If you keep finding yourself feeling a bit ‘all over the place’ and have no idea why, we may be able to shed some light on the situation.
Being in touch with your emotions is a great thing – until it starts negatively affecting your daily life.
You could be feeling more emotional due to something physical, spiritual, or mental, and it’s important to resolve these issues and move forwards with your life.
1. Health Conditions
We’ll get this one out of the way first, seeing as it’s the one that often causes the most concern.
There are a variety of reasons for feeling overly-emotional, and they can often be explained by general day-to-day living. That said, any severe or sudden changes in your moods could point to an underlying health issue.
While this may be nothing to worry about, it’s worth taking a trip to your doctor if things have changed rapidly, or you’re experiencing other symptoms.
Being emotional can be linked to hormone imbalances (especially if you’re a woman, annoyingly!), issues with existing medication, or thyroid problems.
2. Past Trauma
It can sometimes be hard to leave things in the past, and memories of past trauma or pain can creep back in when you least expect it.
Certain parts of your daily routine can trigger emotional responses. Sometimes, it can be hard to know exactly what has caused this domino-style meltdown, which is why it’s so important to talk about your feelings.
By sharing how you feel and running through different scenarios and memories, you often come to naturally understand where your emotions are coming from.
3. Nature And The Spiritual World
There are some who believe that aspects of the natural world affect your moods.
The cycles of the moon, for example, are thought to alter your behavior and may leave you feeling more open or vulnerable.
The full moon is said to be the most powerful in terms of unleashing our emotions – if you’re feeling down, upset, or full of negative energy, check the skies!
Although there is no concrete scientific proof that the moon and other celestial bodies can influence your moods, many individuals credit the lunar cycle with their lower, more emotional moods.
Seasonal changes can have a real impact on your emotional state. Shorter days and the lack of natural light can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
There is certainly some evidence to suggest that exposure to nature – or lack thereof – can have an impact on our emotional response.
4. Current Affairs
Some people are just very sensitive to what’s going on around them, which can be overpowering at times. With so much going on in the world, it can be hard to stay detached sometimes!
If you’re like an emotion-sponge, reading and hearing about traumatic global events can set you off and bring out your emotions. This can make it very hard to manage, as you can’t really avoid the news!
Being compassionate and empathetic are such wonderful traits, but you may want to look at ways to limit your exposure to emotion-inducing media.
5. Upcoming Events
If you’ve got a big event coming up, you’re pretty likely to be stressed about it. While stress is a natural, relatively healthy response, it might actually be revealing a whole heap of other emotions!
Being stressed makes us more susceptible to feeling overwhelmed, upset, and frustrated. It might be an interview, meeting, night out, or family dinner, and you may actually be looking forward to it, but unwelcome feelings can be triggered either way.
It may even be something you do on a regular basis, but the anticipation can cause a build-up of emotions which can then all come out at once and leave you feeling overwhelmed!
Along with future events, changes in your circumstances might also be affecting your mood. You might be moving house, changing jobs, going through a break-up, or even starting a new relationship.
However positive it may be, and however well you think you’re coping with it all, change can leave you feeling highly emotionally-charged.
Again, this is often linked to anticipation, as well as a type of grief. Change can often feel like loss, however much it is wanted or needed.
These grief-like feelings can arise when a person is no longer in your life – they may not have passed away, but that part of your life is no longer alive.
Grief takes many forms and often leads to that ‘all over the place’ super-emotional feeling that we’re all familiar with.
Change is just one of those things, and you will find your own ways to deal with it. That may mean getting closure on any doors that are closing, as well as writing down the reasons you’re excited about new things and creating a mantra for yourself.
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7. Sleep Deprivation
Sleep plays such a huge role in our lives, and it’s surprising how much we take it for granted.
Running low on energy can throw your emotions out of kilter and leave you feeling really confused and drained.
Being tired doesn’t just mean relying on caffeine more than usual – it can actively nudge you toward a negative mindset, thus altering your reactions and behavior.
The more negatively you look at life, the more likely you are to be feeling extra-emotional – makes sense, right?
Aim for 8 hours of sleep a night and your emotions should begin to feel more under control.
8. General Stress
Whilst stress is often referred to as an emotion, it can also be a trigger for other emotions.
These often lead to emotions running high, which is why you might be tearing up every two minutes. While this is a natural response, it’s not exactly enjoyable.
It’s important to remember that some emotions can be helpful and cathartic, especially if your stress is related to individuals.
Try to take steps to make your life less stressful, or ease in practices that help you relax – yoga and meditation work wonders!
9. Diet And Lifestyle
Feeling very emotional can be the result of an unhealthy diet and lifestyle. Factors such as drinking, smoking, and not finishing your greens can really affect your emotional wellbeing.
Being undernourished, even if you eat a lot of food in terms of volume, can cause all sorts of emotional imbalances.
It’s boring and you’ve heard it a million times, but eating fresh fruits and veg, cutting back on the booze, and giving up smoking will make a genuine, positive difference to how you feel.
Sugary foods cause energy spikes and, therefore, result in energy dips. These drastic changes in energy are bound to affect how you feel, and it’s not really surprising to have a mini breakdown every week if you’re living off beige food and gin.
10. Gender, Of Course
Biology had to come in somewhere – women are more likely to cry than men, apparently.
While this is a bit of a generalization, it is still relevant to many of us. Sometimes, there just doesn’t seem to be much of an explanation for why your female partners or friends cry more than you do (or as much, if you’re also female).
It really could just be yet another gender thing! This is normally linked to menstruation and the fluctuating hormone levels you experience.
It could also be the crippling premenstrual and menstrual pain that most of us experience. Lucky us, eh?
11. Mental Health
If your emotions often feel totally out of control and you have no idea what could be affecting them, it’s probably time to have a sit down with yourself.
Think about the feelings and symptoms you experience on a regular basis. Feelings of ‘gray’ are often reported in association with conditions such as depression.
Feeling in complete submission to your emotions, to the point that you feel debilitated or paralyzed by them, might be a sign that you’re struggling with your mental health.
This is nothing to be ashamed of, and is something that many people experience at some point in their lives.
It is important to do your best to take control – talk about how you’re feeling to someone you trust, book an appointment to see your doctor, and consider starting a mood journal.
Antidepressants can make such a difference, but non-chemical options such as talking therapy and CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) might also be worth exploring.
12. Rest And Recovery
If you’ve recently been through a big change or had a long period of difficulty or trauma, your body has probably just relaxed.
It might sound silly, but you sometimes get so into powering through your month of back-to-back shifts, being self-sufficient while traveling, or looking after a loved one.
Your mind and body are miracle-workers and you often just ‘crack on’ and give all your energy to whatever the task in hand may be. When you know it’s safe to stop, however, you might find a huge rush of emotions suddenly appear!
People who work long hours for extended periods of time often get ill on the second day of their holiday – this is because your body suddenly realizes that it can take a break, stop being ‘on’ all the time, and relax.
Your mind works the same way, and you may feel overcome with emotion after long periods of having to be strong. This is natural and totally healthy – sometimes, you just have to go with it and have a little cry in the bath…
13. Emotional Liberation
Sometimes, you reach a tipping point where your emotions are allowed to be fully felt and expressed.
This can happen if you have previously tried to suppress your feelings for one reason or another.
Perhaps you were raised in a family environment where your parents and/or siblings did not openly show their feelings, and so you tried not to show yours.
But, as an adult, you may have taken the decision (consciously or subconsciously) to allow yourself to feel things completely rather than trying to put emotions away in a box, not to be seen.
Or maybe you didn’t want to let yourself feel too much too soon in a new relationship, and so you kept your mind and heart slightly closed.
But now the relationship is more established, you remove the shackles and suddenly remember what all your emotions feel like.
14. You Care About Something
Emotions can run high when you are focused on things that mean a great deal to you.
Perhaps it’s a big work project, college exams, or trying to conceive a child.
This links back in with stress, of course, but it’s much more than stress alone. It is the desire for a positive outcome in a particular situation that can make you emotional.
You might wish for something so much that everything that surrounds it causes heightened feelings of one sort or another.
And these feelings can occur before, during, and after the event itself, often in different forms.
15. You Are An Empath
We’ve already discussed how current affairs can affect certain people more than others.
Well, if you are an empath, it’s not just the news you have to be mindful of.
You are likely to soak up the emotions of the people around you, and this can be quite overwhelming at times.
Thanks to your sensitive mirror neurons, among other things, you essentially feel what other people feel.
This can mean confusing episodes of emotional intensity with no obvious source.
16. Inner Conflict
Some things can cause two parts of your mind to push against each other and this friction can leave you feeling confused and emotional.
When a desire conflicts with your moral compass, for example, one part of you will end up disappointed.
For instance, you want to give up meat for ethical or environmental reasons, but you enjoy eating it so much that you struggle to resist the temptation.
Or you might find it hard to weigh a desire against the risk it poses.
For example, you may very much want to quit your job and switch careers, but you don’t feel able to because it would potentially mean not being able to pay your bills.
Perhaps you are emotional because something has taken you completely by surprise and you haven’t had time to really understand what has happened.
Maybe you have just heard the news that you are going to be a grandparent and you can’t stop crying with happiness every time you see a baby.
Perhaps you get the news that the company you work for is going out of business and you will soon be out of a job.
Whilst this point relates back to the change we talked about earlier, it’s the more unexpected changes that in this instance that can leave your emotions up in the air.
18. You Don’t Have Healthy Coping Mechanisms
Whatever the core reasons for your emotional imbalance, an important secondary reason is that you haven’t yet found the right way to process and deal with your feelings.
If you aren’t able to work through your feelings, they are unlikely to go anywhere, and might just intensify.
It’s important to find the right coping skills for you and your situation. These will allow you to bring your emotions back to a level that you feel more comfortable with.