YOUNG PEOPLE ASK
How Can I Control My Emotions?
“One day I feel great, and the next day I’m down in the dumps. Things that I viewed as no big deal yesterday become difficult to deal with today.”—Carissa.
Do your emotions seem to go up and down like a bumpy road? a If so, this article can help you!
Why it happens
Emotional highs and lows are common when you’re going through the changes of puberty. Even when you are well into your teen years, however, you might be surprised at how erratic and unpredictable your emotions can be.
If you’re confused by your up-and-down emotions, remember that many of these feelings are due to hormonal changes along with the insecurities and uncertainties that are a normal part of growth. The good news is, you can understand and learn to cope with your emotions.
Fact of life: Learning how to control your emotions while you are young is important, because you will need this skill in a variety of circumstances as an adult.
Three things you can do
Talk. The Bible says: “A true friend shows love at all times and is a brother who is born for times of distress.”—Proverbs 17:17.
“We have a close family friend whom I view as an aunt. She really pays attention to what I have to say, and I feel free to express myself to her. When my viewpoint is right, she is proud of me, and if I’m wrong she corrects me in the best possible way.”—Yolanda.
Tip: Rather than talking only to your peers—who may be going through the same emotional ups and downs that you are—talk to a parent or another trusted adult.
Write. The Bible tells of Job, who in the depths of despair said: “I will give vent to my complaints. I will speak out in my bitter distress!” (Job 10:1) Besides talking to someone, another way you can “speak out” is by writing about your feelings.
“I take a small notepad everywhere. When something happens that upsets me, I write about it. Writing is incredibly therapeutic for me.”—Iliana.
Tip: Keep a journal in which you can write about the emotions you feel, what triggered them, and how you might deal with them. The worksheet that accompanies this article can help you do that.
Pray. The Bible says: “Throw your burden on Jehovah, and he will sustain you. Never will he allow the righteous one to fall.”—Psalm 55:22.
“I pray to Jehovah constantly when I’m distressed. I always feel relief after I pour my heart out to him.”—Jasmine.
Tip: Despite the anxiety you feel, think of three things in your life you can be thankful for. When you pray to Jehovah, ask for help—but also express thanks for the blessings you have.
a This article discusses the emotional upheavals common to many young people. If you are dealing with bipolar disorder or another form of depression, see the article “How Can I Deal With Depression?”