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How to manage your emotions

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TEDEd Animation

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After a week of studying, you feel confident that you'll ace your exam. But when you get your grade back, it's much lower than you expected. You’re devastated, and the disappointment is hard to shake. Should you be trying to look on the bright side? And is controlling your emotions even possible? Explore techniques to help you identify, understand, and regulate your emotions.

Additional Resources for you to Explore

Emotions can often feel like visceral reactions beyond our control. And yet, research has shown that there are ways to intervene in our own emotional responses to challenging situations. The process model of emotional regulation, pioneered by psychologist James Gross in the 1990s, details the different points at which these interventions may be used, and how these tools can help make our emotions more manageable than they otherwise would be. Studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of each strategy derived from this process model—including studies on the connection between emotional regulation and mental health.

Emotional regulation, however, is not the same as perpetual happiness. Some people fall into patterns of substance abuse for the purpose of emotional regulation, while others suppress emotion to the detriment of their physical health. Seeking "happiness" itself has also been shown to lead to a paradoxical decrease in happiness, because it creates opportunities for many unmet expectations. For more insight into the benefits of honest reflection and regulation of one's emotions, read these articles from the University of California, Berkeley—What You Think About Your Emotions Matters and How to Regulate Your Emotions Without Suppressing Them.  

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TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Kelso Harper
  • Director Daniel Stankler
  • Narrator Jack Cutmore-Scott
  • Storyboard Artist Daniel Stankler
  • Animator Daniel Stankler
  • Compositor Daniel Stankler
  • Art Director Daniel Stankler
  • Sound Designer Zing Audio
  • Composer Zing Audio
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Producer Anna Bechtol
  • Associate Producer Abdallah Ewis
  • Editorial Producer Dan Kwartler
  • Expert Consultant Kateri McRae , James Gross

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