How to Prevent Yourself From Acting on Feelings

We’ve all experienced that moment when our feelings for someone overpower our emotions. Every waking moment is spent thinking about them and formulating a plan to convince them to love us back and to forget all the reasons why it won’t work. If you’ve been unfortunate enough to act on these feelings, you know that they could get you into a far worse situation than simply having a broken heart. However, it can be difficult in the moment to keep these feelings to yourself. How can you prevent yourself from acting on these feelings? 

  1. Distance Yourself From Places or People Who Trigger These Feelings

Memories, people, and objects all have the potential to trigger feelings that we may act upon. For example, let’s imagine that you and your friend visited the Eiffel Tower last summer. During your visit, he bought you a small Eiffel Tower figurine. You broke up shortly after the trip and the figurine has been sitting on your desk and troubling you ever since. Get rid of it. Having an object that triggers unwanted feelings only puts you at risk for acting on those feelings and doing something that could cause you trouble. The same thing goes for places and, obviously, people. Stay away from them until either your feelings are nonexistent or do so permanently if you feel that they will always be present.  

Our reaction to pain is influenced by genetics, and if we have increased sensitivity to physical pain, we’re more vulnerable to feelings of rejection. — Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT

  1. Procrastinate Before Taking Action

Acting without thinking first is a surefire way to get yourself into trouble. The way to prevent this from happening is to take time to consider your actions before taking actions. If you want to call your girlfriend because you are missing her right now, tell yourself that it will be okay to do so in an hour and get involved in some activity for the time being. Once an hour passes, consider how you are feeling. Are you still missing her? Is the pain that you feel still so overwhelming that you must call her now? If so, tell yourself that you’ll call her in another hour. You’ll eventually realize that, with time, the overwhelming feelings that you may experience in one moment will fade away with time.  


Hobbies are a positive way to keep from dwelling in sadness and forming negative patterns. Whether it’s doing a puzzle, going to museums, gardening, bowling, reading, or whatever it is you enjoy doing, allow yourself to create time and space for them. — 

  1. Get Creative, Be Active, Do Something.

The best way to overcome unwanted emotions is to find a way in which you can express them. If you’re a naturally creative person, you can express your feelings in a healthy way by choreographing a dance or writing a song that represents how you feel. If you are not so creative but you are more physical, you can go to the gym or go on a run to help work out your stress and to give yourself a rush of endorphins. If you’re neither creative nor physical, write your emotions down in a notebook or on a word document to let them go. No matter what activity you choose to do, make sure that it eases your emotions and makes you happy.  

  1. Take a Break

If you’re really struggling with your feelings and you have the ability to do so, consider taking a brief vacation. Even if you only go a couple miles away, a short retreat from your life may help to give you a fresh perspective. Let everyone know that you are going to be unreachable for a couple of days and take some time to be with yourself. It’s easier to find yourself and to come to terms with how you are feeling when you don’t have to worry about the everyday stresses of life.  

Letting go and truly moving on does not just take time. It takes time and work. For those who are willing to put in the effort, however, there is a big payoff. —

 Most importantly, you need to realize that you are human. Everyone makes mistakes and it is only through these mistakes that we learn important lessons. If you do act on your feelings, know that it’s perfectly normal and try your best to avoid acting on them next time.  




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