Emotional Control

What does it mean to "control" one's emotions, and what's healthy or even possible?

This page is a stub, created on 2020-04-07. Its contents are notes on the issues and angles I want to address about this topic.


There's a lot of equivocation on what it means to be able to control one's emotions. I want to untangle a few different senses of the phrase and offer my views on what I think is possible and healthy:

  1. force of will in the moment (impossible)
  2. taking specific actions to effect or affect emotions, like self-soothing behaviors or listening to sad music (possible, may be healthy or harmful)
  3. long-term work to recalibrate emotional reactions (possible, most likely healthy if pursued carefully)

Some notes from Andrew: