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Last Updated on January 12, 2021

Why Am I So Emotional? 9 Hidden Reasons

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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

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Published on October 8, 2021

Does Depression Make You Tired And How?

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Does Depression Make You Tired And How?

It’s a classic chicken or egg question, does depression make you tired, or does being tired cause depression? The simple answer to this question is yes and yes. Taking it a step further, I employ the “both/and” strategy, which is to say that they are both true and not mutually exclusive of each other. But that’s the simple part. The real question is how and why.

We all know that one of the most common symptoms of depression is fatigue. There are a few key reasons for that which include increased stress, sleep disturbances, and poor diet, among others. And when you are tired, you lack the energy to do the very things you need to do to kick the depression out of your life.

One of the ways I describe depression is a “low mood” that refers not only to your emotional state but also your overall energy levels, which is depleted and lacking the “get up and go” attitude needed to deal with depression. And so begins the vicious cycle between decreasing energy and increasing depression. How you interrupt this cycle will be the focus of this article. I will explain how depression makes you tired, and give you a few tips to help correct this problem.

The Relationship Between Sleep and Depression

One of the telltale signs of depression is poor sleep. It might be due to chronic insomnia or because life demands and choices have you putting sleep on the backburner, which translates into sleep deprivation. The mere fact that you are sleep deprived places you at greater risk of having depression either presently or in the future.

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Research has found that three-quarters of those who suffer from depression also have some form of sleep disturbance, meaning the links are undeniable. Additionally, the research has shown that those who are not depressed and suffer from insomnia have an increased risk of depression later in life.[1] Suffice it to say that poor sleep means a decreased quality of life and increased likelihood of experiencing depression.

I have heard it said too many times, “I will sleep when I am dead”, but the truth of it is that if you don’t have good sleep hygiene, then that eventuality of death might come that much sooner. Insufficient sleep over an extended period will cost you dearly. It might come in the form of depression or increased risk for accidents and chronic illness, such as high blood pressure and heart disease.[2]

Naturally, the busy, hectic pace of life forces you to cut out the things you think of as being dispensable or won’t cost you much at the moment. What if you saw sleep as “non-negotiable” as you see many other commitments in life? This is not meant to be harsh criticism, but it is meant to get you thinking about your life choices.

We have all been there. We’ve sacrificed sleep to accomplish a goal or task, but if you find yourself doing that too often, it might be time to re-evaluate your time management. Life is, after all, a series of choices, and the choices we make are driven by our priorities.

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Easy Strategies to Improve Sleep

Here are a few simple ways you can develop healthy sleep hygiene:

  1. Figure out how many hours of sleep you need to feel and be your best. You can do this by tracking some data. A simple note with the hours of sleep you get and how you feel the next day for a week or two can be very revealing.
  2. The next step is to count backward from the time that you need to wake up and figure out the time you need to go to sleep to get X number of hours per night. Make it your non-negotiable, fixed bedtime.
  3. If there is noise in your home environment, use a white noise machine or earplugs to help you get the hours of sound sleep you need. An eye mask can also be helpful if there are lights that could wake you up.

The Stress Factor

Of course, sleep and stress are related as well. When the body is stressed, there is an increased amount of cortisol flowing through your body, which means that you will not be able to sleep well as if you are stressed. The stress hormone, cortisol, is meant to give you the energy to survive. It puts you into the “fight, flight, or freeze” reaction. This stimulates your brain and many of the emergency response systems in your body that naturally prevents a restful state, as it is just the opposite of what is needed to survive.[3]

When living in chronically stressful situations, such as situations of abuse, financial strain, or with environmental factors, such as high crime rates and violence, the constant flow of cortisol will impact not just your overall functioning but brain function as well. We see this with students and the challenges in school when coming from unstable home and community environments.

Tips on How to Reduce Stress in Your Life

You won’t be able to avoid stress altogether in your life, but one thing you can do is to ensure that the coping skills are there to counter the stress, which boils down to a good self-care routine. Some simple examples are:

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  1. Make sure you get sufficient social and emotional support.
  2. Stay active. This doesn’t have to mean going to the gym regularly. Just a brisk walk can be enough to get some endorphins flowing, which will give you that natural good vibe feeling.
  3. Get enough outdoor time to help with increasing vitamin D in your body.
  4. Take a break throughout your day, i.e. taking your lunch.
  5. Treat yourself to something that you enjoy—a good massage, an evening with your faith community, or putting on a favorite movie.

Nutrition Is Key

Truer words were never said, “you are what you eat”. If you make healthy choices for your diet, you will have a better chance of feeling better physically, which will impact how you feel emotionally and therefore more energetic.

Additionally, foods that are higher in omega-3 fatty acids have been proven to support mental health. It is thought that it is in part due to it being an anti-inflammatory as well as the fatty acids, DHA, and EPA, which are found to be much lower in those who are depressed when compared to those who are not depressed. Omega-3s will not necessarily cure your depression, but they could be helpful, and they are known to be components of a healthy diet.

Following the rules of a good general diet will also benefit your energy levels, which will help you combat depression. Carbohydrates, sugars, trans fats, and saturated fats—yes, all the good stuff—will often leave you feeling lethargic, bloated, and generally blah Try your best to choose fresh fruits and veggies with the framework of a Mediterranean diet in mind, and see how you feel after a few days.

Tips on Eating a Healthy, Well-Rounded Diet

  • Make sure that the bulk of your food choices are raw, natural, or whole foods—foods that your grandmother would recognize and even prepare.
  • Plan your meals. If you don’t plan ahead, chances are you will resort to the convenient option, which often means less healthy, and if you do find a healthy option, it can be quite expensive. In a pinch, if you are grabbing a meal on the fly, try to go to a supermarket where you can grab some fruits or veggies to hold you over or opt for a whole-grain salad.

Summing It Up

If you want to kick the depression out of your life, and increases your energy, you can start by addressing sleep issues, reducing stress, and eating a diet rich in omega-3s. When all of these get better, depression is bound to follow.[4]

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Simply put, sleep well, eat well, and move your body, even when you don’t want to. Because believe it or not, even small changes can have a huge impact on your quality of life. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, getting enough sleep, and taking care of yourself to decrease stress are all part of the regime that will help you to address the depression in your life.[5]

Sometimes, restoring energy is the opposite of what we might initially think, which is to rest—and yes, we do need rest—but getting out there and moving your body can be one of the best ways to find the energy you are lacking, which will address all three areas of your life: sleep, stress, and nutrition (when we are more active, we tend to eat better). So, you could say that to find energy, you need to spend it.

Next time you are feeling down and low energy, take a look at these areas of your life and see what tweaks you can make. It might just mean a more energetic and healthy feeling about your life.

Featured photo credit: Abbat via unsplash.com

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Reference

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