Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What causes a person to be so emotional?
Feeling heightened emotions or like you’re unable to control your emotions can come down to diet choices, genetics, substance abuse, stress, or a mental illness personality disorder. It’s important to keep in mind that being overly emotional can also be due to an underlying health condition, such as depression or hormones. A support system is very helpful when dealing with these emotions and issues. Here are some common reasons why you might be so emotional:
- You’re human. Simple as that. We all feel happy, sad, low, exhilarated, or emotional. We’re all human going through life, and it’s so important to always remember that. Emotions are a normal part of who we are as humans. Everyone processes events and emotions differently. Unless your emotions are interfering with your day-to-day life, you may just feel things a bit more than others. A support system or support groups can help. Specifically, a recovery support group would beneficial as well.
- While emotions are normal, being naturally more emotional may actually have a genetic component. Although there are other factors involved, such as environmental and social influences, human emotions are somewhat inherited. And if a family has an affective disorder, such as major depression, you may have a higher risk of experiencing an emotional disorder as well.
- Lack of sleep.Sleep deprivation has several effects on your body, including:
- Trouble thinking and concentrating
- Higher risk for anxiety, depression, or other mental illness
- Weakened immune system
- Poor balance and higher risk of accidents
It can affect your mood, too, especially the longer sleep deprivation occurs. Studies have shown that sleep may be linked to emotional control, so if you’re feeling emotional, getting more sleep might help.
- Lack of exercise. We’ve all heard the physical health benefits of exercise, but exercise can also have a big effect on mood and emotions. While exercise, in general, can promote emotional well-being, a lack of exercise can lower it. Aerobic exercise is known to have a therapeutic effect on controlling emotions. So if you’re feeling extra emotional, jumping on a treadmill or going for a jog could help alleviate that.
- Everything you eat affects your body, and a healthy diet can improve your overall well-being, including your mental health and emotions, while a poor diet, including the effects from an eating disorder, can do the opposite. If you’re feeling emotional, it may come down to the foods you’re eating. To keep your emotions in check, try these tips:
- Make sure you’re consuming a nutrient-dense diet.
- Avoid processed, fatty, and fast foods.
- Avoid skipping meals.
- Make sure you’re not lacking vital vitamins and minerals.
- You’re highly sensitive. If you’re feeling emotional, a personality trait called sensory processing sensitivity (SPS) might be the culprit. SPS is a quality where someone processes the world more deeply. This includes the moods and feelings of others, as well as pain and loud noises. Studies suggest that it occurs in almost 20 percent of the population, so it’s certainly not a rare thing.
- Personality disorder.Emotional dysregulation, an inability to control your emotions, is a common trait of many mental illness personality disorders. If you have a personality disorder, you may feel more emotional than others. Some additional symptoms of personality disorders include:
- Difficulty controlling anger, or getting angry without understanding why
- Frequent mood swings
- Inappropriate emotional responses
- Hypersensitivity to criticism or rejection
Some of the more common mental illness personality disorders include obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, and borderline personality disorder. Speak with a physician or licensed therapist to discuss options for your disorder treatment and advice on diagnosis or treatment.
- Substance abuse. Substance abuse has a strong emotional component. In reality, substance abuse treatment must go beyond simply managing the physical symptoms of addiction. It must also include providing the person with the coping skills necessary to address underlying emotional challenges. Helping the person with the substance abuse issue to learn how to properly fill emotional needs and resolve continuing sources of emotional pain lessens their need for substance abuse to dull the senses and blunt emotional blows. Cognitive therapy is a proven method for helping people with substance abuse issues address the root causes of their particular addictions.
- Stress can take a toll on our bodies. If you’re feeling stressed or burnt out, you’re likely going to feel a little emotional. While stress is normal, and everyone experiences it, chronic excess stress can have a lasting effect on your mental and physical health. If you’re feeling especially stressed, your emotions may be running high. You may be likely to cry more easily or be unsure why you’re crying in the first place. If you’re experiencing prolonged stress, a recovery support system could be beneficial for you.
- Big life changes. When major life events or big changes occur, you’re inevitably going to feel the stress no matter how well you plan for it. Some of the most stressful changes involve:
- Divorce or marriage
- Consistent confrontation with friends or family
- Getting a new job or being fired
- Having a baby
Figure Out What’s Causing You to Be So Emotional
It doesn’t have to be a huge, life-altering change, necessarily, to make you feel emotional. Any shake-up is going to have an effect on your emotional well-being, even if it’s only stressing you out under the surface.
- Grieving the loss of someone is one of the hardest things that we all universally go through. So, if you’re feeling emotional, not feeling yourself, or your emotions don’t feel the same, that’s normal. Grief doesn’t have to just be about losing a loved one. You can grieve for your past self, a child you never had, discord with family, or even a breakup.
- Trauma is a response to experiencing a terrible event that causes physical, emotional, or psychological harm. It can bring about strong, negative emotions including fear, shame, guilt, anger, and sadness, both during and after the experience. In one study, researchers found that the type of traumatic event, such as a car accident, sexual violence, injury, or physical assault, could change which emotions were especially heightened. In instances of trauma, a recovery support group might be very helpful in dealing with any mental illness.
Hormones have both physical and psychological effects on the body
Any hormonal imbalance or extra sensitivity to hormonal changes can cause a change in your emotions. Below are some potential causes of an imbalance or extra sensitivity to hormonal changes:
- Thyroid issues. An imbalance of your thyroid hormones can affect your emotions, raising your risk of developing anxiety and depression.
- Menopause occurs when you stop menstruating and can no longer become pregnant. Mood swings are a common symptom of menopause as hormones fluctuate, and there’s a higher risk for developing depression or anxiety, or another emotional disorder.
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) can cause a number of emotional and physical symptoms. Female hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, can influence emotions as they fluctuate throughout the month before and during your menstrual cycle. Estrogen, for instance, can affect the intensity of emotions. Around 75 percent of menstruating women report premenstrual mood changes.
- Premenstrual dysmorphic disorder (PMDD) is similar to PMS, but it includes more severe symptoms, particularly emotional ones. Some potential symptoms include excessive crying, anger, irritability, and sadness.
- People with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) produce higher levels of male hormones, disrupting normal hormone levels. Research has shown that people with PCOS have higher levels of distress than those without the condition.
- Certain stress hormones, such as oxytocin or cortisol, can affect mood, like increasing anger or emotional sensitivity.
- Birth control. There’s some evidence that using hormonal contraceptives can affect your emotions. Emotions such as depression, anxiety, and anger were all found to be higher in people taking hormonal birth control.
Imbalances in the adrenal gland or your insulin levels may also affect your emotions and mood. As with all of these hormonal issues, seeking out a peer support group can be beneficial to helping you heal.
- People with mental illness conditions like depression typically experience higher levels of negative emotions, lower levels of positive emotions, and may have trouble managing their moods. While most people think of sadness when they think of depression, other emotional symptoms include feeling empty, hopeless, or anxious. You may also experience anger or irritability.
- As opposed to depression, where people typically experience bouts of malaise, when you’re anxious, your body goes into hyper-sensitive fight-or-flight mode; and staying in this state for a long time can increase tension, irritability, physical symptoms, and your ability to control your emotions. Nevertheless, any mental illness conditions like anxiety or depression can affect your emotional well-being.
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental illness condition typically characterized by hyperactive and impulsive behaviors. While difficulty focusing and trouble sitting still are the most well-known symptoms of ADHD, the disorder can also magnify your emotions.
How do I stop being so emotional?
Feeling heightened emotions or similar health conditions can down to diet choices, genetics, or stress. It can also be due to an underlying health condition, such as depression or hormones. But, it’s important to not shame yourself for being so emotional. It is not a bad thing to be emotional, but finding the reasons why, especially if it’s affecting your day-to-day activities, can help. To stop being so emotional may not necessarily be the answer, especially if it’s not affecting your day-to-day activities. Seek out a support system or support groups to help you when your emotions get overwhelming.
Why do I cry easily all of a sudden?
There are many reasons why you might cry easily all of a sudden, including:
- Crying in pregnancy
- Crying spells with anxiety and stress
- Depression crying spells
- Bipolar crying spells
- Sudden uncontrollable crying can also be a symptom of a mental illness condition called pseudobulbar affect (PBA). PBA is an involuntary neurological state related to an injury or disturbance in parts of your brain that control your emotions.
Is crying a symptom of anxiety?
People with anxiety are more likely to say that crying feels helpful but uncontrollable. If you have anxiety, you might cry often or uncontrollably. Feeling emotional and having negative feelings are not bad, and there is nothing to be ashamed about. Seeking out a peer support group when you’re experiencing symptoms of anxiety can be helpful.
Is being emotional a weakness?
No. Just the opposite, in fact. Unfortunately, we have a cultural averseness toward being emotional. We dislike even appearing to be emotional. We’re taught as children that that this a weakness, and that emotion should cause shame. But in all actuality, it’s a strength. Furthermore, people who are more emotional are experiencing life more than those who aren’t. They feel a more personal connection with their reality. They are, quite literally, living more.
Why do I take everything so personal?
In the simplest terms, personalization is the tendency to assume personal responsibility for events over which we have little or no control. When we personalize, we see the world happening not just around us but to us, and not just to us, but because of us. We internalize the events we encounter, including words, actions, developments, emotions, and problems, and magnify our role in them. We take on not just the event itself, but the causality of that event, often believing that we are emotionally responsible for how it went down, especially when that event is negative. When we’re dealing with emotional issues such as crying and taking things too personal, it’s important to be kind to yourself. A support system can greatly help as well.
How do I know if I’m highly sensitive?
People with a highly sensitive personality have certain traits that stand apart from someone who may have temporary bouts of sensitivity and feeling more emotional. Some of the common traits are the following:
- You literary feel everything so emotionally
- You have an ability to guess the mood in a room
- You can always tell when something is wrong emotionally
- You easily pick up on the subtleties of someone’s emotions
- You are easily moved by art
- You love doing things solo
- You have a heightened intuition
- You’re a people pleaser
- It’s difficult for you to say no
- When you fall in love, you fall hard
- You have a powerful imagination
Is it OK to cry for no reason?
Some people easily cry more than others, and sometimes for no reason, and it is absolutely fine. Some would say that crying is a negative emotion; but, in fact, crying is good as it is a natural stress reliever. So, someone who cries more often may actually be better off emotionally compared to someone who does not. Sometimes you may not know why you’re crying or why you can’t stop crying. Other times, you might not realize how upset you are until you step back and notice how you’ve been crying so much lately. If you’re crying all the time and without safely being able to control it, there may be an underlying mental illness issue, and reaching out to a support system could be beneficial. As mentioned before, some reasons may be:
- Crying in pregnancy
- Crying spells with anxiety and stress
- Depression crying spells
- Bipolar crying spells
- Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA)
Why do I cry a lot?
If you have symptoms of depression or anxiety, or emotional responses that don’t feel right, don’t try to tough it out alone. Build a support system of safe and emotionally positive people who can help you walk your journey. Mood disorders can have a negative impact on every part of your life. This includes your relationships, work, or school. They also make you more vulnerable to physical illnesses.
Talk with your doctor about what you’re experiencing, and they may provide medical treatment for a possible mental illness condition. Your doctor may refer you to a psychiatrist or therapist who specializes in working with people who have mood disorders to provide anxiety treatment, depression treatment, or another disorder treatment.
Substance abuse may appear to alleviate emotional symptoms in the short term, but one of the effects of substance abuse is making emotional health worse, including crying a lot. When there is substance abuse over a long period of time, the brain actually changes the way it functions. This is because the drugs with substance abuse have taken the place of naturally occurring chemicals in the body that affect brain functions, including emotions.
Substance abuse can also negatively affect mental health issues, which can cause emotional episodes. Substance abuse treatment is effective. Speak with a licensed professional therapist for options.
How do I stop letting things bother me?
- Identify what you are feeling emotionally
- Ask yourself why you’re feeling this way
- Consider the truth
- Don’t let a 10 second (or minute) ordeal ruin your whole day
- Find your confidence
- Resist the urge to complain – this may cause you to spend more time thinking about an upsetting instance than it deserves
- Find perspective. When you feel yourself getting upset or emotional, pause for a moment; turn your attention to what’s bothering you and try to frame it in its simplest form.
Is being too sensitive a bad thing?
There’s nothing wrong with being too sensitive. Again, it’s important to remember that, although some in the world may believe differently, being sensitive is not a bad thing. In fact, there are many benefits to being sensitive or emotionally aware. For example, emotional people have a depth of experience and feeling, strong self-awareness, increased empathy, are intuitive (emotionally and otherwise), they have great self-care, the appreciate the small things, they can find the beauty in all emotions from sadness to joy, and they have a great ability to form strong, close bonds. Find a support system or support groups to encourage you and be there when you need them.
Stay connected with BetterHelp on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may also find helpful information at the National Alliance on Mental Illness’s Facebook, or by calling the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357.