18 Dec Regulate Your Emotions in Just Three Minutes
Emotions can be so overwhelming. In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to give in to your emotions and react on a primal level rather than take control of your emotions and harness them for the greater good.
We’ve all said and done things we regret, and many of us have been emotionally hiding for so long that we’ve completely lost touch with them and have no idea how to express them. When you’re in the midst of an overwhelming emotions, do you ever…
…emotionally explode? This could be crying or yelling, or even feeling like you’ve got tunnel vision and the desire to lash out physically or verbally.
…emotionally implode? This is retreating within yourself and hiding rather than confronting the situation. It’s a deep need to just shut down so you don’t have to feel anything or deal with anything.
Whatever your reaction to overwhelming emotions, it’s important for you to learn to take control of them so that they don’t dictate your actions. Get a timer ready so you can actually time yourself!
I’ve created this 3-minute Emotional Regulation Exercise to help you get through your emotions and express them appropriately:
When you feel your emotions start to take over, and before you allow yourself to react, stop and notice what’s happening with your body. Narrate you observations out loud. For example, if you’re feeling angry, say out loud: “I feel my shoulders are getting tighter. My heart is racing.” This will help you to remove yourself from the emotion and start to notice it objectively.
If you feel the need to emotionally express, now is the time to do it. Fling yourself onto your bed and throw a tantrum like a toddler. Scream and cry and kick and flail. Alternatively, you could stomp your feet and yell. Either way, you’re probably going to end up laughing because 1) it feels so dang good and 2) giving your emotions a place to go makes space for joy.
Take a series of three deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Allow yourself a few moments to look at the situation in a new light. Ask yourself what you need right now. Do you need time alone to calm down? Do you need to feel supported and loved? Ask for what you need either from yourself or from another person.
Can you choose compassion in this moment and try to see things from their perspective as well? This will help you to choose a calmer, more productive reaction and help you to feel more connected to yourself if the emotion is completely internal, or help you to feel closer to the person who is “causing” you to emotionally react.
Use the concept of mirroring to consider what this outburst may mean. If someone else is causing you to “fly off the handle,” what is it about them that’s actually a reflection of something that you need to work on or let go of?
Really take time to analyze the situation before you allow yourself to react. If you do end up reacting, take time after you’ve cooled off to reflect on the situation and what it means, and how you can learn from it next time. Meditate if you need additional information to download.
Emotions must always be expressed. Holding on to or “stuffing” your emotions is physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually damaging. With practice, you’ll find that your reaction to things will change and you will see that you have absolute control over your emotions and your reactions. You are free and safe to express yourself no matter what.
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