Emotions are the foundation of our mental activity. Without them, we couldn’t orient our behavior towards a particular goal, nor would we know roughly what we want and what we don’t want in our lives.
However, having a resource like a wide range of emotions has a not-so-positive side: the possibility of experiencing emotional instability. Let’s see what it consists of and how it can appear.
What is emotional instability?
Emotional instability is a personality trait that belongs to the spectrum of neuroticism and is expressed through the expression of relatively sudden changes in a person’s emotional state.
In some cases, emotional instability can be virtually harmless, if the context is right; but in other extreme cases, it can become a psychological phenomenon linked to discomfort both from those who experience it in the first person and from those close to the first.
Characteristics of emotionally unstable people
Among the typical characteristics of people suffering from emotional instability, the following stand out.
1. Bias in favor of discomfort
In some ways, it may seem like emotionally unstable people live life with intensity, but being so sensitive to the changes that occur with each situation often causes them to focus their attention on those experiences that make them feel bad, whether through anger, sadness, or fear.
This is because of a bias to try to move away from discomfort, as a priority goal, more important than enjoying these moments of happiness.
2. Rapid mood swings
Emotional instability makes present stimuli easily imposed on emotional states derived from experiences that have occurred recently, even though the new situations that trigger those emotions are apparently less important than what happened to us before and left us this good. or that bad taste in the mouth.
For example, someone with emotional instability who passed their driving test a few hours ago may feel very sad when they see a TV commercial with a sad message.
3. Low tolerance for frustration
Emotionally unstable people they generally do not understand well the times when their expectations are disappointedAs they see these situations as additional problems for the simple fact of being unexpected.
4. Complex personal relationships
In general, people with marked emotional instability come to difficulty having a large social and support networkAs their social skills are felt due to poor control over emotions.
The extreme case: emotional lability
When emotional instability becomes so pronounced that it can be considered a symptom of a mental disorder, Is known as emotional lability. It is a common occurrence in psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia, cyclothymia, or bipolar disorder.
In these cases, the situation is serious and may even go hand in hand with other symptoms that strongly affect emotional states, such as hallucinations.
Can you learn to control your emotions?
In non-pathological cases of emotional instability, it is usually possible to train the ability to regulate emotions in a useful and adaptive way. However, for this, psychological intervention with the help of professionals in this discipline is usually necessary.
The realm of emotional intelligenceSpecifically, this is a focus area that does not indicate any promising findings. From this mental aptitude, we know that it is related to general intelligence (measured by CI) without being exactly the same, and that it has to do with the ease with which we have come to be happy.
To enjoy a better emotional balance, it is therefore necessary to go through a series of practical situations that help us to retrace life habits that enhance a common and coherent vision of our experiences, as well as a modification of our fundamental beliefs. . is known as cognitive restructuring. In this way, the huge interpretations of reality, which make us prone to sudden mood swings, will lose strength in favor of a more realistic perception of things.