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Marek Struszczyk

Co-Founder ManagerUp

Last modified: June 6th, 2023

Emotional wellness starts at home. Emotions don’t exist in a vacuum, neatly compartmentalized to suit our various life domains. Instead, they spill over from one aspect of life to another, often in ways we may not immediately recognize. That’s where the statement ‘how you feel at home is how you’ll feel at work’ comes from.

This article delves into the intricate correlation between our emotional states at home and work. It offers practical strategies to manage emotions at home as the first step towards achieving emotional wellness at work.

Emotions in daily life

Let’s first look at a recent study titled “Emotions in Everyday Life.” The study shows that emotions have a strong influence on our daily lives. It reminds us that our feelings at home don’t disappear when we go to work. Whether it’s happiness, stress, or frustration from our personal lives, our emotional wellness comes with us to the workplace and affects how we feel, act, and work there.

Positive and negative emotions can influence critical thinking and decision-making abilities. Positive emotions can foster creativity, encourage collaboration, and promote problem-solving skills. On the other hand, negative emotions can hinder cognitive functions, escalate conflicts, and contribute to poor decision-making. Understanding this connection between emotions and cognition is crucial to enhancing emotional intelligence at home and work.

The study’s findings revealed that people experience a wide range of emotions throughout the day, with no distinction as to where they were first experienced.

The results provided valuable insights into the frequency and centrality of emotions in everyday life. On average, individuals reported experiencing one or several emotions 90% of the time. Positive emotions were more frequently reported, with joy being the most commonly experienced positive emotion (35% of the time). Love, satisfaction, and relaxation were also frequently reported as positive emotions. Among negative emotions, anxiety was the most frequently experienced (29% of the time), followed by sadness and disgust.

What is emotional overflow?

Now that we know the frequency with which we experience emotions, we can look at how these emotions affect our daily lives. Consider emotional overflow, a phenomenon where emotions experienced in one domain of life, such as the home environment, spill over and impact another domain, such as the workplace. It highlights the interconnectedness of our emotional experiences and how emotions from one context can influence our behaviors, attitudes, and interactions in another context. Managing emotions at home becomes significant because they can profoundly impact our emotional wellbeing and effectiveness at work.

Emotions experienced at home can have on our professional lives

For example, imagine an individual who experiences significant stress and conflict in their personal relationships. They may be distracted, irritable, or overwhelmed, leading to decreased productivity and strained professional relationships. The emotional distress and tension from these relationships can seep into their work life, affecting their ability to concentrate, make sound decisions, and engage effectively with colleagues.

Similarly, suppose someone is dealing with personal grief or loss. In that case, the sadness and emotional pain they experience can carry over into their work environment. It might manifest as decreased motivation, difficulty focusing, or a general sense of heaviness that affects their overall performance and interactions with coworkers.

On the other hand, positive emotions from home can also spill over into the workplace, enriching the work environment. For instance, if people start their day with happiness and fulfillment due to positive experiences or nurturing relationships at home, they are more likely to approach their work with enthusiasm, energy, and a positive attitude. This can lead to increased creativity, collaboration, and overall job satisfaction.

In summary, emotional overflow illustrates the significant influence that emotions experienced at home can have on our professional lives. Whether it’s negative emotions like stress, conflict, or grief, or positive emotions like happiness and fulfillment, these emotional experiences can impact our workplace performance, relationships, and emotional wellness. Effectively managing emotions at home becomes crucial for maintaining a healthy work environment and optimizing personal and professional success.

Manage emotional wellness at home first

That’s why proper emotional management at work must first take place at home. Emotions are contagious, and negative emotions from personal life can adversely affect the work environment. 

Emotional regulation, the ability to manage and control emotions, is a vital skill in the workplace. By developing emotional regulation skills in their personal life, individuals can better navigate challenging situations, resolve conflicts, and make rational decisions at work. Managing emotions at home provides a foundation for building emotional intelligence, a highly valued trait in the workplace.

Achieving a healthy work-life balance is essential for overall emotional wellness. When individuals struggle with emotional challenges from their personal lives, it becomes difficult to focus and engage in work-related tasks fully. By addressing and managing these emotions at home, individuals can create healthier boundaries between their personal and professional lives. This enables them to be more present, focused, and emotionally available in the workplace, increasing productivity and job satisfaction.

Developing emotional resilience is crucial for coping with setbacks and maintaining wellbeing. By nurturing emotional resilience at home, individuals can better handle stressors and challenges in the workplace. They become more adept at bouncing back from adversity, handling setbacks and criticism constructively, without allowing negative emotions to overpower their performance or relationships with colleagues.

As individuals spend a significant portion of their lives at work, they become role models for others. Demonstrating effective emotion management skills in the workplace sets a positive example for colleagues, subordinates, and superiors. By first mastering emotional management in their personal lives, individuals inspire and influence others, creating a ripple effect of healthier emotional behaviors across the organization.

Michelle Obama: Prioritize emotional wellness

One high-profile individual known for promoting emotional wellbeing at home is Michelle Obama, the former First Lady of the United States. Throughout her public life, she has emphasized the importance of family, personal relationships, and emotional health. Mrs. Obama has shared anecdotes and insights that highlight the significance of creating a supportive and nurturing environment within the home.

In her memoir, “Becoming,” Michelle Obama opens up about her own experiences and the strategies she implemented to prioritize emotional wellbeing for herself and her family while residing in the White House. She discusses the importance of fostering open communication, expressing emotions, and providing a safe space for her daughters to navigate the challenges that come with public life.

Michelle Obama has consistently emphasized the significance of emotional wellbeing, self-care, and creating a positive home environment through her various public appearances, speeches, and advocacy work. Her efforts have resonated with millions of individuals and provided a high-profile example of how promoting emotional wellbeing at home can positively influence personal and familial happiness.

Managing emotions at home: The key to emotional wellness at work

Given this interconnectedness of emotions across life domains, it becomes evident that managing emotions needs a holistic approach. Initiating this process at home can provide a robust foundation for emotional wellbeing at work. Here are some tips:

  1. Cultivate Emotional Awareness:S tart by identifying and acknowledging your emotions. This self-awareness can help you understand your emotional patterns and triggers better.
  2. Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness, the act of being present in the moment, can help you manage your emotions effectively. It lets you observe your feelings without judgment and respond rather than react impulsively.
  3. Communicate Effectively: Open and honest communication can prevent misunderstandings and promote emotional wellness. Whether it’s with your partner, children, or friends, express your feelings respectfully and constructively.
  4. Foster Healthy Relationships: Nurturing positive relationships at home can significantly impact your emotional health. Establish boundaries, show empathy, and practice active listening to build strong, fulfilling relationships.
  5. Prioritize Self-Care: Regular exercise, balanced nutrition, adequate sleep, and relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga can help maintain emotional balance and resilience.


Emotional wellbeing is a holistic endeavor that encompasses every aspect of our lives. When we recognize that our emotions in different parts of our lives are connected, we can work towards finding emotional balance and well-being. That’s why it’s important to prioritize our emotional well-being at home because it sets the foundation for how we manage our emotions at work.

We can create emotionally healthy homes and workplaces by fostering emotional intelligence, developing effective communication skills, and promoting emotional safety. These environments, in turn, provide the foundation for individuals to thrive, boosting productivity, innovation, and satisfaction.

The conscious journey to emotional wellness is not a quick fix but a continuous process that starts at home and extends to every aspect of our lives. Thus, it is not an exaggeration to say that the journey toward a healthy work environment begins at home. By managing our emotions effectively in our personal lives, we pave the way for better emotional control and wellness in our professional lives.


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