stress, and you can get more of them through exercise. Exercise creates a distraction and helps you get your thoughts back together in an orderly way. Start exercising today to improve your physical and emotional health!

    Get Enough Sleep

    Make getting 8 hours sleep a priority to help diminish work stress. When we’re stressed it can sometimes feel hard to get to sleep, but sleep deprivation only exaggerates our current stress.

    Final Thoughts

    Everyone encounters work stress. It’s a natural and normal human reaction. The difference between letting the stress overcome you and coping with it is getting a head start by creating a positive environment and lifestyle.

    Learning how to deal with work stress is both an inside and outside job. Focusing on improving your health will create a positive mind that’s able to react better. Forming positive relationships with certain people around you will give you emotional support.

    Beat stress with the right mindset!

    More Tips on Dealing With Stress

    Featured photo credit: whoislimos via unsplash.com

    Reference

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