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Emotions can give us direction and influence our decisions. They can strengthen us and weaken us. The more you understand your own emotions and where they come from, the more you can take control of them. Our emotions make up a big part of us, but they are not all there is to us. They don’t define us.

Understanding our emotions

Emotions are like colours. There are no good colours or bad colours – there are just different colours. They impact how we see the world, yet they don’t influence or change the world. The world is still the same world, but colour can alter our unique perception of it.

In the same way, our emotions change how we see the world. Learning to understand and listen to our emotions without being controlled by them is part of growing up.

Emotions can give us that “gut” feeling that something isn’t right. Listening to those feelings is especially important if something is making us feel bad.

Emotions can give us the motivation to work towards our goals. Emotions are like waves, they come and go. No one is happy or sad all the time. When things feel tough for a while, know that change will come!

Handling our emotions

If you’re struggling with emotions and are feeling anxious, depressed, flat, unhappy or unmotivated, here are some practical strategies to help change and lift how you feel.

Get active! Your brain releases endorphins (happy chemicals in your brain) when you exercise. You don’t have to be an iron man either. A thirty-minute walk can be enough to lift a negative mood.

Change your perspective

Perspective and attitude are powerful choices we get to make that have a direct effect on our emotions.

Choose to be thankful

Make a habit of noticing and counting the things you can be thankful for everyday e.g. a sunny day; a good friend; a kind teacher at school; or a good mark on an assignment. Look for the good in other people. No one’s perfect, but if you look for the good, you’ll also feel better about yourself.

Be generous

Nothing lifts your emotions for the better than a little giving. Do the dishes for your mum without having to be asked, or write a letter to someone to tell them how much you appreciate them.

Your emotions are a part of who you are, but they don’t define you. You are a completely unique person with your very own talents. When you learn to let your emotions work for you rather than against you, they can help you unlock your purpose and understand yourself better.

If you're struggling with your emotions and need help go to