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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.

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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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Last Updated on October 20, 2020

10 Principles for Success to Start Living Your Dream Life

10 Principles for Success to Start Living Your Dream Life

Are you stressed out and overwhelmed, wishing you had more time to do the things that really matter? Are you ready to do something better, something special in your life or your career? If you’re ready to take responsibility for your life, then you need to tap into some principles for success.

Many people—maybe you—stopped following their passion and purpose way too early in life because their talents were ignored, minimized, or shamed. They didn’t have the chops to win an American Idol competition or nab an Olympic gold medal, so they stopped expressing their inborn gifts altogether.

You don’t need to be an award winner to rock your life. Living your dream life is about discovering your superpowers and feeling vibrant and joyful when you use them. It’s about owning what makes you unique and finding like-minded people to support you.

Here are 10 success principles to help you reach your goals and live a rich life on your terms.

1. Get a Hobby to Move Closer to Your Dreams

If you never became a professional dancer or a world-renowned author, it does NOT mean you should stop dancing or writing! These activities make you come alive, even if you “only” do them as favorite pastimes.

Engaging in a hobby is one of the most important success principles you can follow to move closer to your dreams.

When you try something creative for the first time or in a long while, you begin to see opportunities at work and in life that you were unaware of before. You also feel happier and more energized, according to a recent study from New Zealand[1].

Some of my most burned-out executive clients reinvigorated their careers by discovering a creative outlet that refueled them after the workday ended. Research at San Francisco State University shows that having a hobby lowers stress and helps you succeed at work[2].

Give yourself permission to try new things and revisit old passions you gave up long ago. Setting aside just one hour a week for personal exploration can significantly change your life and help you focus on goal setting.

2. Focus on Your Strengths

Did you know that you are more likely to succeed when you develop your natural strengths rather than work on your weaknesses? The problem is that you probably don’t know where your true talents lie.

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Once you understand what makes you tick, you can use these skills at work and your personal life to get more done in less time. If you boost your unique abilities through practice and study, you can accelerate your career and become a leader in a field that matters to you. It’s worth investing in yourself this way.

3. Jumping off a Cliff is NOT Required

Here’s the deal: most people are too afraid to change. When participants first come to my workshops, they tell me they have mouths to feed, bills to pay, and fear that if they follow their dreams, someone will get hurt.

The old saying “leap and the net shall appear” does not comfort them. Because they are hesitant to plunge into the unknown, they believe their only option is to stay put where they are in life. Can you relate?

You do not have to sacrifice the life you have now to start a new one. I was a psychology professor by day and singer by night for years before I transitioned into a full-time music career.

To use this principle for success, take a little time out each week to do what enlivens you through a hobby, volunteer work, etc. Get a feel for it. Is it what you really want? If it’s what you really want to be doing, increase the time you spend doing it and make the transition when the time feels right.

4. Give Your Inner Critic Some Love

The main culprit that keeps you from stepping outside your comfort zone and getting the life of your dreams is KCRP or K-CRAP, the radio station that plays 24/7 in your head. The moment you try to do something interesting with your life, it slaps you down with such chart-topping killer hooks as “Who do you think you are?” and “You’ll never be good enough!”.

Have you ever noticed that KCRP’s mean-spirited DJ sounds like your parents, teachers, bosses, and other authority figures who shut you down creatively? These folks don’t need to stifle you any longer (although they often still do) because your inner critic does it for them. That keeps you stuck in a rut[3].

Silencing your inner critic is one of the best principles for success.

    To break free, try thinking of this DJ as a gruff old grandfather who gives you crap to keep you safe. Remember, this grumpy grandpa is woefully out of touch with the times. Give him a pat on the back for his good intentions, and put your focus back on what makes you come alive.

    This is one of the principles for success that will give you the courage to venture into the unknown where you can dance to the beat of your own drummer.

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    5. Embrace Your Inner Self

    Many of us don’t go after our dreams because we’re afraid people will find out how odd or strange we are. However, our little eccentricities often turn out to be our greatest strengths.

    Odds are that you lost track of your true passions and talents before you were even old enough to know you were getting off-track. You became slowly “adulterated” by learning to:

    • Take on family roles that don’t match who you really are.
    • Spit back what teachers taught you in school rather than risk getting bad grades for being original.
    • Hide parts of yourself that don’t seem acceptable to certain social groups.

    The price for fitting in is that you may wind up leading a life that doesn’t fit you all that well. Your true calling becomes clear when you embrace what makes you different from others and allow yourself to stand out from the crowd, even if it feels awkward. Often, the very qualities you view as your flaws are your greatest gifts.

    Here’s How to Listen to Your Inner Voice for Greater Fulfillment.

    6. See the Bigger Picture to Find Your True Calling

    I cannot stress the importance of this success principle enough. Your true calling is right in front of you, but you may miss it because you’re looking for it in the wrong place.

    To “see” it clearly, try widening your point of view.

    Case in point: Maria felt she needed to retire early from being a police detective, so she could travel abroad. I encouraged Maria to think of ways that she could continue to serve as a law enforcer (a career she loved) and travel overseas at the same time.

    A few months later, Maria landed a job with the United Nations in Bosnia training the local police force to understand and embrace human rights procedures.

    Like Maria, you are an everyday rock star capable of accomplishing greater things than you can imagine. Is what you’re looking for right in front of you, too? Do you have an inkling of what it may be?

    Look beyond your day-to-day activities, your current job, and even the town you live in. View your life from an eagle’s perspective and be open to new possibilities.

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    7. Try a Little Wish-List Magic

    Pretend I’m your fairy godmother, and I give you permission right now to be your most magnificent self. What kind of life would be music to your ears? It doesn’t matter whether it seems unattainable or even downright crazy. Write it down on a wish list.

    What would you like your career, your relationships, your health, your finances, and your spiritual life to be like? Jot down enough details so that your wishes seem tangible to you. Then, look at this list every morning before you start your day and every night before you go to sleep.

    8. Take Breaks to Get Clues About Your Ideal Future

    Did you know that working straight through to a deadline leads to diminishing returns? Research shows that taking a break for 15 minutes every 75 to 90 minutes can help you recharge, refresh your focus, and get more done in less time[4].

    Furthermore, a Stanford study shows that walking increases your creative output by 60 percent. Doing repetitive activities such as walking, running, riding your bike, swimming, and sweeping allow solutions to problems to pop into your mind out of nowhere[5].

    What does this success principle have to do with creating your dream life?

    These mini-breaks allow you to get vital clues for what to do next to attain your ideal future. Plus, you won’t waste precious time and energy getting lost in other people’s agendas.

    9. Take Action on Your Inspired Ideas

    Once an inspired thought pops into your mind, take action.

    This is one of the most powerful principles for success for turning your dreams into reality; the sooner the better. Whatever it is—from calling an old friend to taking a new route home—be sure to do it!

    Pay attention to your oddball hunches. You need to go after what you want, not just dream about it. As comedian Jim Carrey warns,

    “You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.”

    To learn more about how to get off autopilot and take specific actions towards your goals, check out this video:

    10. Count Your Rockstar Moments

    Still not sure you have what it takes to get your dream life? This final success principle is guaranteed to help.

    Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished. As you read back through it, put a star next to each item, and let it sink in.

    You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good you’ll feel about yourself afterward. You’ll also see how effective you’ve been in the past at getting what you want. You’ve succeeded before, and you can succeed again.

    Final Thoughts

    Eleanor Roosevelt said,

    “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

    Following these principles for success will help you find the time and energy to achieve your goals and live with clear intention.

    Stand still, get quiet, and listen. Your life is constantly telling you what you need to do to realize your own rock star potential in life and business. It may be just a whisper now, but the more you pay attention to it, the louder it will get, and the easier it will be to follow.

    More About Success in Life

    Featured photo credit: Rahul Dey via unsplash.com

    Reference

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