Have you ever heard of the term “emotional imbalance?” Emotional imbalances happen when you can’t cope with life in an effective and reasonable manner. It might feel like your heart and mind are constantly at war with each other. It’s possible that your imbalance is due to an underlying mental health disorder like depression or anxiety. Or it could just mean that you have a harder time controlling your emotions and need to learn new coping strategies.
People who struggle with emotional imbalance often experience symptoms like stomach aches, tense muscles, trouble sleeping, and irritability. While it can be difficult to live with an imbalance, this is not a fixed state. With the right type of mental health treatment, you can achieve emotional balance and end the internal struggle.
Let’s learn more about why you may be emotional in the first place and how you can reach emotional grounding.
Emotional Imbalance: Why Do I Get So Emotional?
Some people are naturally more emotional than others. But even within ourselves, we have days that are more trying than others. This could be due to a number of reasons, including stress, diet, hormonal changes, and underlying health conditions.
Humans are emotional creatures! But if you feel that you’ve been more emotional than usual, it’s possible that you have one of these things going on:
- Lack of sleep. Not getting enough rest can lead to trouble concentrating, a weakened immune system, and mood changes. Try getting more sleep to think clearly and balance out your emotions.
- Lack of exercise. Exercise has a huge impact on your mood and emotional well-being. Being active also boosts feel-good chemicals in the brain. Be sure to spend around 30 minutes a day exercising.
- Unhealthy diet. You are what you eat! It’s possible that your diet is to blame for your mood swings. Avoid processed, fatty and fast foods, as well as sugar and simple carbohydrates. Also, some vitamin deficiencies can affect emotional regulation.
- Stress. Stress takes a toll on our mental, emotional, and physical health. If you’re experiencing a lot of stress right now, you’re probably going to be more sensitive, too. Even positive changes in your life - a new baby or job - can create stress and anxiety.
How to Reach an Emotional Balance?
No matter what stressors or life changes you’re going through, rest assured that reaching an emotional balance is possible. If you’re not sure what is bothering you, a mental health treatment program can help.
During your time in treatment, you will attend therapy sessions with a trained counselor. This person will help you identify what is bothering you deep down. For example, some people suffer emotional imbalances because they try too hard to please others. Then they end up not taking care of themselves!
Below are some tips for helping achieve emotional balance:
- Pause and reflect. This is especially important when you feel disappointed or may have heard some bad news. Before blowing up, take a minute to reflect on your emotions and why you’re feeling the way you are. This isn’t easy, but it’s necessary for gaining control of your emotions.
- Practice deep breathing. If you find that you’re holding your breath, take 10 deep breaths in and out. This will help calm you down so you can think clearly. You can do this for as long as you need to.
- Accept the experience. Accept the emotions you’re feeling without judgement. Some emotions are not pleasant, but it’s best to let yourself feel them just as they are.
- Practice gratitude. Pause at different times in the day to reflect on the things you have to be grateful for. Thinking positively and keeping things in perspective are great ways to stay emotionally grounded.
- Be kind to yourself. Always practice good self-care. Eating a balanced diet, getting enough rest, exercising daily and maintaining healthy relationships are all ways to keep you whole.
- Change your perspective. If you’re stuck in the middle of your emotions, it’s hard to think clearly. Remember that you are not your emotion. Let the emotion dissolve on its own, and in the meantime, consciously choose your plan of action.
How Therapy Can Help Restore Emotional Balance
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a therapy model that encourages an interactive and collaborative relationship between the therapist and client. The basic idea of CBT is that emotions are hard to directly change. Therefore, CBT works on changing the thoughts and behaviors that are contributing to distressing emotions.
Unlike other approaches to therapy, CBT focuses on present circumstances and emotions in real-time as opposed to situations that happened in the past. Your therapist will want to know a bit about your history to understand your situation, but you won’t spend excessive time on childhood events.
For example, if you have irrational beliefs (“I’m not dating anyone right now. I’m going to end up alone forever.”), your therapist will encourage you to challenge them. If you don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend right now, does that really mean you'll never find love?
When you realize that negative self-talk is clouding your good judgement, you can put distance between you and your emotions. Your feelings may be valid but that doesn't mean they're accurate. When you change your point of view, you can start with a plan of action. What are you doing to meet someone? Have you signed up for a dating site? Do you go out with groups of friends?
Therapy will also teach you healthy ways to cope with stressful situations so that your emotions don’t fall out of balance. Mindfulness meditation is one of the most useful tools, as it allows you to step out of your emotions and be a spectator, not a sufferer. Let the emotion express itself as it is.
Treating Emotional Imbalance at Awakenings Treatment Center
Awakenings Treatment Center supports good mental, emotional, physical, social, and spiritual health. We offer a wide range of programs that treat mental health and substance use disorders. If you’re struggling to balance your moods and use substances to self-medicate, it’s time to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Contact the Awakenings team today to learn more about our mental health treatment center in Agoura Hills, California.