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What is Emotional Control?

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What is Emotional Control?

Posted In Skills On October 30, 2022

Emotional control is one of the brain’s emotional executive functions, and it describes the ability to manage feelings while completing tasks and working towards goals. Students with the skill of emotional control can recover from disappointment quickly. They accept constructive criticism and keep sight of their goals even if something upsetting happens. They rarely overreact to losing or unfair situations, and they stick to schoolwork even when distressed about something else.

Students who have not yet developed emotional control skills often overreact to minor problems and have difficulty managing their reactions or triggers during upsetting situations. They tend to feel overwhelmed or worried quickly and have trouble coping. Feelings are difficult for them to understand and calming down from an upsetting situation is a challenge.

Goals to work towards for emotional control development may include:

  • Manage reactions and responses to problems
  • Understand thoughts and feelings in different situations
  • Identify emotions and effectively utilize coping strategies

When working towards these goals, it is imperative to teach students how to identify and understand what they are feeling so they can begin to recognize their emotions. Showing students what triggers their emotional responses is especially helpful to learning how to manage reactions. Students who struggle to control their emotions often benefit from learning how to delay their responses to give themselves the time to process why they are having strong feelings. It is also important to practice various coping techniques in different settings so students are aware of what strategies are most successful for them. Students who have difficulties with emotional control are often seen as overreacting and can be especially sensitive to criticism; validating feelings while providing ways to respond appropriately will give students a safe place to develop the skill of emotional control.

Emotional control’s impact on a student’s ability to learn and succeed is significant, and providing students with the strategies to practice emotional control will give benefits that last.


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