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Emotional intelligence

“Why Am I So Emotional?”

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12 min

“Why Am I So Emotional?”

I am feeling emotional and can’t cope with these feelings. Even the most minor task turns into a significant challenge. It’s like a scene from the cartoon Inside Out when all emotions try to get control, and I feel overwhelmed. 

Relatable, right? Trying to join the work meeting in the middle of an anxiety attack. Ordering coffee while feeling so sad about everything around you. Scrolling on the phone for hours because you’re too frustrated to do any tasks. Over and over again.

If you ask yourself, “Why do I feel like crying for no reason?” and even the slightest incident can ruin your day, I’m here to help. Let’s open the door to how to build healthier relationships with your human emotions and learn how to improve well-being.

Why are My Emotions so Intense?

To begin with, let’s note that there’s no definite measure that identifies “overly emotional people.” Your emotions matter, and the way you express them is unique to you. What’s important is that your emotional responses don’t put you or the people around you at risk of harm. 

Moreover, the “normal” level of emotional intensity varies between countries or even genders. For instance, the Philippines is the most emotional nation in the world, while people living in Kyrgyzstan tend to be among the least emotional. Consequently, what some societies perceive as a norm, others may view as unusual or excessive. 

Furthermore, the environment you grew up in also significantly influences your expressivity. Research shows that male and female children tend to have different emotional socialization, and women usually reveal more feelings over life. 

So, if you have a question like, “Why am I so emotional?”, one place to look is at your family, the environment you grew up in, and your cultural background.

When do I need to start worrying? 

As we’ve understood, high intensity of definite feelings can be a feature, not a bug. Often, such people have high empathy and can engage with others more effectively. What’s more, you may experience positive emotions more fully than others.

However, it may be a worrying sign if you suddenly feel sad and cry for no reason, can’t control fluctuations in your emotions, or your mood changes and emotional responses influence your quality of life. 

Below, I’ll explain why this happens and how to regain control over your feelings.

Reasons for Being Overly Emotional & Feel Like Crying for No Reason 

You may randomly walk on the street dealing with the storm inside. Anxiety, fear, anger, restlessness… This mix can be difficult to deal with.

So, you stop near the closest coffee point and ask yourself, “Why am I so emotional today?” and understand that the answer is inside.

Childhood Trauma & PTSD

Unresolved childhood trauma has a direct influence on emotion regulation issues. Thus, if you’ve experienced neglect, abuse, violence, bullying, or emotionally unstable parental behavior, it may be difficult for you to cope with your feelings. And it may lead to unresolved emotional baggage in the future.

For example, people who faced violence in childhood can have self-esteem problems and may be more likely to have anger issues as a result of a traumatic background.

We may not notice how our past experiences or trauma relate to feeling overly emotional. Uncovering if there’s any repressed childhood trauma can be a place to start. 

Taking a childhood trauma test can help you begin to understand your emotions and pave the way for a path to well-being. Get personalized insights on your experience and learn how to move forward.

Hormonal Shifts

Dramatic changes in hormones are another significant catalyst for intense mood fluctuations. It’s common to feel very emotional if your body is going through any of the following: 

  • Puberty
  • Pregnancy
  • Menopause
  • Treatment with steroids
  • Autoimmune conditions

What’s more, people assigned female at birth tend to experience dramatic hormonal changes during their menstrual cycle. Period-related mood shifts can be pretty different, but they are a variant of the norm. Under the influence of serotonin and estrogen changes, a person assigned female at birth may notice more variability over the month.

Physical Health Problems

Everything in our body is connected. Thus, your emotions may be so intense because of physical health problems. They can make your daily life more difficult, bring more negativity, and complicate functioning, especially if you’re in pain.

It’s vital to appreciate these feelings and acknowledge that they are totally normal in difficult moments. Remember that you can handle them, and don’t hesitate to seek support if needed.

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Inability to focus attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity are among the symptoms of this mental health condition. Also, studies show that emotional dysregulation is one of the symptoms of ADHD.

You may feel emotional all of a sudden, get distracted easily, or have trouble completing daily tasks. If these symptoms sound relatable, contacting a licensed professional will be a great option. Many treatment approaches can help you cope with mood fluctuations and stop crying for no reason.

In addition, you can take Breeze’s ADHD test to determine if your symptoms may be related to ADHD and gain insights into your well-being.

Other Mental Health Conditions 

Other mental illnesses may also influence your ability to control emotions. The most widespread ones are:

These disorders may cause shifts between very different feelings. It can feel like you’re riding on a rollercoaster, experiencing everything from intense happiness to deep depression. 

“Why am I so emotional all of a sudden?” This question may have dozens of answers. But if you notice other worrying signs or know that there’s a history of mental illness in your family, it may be best to get in touch with a therapist.

Medication Side Effects

Some medications can make you overly emotional. Always talk to your prescriber about potential side effects, and read medication labels, as manufacturers warn you about them most often.

Thus, if you’ve recently started a new medication and experienced significant changes in your well-being, it’s important to tell your therapist about it. Your provider will monitor your progress and will make adjustments to your dosage if necessary. 

Is Crying Every Day a Sign of Depression?

As you see, everything is a bit more complicated. There are dozens of reasons why you may want to cry regularly. We’ve explored some of them in the previous section and will keep learning about daily life effects in the next one.

Nevertheless, depression can lead to emotional fluctuations. It’s not uncommon to feel incredibly sad or down with it. Knowing the symptoms of depression can help you think about your own experiences and take action if you feel like you may be dealing with this condition. Here are some of the most common signs: 

  • Feeling down, sad, or empty most of the time
  • Losing interest in everything you once enjoyed (a sign of a lost inner child)
  • Significant weight loss or gain
  • Waking up tired
  • Feeling exhausted most days with no reason
  • Trouble concentrating, making decisions, or remembering things
  • Problems with falling asleep (insomnia), staying asleep, or sleeping too much
  • Unexplained aches, pains, headaches, or digestive problems

If, except for feeling emotional and wanting to cry constantly, you’ve experienced some of the highlighted symptoms, it may be a sign of depression. In this case, it’s essential to contact a healthcare provider immediately and start working with a therapist to mitigate the symptoms.

A metaphorical description of what happens inside when people are feeling emotional

Why Am I So Emotional Lately? & Why Am I Crying for No Reason 

Your mental and physical health can influence your mood. There are also other factors that can make you suddenly feel sad and cry for no reason. 

Reviewing your daily life and considering what influences your emotional stability is a good start. Sometimes, this link isn’t so obvious, so tracking your emotions and analyzing them may be helpful. 

Moreover, Breeze is here to help you consider some common reasons.

Chronic Stress

When you’re under stress, your ability to resist overwhelming emotions may weaken. A missed train, a spilled cup of coffee, or broken headphones can ruin the internal balance.

Although short-term stress may enhance mental/cognitive and physical performance, long-term stress has exactly the opposite effect. It harms brain functioning, memory, cognitive and learning skills, and the immune system. Moreover, it increases the risk of depression and anxiety disorder.

If you have a question like, “Why am I crying for no reason?” think about the last time you felt calm and untroubled. When was that? What was going on in your life? What helped you deal with your emotions?

In long-term stressful situations, cortisol levels remain high, which can make it more difficult to use your coping skills. Giving your mind and body rest is just one way how to stop worrying about everything and give your brain a reset. 

Lack of Sleep

Fast stats. About 35% of US adults don’t get even 7 hours of sleep. At the same time, 40% of people with insomnia may have a diagnosable mental health condition.

We can consider lack of sleep a major stress factor, but I suggest focusing on its influence on the body.

First, when you don’t get enough sleep, the area of your brain that manages your emotions (amygdala) experiences a functional deficit, causing a heightened experience of unpleasant feelings. You may get angry, sad, sensitive, and cry easily because it’s difficult for your brain to deal with sleep deprivation.

Second, a rough physical state and feeling exhausted all the time usually lead to emotional discomfort. So, you may get irritated or start crying much faster for minor reasons. 

Poor Eating Habits

An unbalanced diet can cause fluctuations in mood. You may be wondering, “Why do I cry so easily when I feel hungry?”

The reason is simple — changes in blood sugar can make your emotions difficult to control. There’s even a word that describes a feeling “angry because feeling hungry” — “hangry.”

Additionally, daily consumption of junk food is significantly linked to stress. Even though sometimes a packet of chips and a Netflix series may sound like a good idea for the end of a difficult day, choosing ultra-processed foods isn’t a nutritious option that will support a healthy mind and body. 

It can be helpful in the short term, but in the long term, an unbalanced diet leads to a 48-53% greater chance of developing anxiety and a 22% greater risk of developing depression.


Loud sounds, extreme lighting, lots of people around, and extreme high or low temperatures. This is overstimulation

Anyone can feel overstimulated when getting into discomforting environments. This, consequently, leads to a higher stress level and difficulties with being very emotional. 

Imagine working in a fast food restaurant like McDonald’s or KFC. Your working day is full of people around whom you need to serve as fast as possible. It’s hot in the kitchen and extremely cold in the fridge. Moreover, there’s also music playing, visitors talking, and bright lighting all over the restaurant. 

It would probably make some people feel uncomfortable, especially those who work there and experience sensory overload. Later, this can lead to difficulties with managing emotions.

Gaslighting and Devaluing Your Experiences

Last but not least. Trust what you know about yourself and your experiences. Attempts to make you question or suppress your emotions while convincing you that everything is fine is one of the gaslighting examples.

The next time you ask yourself, “Why am I so emotional for no reason?” think about whether there really is no reason. Maybe your loved ones, or even you, are guilty of gaslighting yourself and trying to avoid specific emotions. 

Be honest with yourself. Gaslighting yourself or invalidating your experiences can be a warning sign that something deeper is beneath the surface. To address your feelings openly, healing from childhood trauma or other underlying issues may be necessary. 

How to Manage Your Feelings When You Are Very Emotional And Feel Like Crying for No Reason

Dr. Geralyn Dexter, Ph.D., LMHC comments, “Know that your emotions are valid. Though they can be overwhelming, our feelings can also be a source of information. Our emotional responses alert us to things we care about, fear, or bring us great joy. Learning to name your emotions and notice them without judgment is just one exercise that can keep you from getting swept up in the wave.”

Many practices can help you improve emotional intelligence (EQ), gain awareness, and regain control over your feelings. Meditation and mindfulness are the two most popular ones.

Some people have difficulties answering the question, “What is mindfulness?It’s the ability to stay in the present and focus on your emotions, feelings, and needs without judging them, simply letting them be. 

When practicing mindfulness, people may feel frustrated about the past or worry about the future, but they come back to the present moment. The ability to stay here and now may help you overcome overwhelming emotions and concentrate on current experiences.

 Meditating is one way to practice mindfulness. It may feel tricky at first, but the more you do it, the more comfortable you may become. 

There are many ways on how to meditate, but let’s review one of the simplest techniques. When you suddenly feel so emotional that you can’t do anything else, just sit and focus on your breath. Inhale deeply and exhale fully. Notice your thoughts, and if you catch them floating somewhere else, bring them back to your breath. What’s important is to stop judging and start observing, which can bring you to a state of calm.

Wrapping Up

Great! Now you have some ideas about why you may feel overly emotional and how to deal with it. It’s totally fine that people experience some feelings differently. However, if you have difficulties managing your emotions, take a closer look at the causes mentioned in this article. 

I hope it will help you discover some reasons you may feel so reactive and take further steps toward well-being.

Geralyn Dexter, Ph.D., LMHC photo

Reviewed by Geralyn Dexter, Ph.D., LMHC

Geralyn Dexter, Ph.D., LMHC (she/her), is a licensed mental health counselor, writer, researcher, and psychology faculty member at...