Many times things happen in life that seem to throw a curve ball at us and then our emotions can run amuck. If this happens, we can feel out of control and all our negative thoughts are sprinting on the hamster wheel in inside of our brains. Yikes! This can feel awful! So what to do when our emotions seem to be running the show?
First thing to do is take a deep breath... as slowly as you can. Hold that breath and then let it out as slowly as you can. Repeat three or four times. When we get overwhelmed with our thoughts and feelings, we tend to hold our breath or breath very shallowly. This signals to our bodies there is danger lurking because our bodies need air and when there is a shortage, our reptilian brain goes into overdrive and will do anything for survival. This means we have little access to our thinking parts of our brains and we become reactionary... hence the emotions start running the show.
After taking a few slow deep breaths, try to step outside of the situation at hand and think about what a really good caring friend would tell you... then you say that to yourself! If we can get out of the moment and the personalization of this event, we might be able to look at it in a slightly different way and realize there may be a few choices on how to respond that we didn't have the ability to notice before.
If you'd like to dive further into emotions, take a look at this brilliant TEDTalk:
If you'd like to talk to someone about learning ways to cope with run-away emotions, call Deborah! 619-431-1842
Deborah is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist who is passionate about helping people discover their true, authentic self.
Deborah is licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist #94438 through the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.