Advertising
Advertising

Published on March 6, 2020

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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

More by this author

Jacqueline T. Hill

Writing, Blogging, and Educating To Guide Others Into Happiness

Why It Matters to Take Care of Yourself First (And How to Do It) How to Not Take Things Personally for a Happier Life Feeling Unappreciated? 7 Ways to End This Pain Why Do I Hate Myself And How To Stop It? How to Develop Self-Belief in 8 Steps

Trending in Mental Strength

1 What Is Life About? 9 Ways to Find Your Meaning in Life 2 10 Things You Can Do Now to Change Your Life Forever 3 7 Things To Remember When You Feel Broken Inside 4 Focus On Yourself, Because Most Of The Time No One Really Cares 5 10 Powerful Ways to Be More Confident

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on August 12, 2020

When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

Learning how to trust your gut, otherwise known as your intuition, can keep you safe. Your gut can guide you and help you build your confidence and resilience. My own gut instinct has saved me on more than one occasion. It has also guided me into making sound career choices and other exciting, big decisions. I’m also aware of the times when I’ve gone against my instincts and really regretted it later, wondering why I didn’t tune in to that valuable internal voice that we all have within us.

In this article, we’re going to explore why and how you should listen to your gut, as well as some concrete tips on how to make sure you’re making the most out of your gut instincts.

How to Listen to Your Gut

The key when making any big decision is to always take a minute to listen well to yourself and your inner compass. If you hear your actual voice saying yes while inside you’re silently screaming no, my advice is to ask for some time to think, or simply take a breath and pause before the yes or no escapes your mouth.

Use that moment to breathe, check in with yourself, and give the answer that feels congruent with who you are and what you want, not the one that always involves following the herd. Trusting your gut means having the courage to not simply go with the majority. It can be about holding your own. Here’s how to hone that skill for yourself and reap the rewards.

1. Tune Into Your Body

Your body gives you clues when you’re faced with a big decision. There are many visible and obvious symptoms that we feel in uncomfortable situations. Our body’s reaction is often something that we might try to hide, for example, blushing, being lost for words, or shaking. There are things we might do to try and hide that physical reaction, whether it’s wearing makeup, having a glass of wine or coffee to perk us up a bit, or learning to control our nerves.

However, paying attention to your body when you experience these feelings of anxiety can teach you so much and help you to make sound choices. Some people will experience an actual “gut” feeling of stomach ache or indigestion in an uncomfortable situation.

Ask yourself what’s really going on here, and explore what is happening behind your body’s response to the situation. What can your reaction or instinct teach you? Understanding that can be a clue and can help you either learn something about yourself, the situation, or other people. The answers are often within us.

Advertising

Sometimes we’ll get this “something’s not right here” feeling and cannot quite put our finger on it or explain it. That can still be incredibly useful and really guide us away from danger, even if we don’t know the reason.

In his book, Blink, Malcolm Gladwell also argues this, making the point that sometimes our subconscious is better at processing the answer we need, and that we don’t necessarily need to take time to collect hours and hours of information to come to a reliable conclusion[1].

2. Ensure Your Head Is Clear Before Making a Decision

Energy, sleep, and good nutrition are so vital to nourishing our minds, as well as our bodies. There are times when your instinct could lead you astray, and one of these is when you are hungry, “hangry” (angry because you’re hungry!), tired, or anxious. If this is the case–and it may sound obvious–do consider sleeping or eating on it before making an important choice.

There is, in fact, a connection between our gut and our brain[2], which is where terms like “butterflies in the stomach” and “gut-wrenching” originate from. Stress and emotions can cause physical feelings, and ignoring them might do more harm than good.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Say What You Think and Feel

Listening to your gut and really paying attention to it might involve standing up and being counted, calling something out, or taking a stand. As someone who works for myself, I’ve become used to following the less-travelled road, and that’s given me the chance to strike out on my own in other ways, too.

As they tell you in the planes, “put your own oxygen mask on first,” and part of that self-reliance is knowing what you really want and like and what is safe and good for you, including what resonates with your personal and business values. Making good decisions with this in mind means making choices that do not go against your own beliefs, even when it may mean taking a stand. This is part of trusting yourself and trusting your instincts.

This does not always mean taking the “safe” option, although keeping ourselves safe is an important part of the process. This is how we learn and grow, by following our own inner compass. When you do take risks, go outside of your comfort zone, or choose the less popular option, spending some time researching the facts can stand us in good stead, too.

Advertising

4. Do Your Research If Something Feels Off

As well as listening to our instincts, we can also back up the evidence for our chosen course of action before taking the leap. I had a gut feeling about the need for a learning and development network when I noticed my clients getting stuck with the same problems. I set up and now run such a network, but instead of simply going for it, without evidence, I followed up on my instinct with research.

Having confidence in your gut instinct through these kinds of tests can help to minimize your risks, as well as spur you on. It will encourage you to trust your gut again in the future and trust that you are an expert with foresight and experience. You are!

5. Challenge Your Assumptions

When you look at the assumptions your making, this could be the clue to mistakes you are making.

In order to check that our instincts are wise, we need to ask ourselves what blanks we might be filling in, either consciously or unconsciously. This is true not just when it comes to our own decision-making. It’s also true when we are listening to someone explain a problem or situation, and we’re about to jump in and give some advice. If we can learn to be aware of our own assumptions, we can become better listeners and better decision makers, too.

A useful tool to become more aware of your assumptions before making a final decision is simply to ask yourself, “What assumptions am I making about this situation or person?”

6. Educate Yourself on Unconscious Bias

Unconscious bias is something we all have, and it can trip us up big time!

There is a vital caveat to bear in mind when wondering about whether you can trust your gut and the feelings your body gives you, and that’s having an awareness of your unconscious bias. Understanding your own bias–which is hard to do because it literally does happen in our subconscious–can help you to make stronger, better, decisions instead of re-confirming your view of the world over and over again.

Advertising

Bias exists, and it’s part of the human condition. All of us have it, and it colors our decisions and can impact on our performance without us realizing.

Unconscious bias happens at a subconscious level in our brains. Our subconscious brain processes information so much faster than our conscious brain. Quick decisions we make in our subconscious are based on both our societal conditioning and how our families raised us.

Our brains process hundreds of thousands of pieces of information daily. We unconsciously categorize and format that information into patterns that feel familiar to us. Aspects such as gender, disability, class, sexuality, body shape and size, ethnicity, and what someone does for a job can all quickly influence decisions we make about people and the relationships we choose to form. Our unconscious bias can be very subtle and go unnoticed..

We naturally tend to gravitate towards people similar to ourselves, favoring people who we see as belonging to the same “group” as us. Being able to make a quick decision about whether someone is part of your group and distinguish friend from foe was what helped early humans to survive. Conversely, we don’t automatically favor people who we don’t immediately relate to or easily connect with.

The downside of that human instinct to seek out similar people is the potential for prejudice, which seems to be hard-wired into human cognition, no matter how open-minded we believe ourselves to be. And these stereotypes we create can be wrong. If we only spend our time with and employ people similar to ourselves, it can create prejudices, as well as stifle fresh thinking and innovation.

We may feel more natural or comfortable working with other people who share our own background and/or opinions than collaborating with people who don’t look, talk, or think like us. However, diversity is not just morally right; having a mix of different people and perspectives that can be genuinely heard is also a valuable way to counter groupthink. Diversity stretches us to think more critically and creatively.

7. Trust Yourself

It is possible to learn how to truly trust yourself[3]. Like any talent or skill, practicing trusting your gut is the best way to get really good at it. When people talk about having great intuition or being good decision-makers, it’s because they’ve worked at honing those skills, made mistakes, learned from them, and tried again.

Advertising

Looking back at decisions you’ve made, what you did, what the outcome was, and what you’ve learned can help you become a stronger decision maker and develop solid self-trust and resilience. Making a mistake does not mean you are not great at decision-making; it’s a chance to grow and learn, and the only mistake is to ignore the lesson in that experience.

If you are in the habit of asking others for their input, then the trick here is to choose your inner circle wisely. Having a sounding board of people who have your best interests at heart is a valuable asset, and, combined with your own excellent instincts, can make you a champion decision maker.

The Bottom Line

The above tips are all actionable and easy to start immediately. It’s simply about switching your thinking around, slowing down, and taking great care of this amazing machine that is your body and mind!

Learning how to trust your gut is one of the most fundamental ways to make decisions that will help you lead the life you want and need. Tune into what your body is telling you and start making good decisions today.

More Tips on How to Trust Your Gut

Featured photo credit: Acy Varlan via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Science of People: Learn to Trust Your Gut Instincts: The Science Behind Thin-slicing
[2] Harvard Health Publishing: The gut-brain connection
[3] Psych Central: 3 Ways to Develop Self-Trust

Read Next