When has being told to ” just calm down” ever worked for you? Please email me and let me know.
However, if you can relate to the struggle of trying to get a handle on overwhelming emotions continue reading. Have you ever felt great pressure to solve a problem immediately?” Your friends are giving you a plethora of suggestions about what you should be doing and how you should be doing it, but in reality your mind is reeling out of control.
The prefrontal cortex of your brain is responsible for higher thought function, abstract thinking and reasoning. Generally it’s a reliable CEO. Unfortunately there is something that can throw it off track.Stress
It’s been suggested that under high stress, panic and anxiety the brain tries to protect itself by defaulting to an instinctive mode. It presumes that we are under attack and need to defend ourselves. As a result we blank out or begin thinking irrationally .
Here’s what to do about it.
1. Remember that you are causing this reaction by inducing your brain into a coma like state due to stress.
Assess if you are in any immediate danger. Although you realize that you are being emotionally assaulted; determine if there is a physically need to fight or take flight.
2. Ground yourself spiritually.
Ground yourself spiritually by asking for help. One option is to say a prayer or verbalize what you’re feeling and what you need.
3. Ground yourself physically and emotionally.
One option is to use this 5,4,3,2,1 technique. You can also express how you feel physically ex. nauseated, dizzy, faint, tired. This can give you a sense of awareness in knowing that your body is still functioning and reacting to you.
4. Dr. Neil Nedley provides a quick solution to your emotional distress by using a song to the tune “Frere Jacques”
The words are substituted with, “I don’t like it. I don’t like it. It’s alright. It’s alright. I can stand it anyway. I can stand it any way. I’m Ok. I’m OK. This simple technique acknowledges the emotions instead of trying to deny how you are feeling. Cleverly it also provides reassurance that you also have the ability to handle them.
5. Remember that it takes approximately 90 seconds for emotionally intensity to pass.
Brain researcher Jill Bolte Taylor describes a 90 second rule. When an emotional response is triggered there is a 90 second automatic chemical response in the blood and body. Taylor explains that all emotions last for less than 90 seconds. If anything continues after this it’s because we have allowed it to develop into something more. The more we replay the memory , or repeat the thoughts the more they become ingrained in our mind making it difficult to disconnect.
7. I must leave on this last note.
A bible text came into my head. This is a general verse that can be applied to all contexts.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8,9
8. Download the free “Boost Your Mood” resource guide.
I don’t know about you but there is a sense of relief knowing that I’m not left defenceless against my emotions. You have the power to change the narrative.
What are some wonderful, lovely things you can think about? The more we dwell on pleasant thoughts(nature, family and whatever that may be for you) the more positive pathways are planted into our mind.
Finally be kind to yourself, remember that these techniques take time and practice.
You will not get a handle of your emotions overnight. Emotions are not something to try to suppress but acknowledge. Then you decide whether you want to hold on to them or let them go.
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