How to Control Your Emotions as A Nurse

Nursing is a rewarding but challenging profession that requires a high level of emotional intelligence and self-regulation. Nurses are exposed to pain, suffering, and death, as well as life-affirming events, daily. How can nurses manage their emotions and cope with the stress and demands of their job? Here are some tips and strategies to improve your emotional intelligence and well-being as a nurse.

What is Emotional Intelligence and Why is it Important for Nurses?

Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to perceive, regulate, and manage emotions. Emotional intelligence in nursing is the ability of a nurse to understand, use, and manage their emotions in ways that promote effective communication, empathy for others, conflict resolution, and stress reduction.

Emotional intelligence is vital for nurses because it can help them:

What are the Elements of Emotional Intelligence and How to Develop Them?

According to Daniel Goleman, there are five elements of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. Here are some ways to develop and improve these elements as a nurse:

  • Self-awareness: This is the ability to recognize and understand your own emotions, strengths, weaknesses, values, and goals. To improve your self-awareness, you can practice self-reflection, seek feedback, journal your thoughts and feelings, and be mindful of your physical and mental state.
  • Self-regulation: This is the ability to control and manage your emotions, impulses, and behaviors. To improve your self-regulation, you can practice relaxation techniques, such as breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga, set boundaries and limits, express your emotions in healthy ways, and avoid negative coping mechanisms, such as substance abuse or overeating.
  • Motivation: This is the ability to pursue your goals with passion, enthusiasm, and perseverance. To improve your motivation, you can remind yourself of your purpose and values, celebrate your achievements, seek new challenges and opportunities, and find sources of inspiration and support.
  • Empathy: This is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others, and to respond with compassion and care. To improve your empathy, you can listen actively and attentively, show interest and curiosity, acknowledge and validate the emotions of others, and offer help and support when needed.
  • Social skills: This is the ability to communicate and interact effectively with others, and to build and maintain positive relationships. To improve your social skills, you can practice assertiveness, respect, and politeness, use humor and positivity, avoid gossip and criticism, and collaborate and cooperate with others.

What are the Benefits of Emotional Intelligence for Nurses and Their Patients?

Emotional intelligence can have many benefits for nurses and their patients, such as:


Emotional intelligence is a crucial skill for nurses, as it can help them cope with the emotional demands of their profession, and provide better care for their patients. By developing and improving the elements of emotional intelligence, nurses can enhance their personal and professional well-being, and make a positive difference in the lives of others.