Emotions in the Workplace: How to Control Your Emotions at the Office

Many people face challenges of dealing with their emotions in the workplace. Even though stress caused by a frustrating boss or technical difficulties can disrupt your ability to do your job, it’s important to keep your reactions professional. Though it can be tricky, here are a few ideas to help you control your emotions at work.

Identify what upsets you.
Hot buttons are issues or experiences that elicit a strong emotional reaction. Taking time to recognize your hot buttons will help prepare you to handle these situations when they arise. Though you may not be able to change how you feel, you can control how you’ll react by knowing what it is that sets you off.

Create a course of action.
After identifying your hot buttons so you can control your reactions, it’s important to create a strategy to deal with your feelings. This may include talking to your supervisor or writing down your thoughts to help smooth interpersonal frustrations.

Listen to music.
Simply listening to music can be a soothing way to calm your overwhelming emotions. Slip on some headphones and listen to music, and ask others around you to not disturb you when you have them on. Also, be sure to have the audio turned down low, and limit the time you have your headphones on in case a co-worker or supervisor needs to talk to you.

Reflect on yourself.
By taking personal responsibility to change yourself when you feel a surge of emotions at work, you’re displaying maturity and professionalism. As you reflect on your continual efforts to improve how you handle your emotions, try embracing a new perspective and changing your attitude overall.

Everyone experiences emotions including frustration, anger, and worry at the workplace, but it’s important to manage your emotions and keep your reactions professional. Have you ever let your emotions get the better of you? Have you found any other helpful tricks to control your emotions?


  1. Chris

    It’s important to control your emotions at work both for personal reasons and professional ones. Getting emotional is one of the quickest ways to make that promotion a little bit more difficult to obtain – great blog.

  2. HowToLiveHappily

    Acting on your emotions in an inappropriate way can hurt your career, that’s why it is important to contain yourself in the heat in the moment. Doing this alone however is not a permanent solution.
    In the long term, you have to get to the root cause of your strong emotions and take care of it.
    A few things to remember:
    Having emotions is natural. While most of us have been taught that emotions are “stupid”, “shameful”, “egotistic”, “weak” – or any other flavor of “wrong”, this kind of attitude is severely misguided.
    While the situation at hand may require that you conceal your emotions, and while people around you may erroneously give you a harsh treatment, make sure to not beat yourself up for having emotions. Accept yourself for the human being you are.
    When addressing the situation that triggered your emotions, use “I”-statements rather than “You”-statements. Here’s an example:
    Wrong: You always do XYZ. (A personal attack that will most probably get the other person defensive. This will lead to a fight and will worsen the problem)
    Right: You just did X, from which I get the impression that Y. This makes me feel Z. Could you please do ABC instead?
    It takes some practice to learn talking like this. The culture in this company may be toxic, and finding another company may be the right thing to do.
    The article above mentions the so called “hot buttons”.
    These are emotional issues you may be having, that have been caused by traumatizing experiences. Most of us have them, and there’s no need to be ashamed of them.
    You owe it to yourself to take the time and work for healing yourself. Get all the help you need.
    If you don’t, your hot buttons will push you to act in hurtful ways – and traumatize the people around you. Trying to control yourself with will power is not a solution. Make a point of HEALING yourself.
    Good luck!

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