Woohoo! So this blog marks one year anniversary of my blogging journey and that's a pretty big deal for me at this moment. No, honestly, I'm quite stoked—especially for someone who's language isn't the best of her skills, if you know what I mean ;)
So while I'm on my high and celebrating, there is something that comes to my mind (this shows how good I'm getting at practising mindfulness.. haha!), I'm noticing that just how difficult emotions like anger & pain—joy & love could also take over us at times and get better of us if not managed mindfully. So what do we do? Try & block out these emotions by numbing or distracting ourselves? Nope! As Brene Brown puts it “We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.”
So how do we exactly manage these strong emotions—pleasant or unpleasant—without missing out on our living experiences. Well if you ask me, being a mum, my way of looking at it is very simple—I treat every emotion like my own child—a little toddler who's just come up to seek some of my attention and all I need to do is just acknowledge and embrace it wholeheartedly. I'll have to ask what it needs in this moment and then simply reassure that "it's okay" and "I'm with you"—that's it! But I understand if this doesn't resonate with you entirely, here are some simple and practical solutions you could try to manage your strong emotions.
1. Slow Deep Breathing
When we are experiencing strong emotions, our autopilot—fight/flight/freeze—is activated and this results in fast shallow breaths which in turn induces more stress and that's how it sets up a negative vicious cycle. Just a few slow deep breaths will help break this pattern and also activates your parasympathetic which helps you relax & calm down.
2. Be in your mindful body
What this means is, simply feel your feet firm on the ground, wiggle your toes, shrug your shoulders, relax your body muscles, bend your knees slightly if you are standing, and feel your hips and thighs on the chair if you’re sitting. The idea is to bring your awareness to any physical sensations manifesting out of your thoughts/ feelings/ emotions and quickly scanning your whole body through. A regular practise will definitely help in managing strong emotions. You may also want to start a regular mindfulness meditation & creativity practice to help you to slow down and stay present in the moment.
3. Have your own go to "Mantra"
This is another highly effective technique, simply having a personally meaningful phrase or "mantra" like, "It's okay", "It is part of this beautiful journey", "I am embracing all the good and bad in this moment", “This too shall pass”, “All I need is to breathe", etc. which can help bring you out of any emotional place. This rewires your thought process and helps you to see the bigger picture—for yourself and others in general.
4. Look out for your inner child
Simply keep a photo of your younger self handy. We all know emotions are contagious and when strong emotions takes over better of you, simply looking at your own younger self will remind you of who YOU ARE and immediately calm you down when you look in the eyes of your younger self. This will help shift your focus, build self-awareness and increase self-compassion.
5. Eat healthy
According to scientific research, there is a strong connections between your gut bacteria and your emotions. By eating healthy foods and taking regular probiotics, you could keep your gut bacteria healthy. This may help you in having fewer mood swings in response to the external stimuli which will likely lead to an improvement in your overall mood and keep your emotions in check.
I hope you have found these simple tips quite useful. And these are just to name a few, so please feel free to share your go to techniques to manage strong emotions if you like, I would love to hear from you. Also, if you wish to find out more, please get in touch with us today or simply book a session on self-care & healing, we look forward to meeting you.