7 habits of people who are great at managing their emotions, according to psychology

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

We all have emotions, but mastering the art of managing them is a feat not everyone can claim to have accomplished.

Do you marvel at those individuals who seem to remain calm in the face of chaos? Do you wonder how they can approach every situation with a level-headed clarity that seems beyond your reach?

What if you could unlock the secret to their emotional intelligence and apply it to your own life?

After extensive research and drawing from the fascinating field of psychology, I have identified 7 key habits of people who are exceptional at managing their emotions. 

If you’re eager to enhance your emotional well-being and go through life with more tranquility, then this list might be your starting point.

1) They practice mindful awareness

You’ve probably heard the term ‘mindfulness’ thrown around in self-help books and wellness blogs, but did you ever stop to consider its true power?

Mindful awareness is the foundation upon which excellent emotional management is built. It’s not about suppressing your emotions or pretending they don’t exist. 

On the contrary, it’s about acknowledging them, understanding them, and then deciding how to react.

People who excel at managing their emotions don’t let feelings sneak up on them. They are always tuned in to their emotional state, observing their feelings without judgement.

This doesn’t mean they are constantly in a state of introspection, but rather that they possess a heightened sense of awareness that allows them to identify and address their emotions as they arise. 

This proactive approach prevents emotions from accumulating and becoming overwhelming, enabling better control and healthier expression.

2) They allow themselves to feel

It may seem counterintuitive, but those who manage their emotions effectively don’t shy away from them – they lean into them.

Yes, you read that correctly. Contrary to popular belief, emotional management is not about avoiding or suppressing your feelings. 

It’s about giving yourself the necessary space and permission to feel, even when those feelings are uncomfortable or painful.

People who are adept at handling their emotions understand that every emotion serves a purpose and carries a message. 

Whether it’s sadness indicating a need for healing, or anger pointing towards an injustice that needs addressing, every feeling holds value.

Allowing themselves to sit with their emotions and truly feel them helps them process their feelings in a healthy manner. As a result, they can avoid emotional build-up and potential outbursts. 

This practice promotes emotional resilience and fosters a deeper understanding of oneself. Which brings me to the next point…

3) They understand the brain-emotion connection

Have you ever considered that our brain is like an orchestra, with each section playing a vital role in creating the symphony of our emotional responses?

Individuals skilled in managing their emotions have a grasp on this intriguing connection between our emotions and the workings of our brain.

More specifically, our amygdala, often referred to as the brain’s “alarm system”, plays a significant role in processing emotional reactions, while our prefrontal cortex, the “conductor” of the brain, helps regulate these reactions.

Now, I don’t mean to say that people who can manage their emotions know this down to the details. But they do understand the gist of it – that certain physical reactions, like a racing heart or sweaty palms,  are just the brain’s way of responding to stressors.

Being able to recognize these responses for what they are – physiological reactions designed to protect them – helps them to not get carried away by their emotions. 

It guides them towards healthier ways of managing their emotional responses.

4) They engage in regular self-care

Speaking of healthy ways to manage emotions brings me to self-care. 

This isn’t about indulging in extravagant spa days or taking lavish vacations (although those can be part of it). 

Self-care, at its core, is about attending to one’s physical, emotional and mental needs consistently and intentionally.

They prioritize activities that promote well-being, such as regular exercise, balanced nutrition, sufficient sleep, and moments of relaxation.

But self-care extends beyond the physical realm. It also encompasses activities that nourish the mind and soul. 

This could be anything from practicing meditation or reading a good book, to spending quality time with loved ones or pursuing a passion project.

By prioritizing self-care, these individuals ensure they are in the best possible state to handle their emotions effectively. 

After all, it’s much harder to manage your emotions when you’re physically exhausted or mentally drained. Regular self-care acts as preventative maintenance for emotional well-being.

And if that’s just not enough…

5) They are not afraid to seek help

We live in a world that often glorifies self-reliance, making us believe that seeking help is a sign of weakness. 

But the truth is, reaching out to others when we’re struggling is one of the bravest things we can do.

People who are exceptional at managing their emotions understand this. They recognize their limitations and are not ashamed to ask for support when they need it. 

They know that outside perspectives can often provide clarity that they might not find on their own, which is why they might turn to a trusted friend or seek professional guidance from a therapist. 

By embracing vulnerability and seeking help when needed, these individuals are able to navigate their emotions more effectively, while also creating stronger, more supportive networks around them.

6) They don’t strive for constant happiness

Sounds odd, doesn’t it? After all, isn’t the pursuit of happiness what we’re all striving for? 

Yet, those who are adept at managing their emotions understand a key paradox: the relentless pursuit of happiness can sometimes lead to the opposite.

They recognize that life is a spectrum of emotions, and that sadness, anger or anxiety are as much a part of the human experience as joy, love or excitement. 

They don’t run from these so-called ‘negative’ emotions, they accept them as natural and inevitable aspects of life.

Chasing a constant state of happiness can lead to disappointment and stress when reality falls short. 

On the other hand, accepting that not every day will be filled with sunshine and rainbows can actually lead to a more balanced emotional state.

Allowing themselves to experience the full range of human emotions helps them cultivate a more realistic and healthier relationship with their emotional life.

 This acceptance serves as a powerful tool in their emotional management toolbox.

7) They maintain a positive outlook

We’ve all heard the phrase “look on the bright side,” but can it really have an impact on our emotional management? As it turns out, yes!

People who are effective at managing their emotions tend to cultivate a positive outlook on life. They understand that while they cannot control every circumstance, they can control their attitude towards it.

Now, this doesn’t mean they ignore the negative or gloss over their problems with a sunny disposition. 

It’s just that they choose to focus on solutions rather than dwell on the problems. They acknowledge the challenges, but also recognize the opportunities for growth and learning that come with them.

This positive mindset helps them navigate their emotional landscape with resilience and optimism, making it easier for them to bounce back from setbacks and maintain emotional equilibrium.

Embracing your true nature in emotional management

In our quest to manage our emotions effectively, it’s vital that we honor and embrace our emotional nature.

What does this look like in practice? It begins with acknowledging that you are a feeling being. You experience a wide range of emotions, and that’s okay. 

It’s okay to feel joy, sadness, anger, excitement – all of these feelings are part of the human experience.

Next is understanding that your emotions are unique to you. Just as no two people are alike, no two emotional landscapes are exactly the same. 

Your feelings may not always align with what others expect or what society deems appropriate, but that doesn’t make them any less valid. Honor your feelings for what they are – authentic expressions of your inner world.

Embracing your true nature also involves giving yourself permission to be imperfect. Emotional management is not about achieving perfection; it’s about growth and progress. 

There will be times when your emotions get the better of you, when you react in ways you wish you hadn’t. That doesn’t mean you’ve failed – it simply means you’re human.

Above all, embracing your true nature means accepting yourself as you are – emotions and all – while striving to become the best version of yourself. 

And in doing so, you pave the way for a more emotionally balanced and fulfilling life.

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

If you recognize these 7 signs, you’re dealing with a genuinely good woman

8 common relationship behaviors that are actually quite toxic, according to psychology