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How to Control Your Emotions: A Guide on Emotional Response (Part 1)

How to control your emotions
Written by:

Rabia Khaliq

MSc in Applied Psychology


Have you ever felt a sudden wave of emotion that you could not quite explain? Those feelings may have been your body’s way of telling you something important. Our emotions can be a powerful force, influencing our behavior and physical reactions in unexpected ways.

But what lies beneath our emotional reactions? In this article, we will explore the different types of emotions, how physical reactions can be related to our feelings, and what hidden emotions may be lingering beneath the surface.

If your emotions bring you discomfort, talk to our doctors and get your mental health evaluated.

Types of Emotions

When we talk about emotions in terms of psychology, we often refer to the six main ones [1*] :

  1. Anger. It is often considered the most “negative” emotion and can be triggered by a range of things, including a perceived injustice or feeling powerless. It is important to be aware of the signs of anger since it can easily become destructive.
  2. Sadness. It is the emotion that accompanies grief, depression, and other forms of mental suffering. It’s sometimes seen as a sign of weakness, but it is a normal part of the human experience. Feeling sad does not make you weak; it is a sign that you are processing difficult feelings and should be embraced and worked through.
  3. Disgust. It is an emotion that’s often used to describe revulsion or repulsion. It can be triggered by a variety of things, such as unpleasant tastes or smells, the sight of something unpleasant or morally wrong, or even the feeling of a certain place or situation.
  4. Happiness. It is one of the most sought-after emotions and often involves a sense of contentment, fulfillment, and peace. It is essential to be able to recognize the signs of happiness and to be able to enjoy the positive emotions life brings.
  5. Surprise. It is often an exciting emotion and can be triggered by unexpected events or news. It can be a pleasant emotion when it is a pleasant surprise, or it can be a frightening one when the news is unpleasant.
  6. Fear. It is a powerful emotion that can be the result of real or perceived danger. It is an important emotion since it can help motivate us to take action and protect ourselves.

These are the most commonly experienced emotions, but there are also many more, such as love, pride, shame, envy, and jealousy. Each of these emotions can be triggered by different events or situations, and they can lead to different physical reactions.

Would you like to get hold of your emotions? Consult our doctors for professional help and guidance.

Physical Reactions to Different Emotions

Our bodies can give away our true feelings, even when we are trying to hide them. For example, when we feel fear, our heart rate increases, and our muscles tense in preparation for a fight-or-flight response. When we feel anger, our blood pressure rises and our breathing rate increases. Sadness and grief can lead to a feeling of fatigue, shallow breathing, and a heavy heart. Your body may also feel tight and tense as if it is trying to contain the emotions. Even when we experience joy or happiness, our bodies still undergo physical changes, such as increased relaxation, increased energy, and a feeling of lightness.

Emotional response

What Emotions Hide Behind Our Reactions

We all show different reactions to different situations in life. Naturally, our emotional response can be different to different triggers. We’re all unique, and our reactions are our own. But why do we show different reactions to different situations?

Here are some possible reasons:

  • Emotional state. If we are feeling anxious, stressed, or depressed, it is much more likely that we will react differently to a situation than if we were feeling happy, relaxed, or content. Our emotional state can have a profound impact on how we process information, create responses to stimuli, and how we react to different situations.
  • Beliefs and values. For instance, if we have strong beliefs about something, we are likely to have a strong reaction to it. If it goes against our values, we may become angry or frustrated. On the other hand, in case it aligns with our beliefs, we are likely to be more accepting and understanding.
  • Familiar patterns. If we have been taught that it is wrong to get angry, we may try to suppress our emotions and react in a way that is less emotionally charged. On the other hand, if we have been taught that it is okay to express anger, we may have more appropriate emotional regulation skills.

Our emotions can also hide beneath our physical reactions in certain situations. For example, if someone is feeling overwhelmed by a situation, they may appear calm on the surface, but underneath they may be feeling anxiety or fear. Similarly, someone may appear angry, but underneath they may be feeling hurt or sad. Our emotions can be hidden to protect us from the situation or to avoid making the situation worse.

You can talk to a therapist at MEDvidi about your emotions and feelings that worry you.

Bottom Line

We show different reactions to different situations because our emotional state, past experiences, beliefs, values, and current emotional state all influence our physical reactions. Understanding these factors can help us better track why we respond the way we do and can help us with more effective emotional regulation.

Continue with reading Part 2 where we will uncover some top-notch tips on how to master your emotions like a pro. Discover powerful emotional regulation activities that will help you stay in the driver’s seat of your feelings and navigate life’s challenges with confidence. And if you need additional help with regulating strong emotions, MEDvidi therapists are here to share valuable techniques.


1 sources
  1. How Many Different Kinds of Emotion are There? (2018)
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Written by:

Rabia Khaliq

MSc in Applied Psychology


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Evidence Based

This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by experts.

Our team of experts strive to be objective, unbiased, honest and to present both sides of the argument.

This article contains scientific references. The numbers
in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.