Gay Hendricks, the author Learning to love yourself, writes in the preface of his book about the negative review he received for being authentic about his feelings in a time when it was not yet okay to talk about them openly. This book gave me inspiration to talk about what I have been going through recently and what worked for me. This article is going to be helpful for anyone and everyone who is not able to live up to the quote “Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional.”
I have been on a detox diet since more than a month and I have occasional emotional breakdowns for no reason. Sometimes the specific incident from the past comes up and at other times I can only feel the emotion inside me and I have no clue why that is coming up then. I have two choices when this happens, one is to repress it just the way I did it in the past and second is to face it so that it is gone forever.
I chose the second – the tough path. This requires an emotional first aid so that I can feel the pain but need not suffer. The tricky part is to remember that you have a protocol to follow to feel better . There are again two options – share it with a family member who can guide you through this or stick it on to a few walls in the house so that it catches your attention when you are down.
This can also be used by anyone for any kind of emotional pain and it definitely works wonders.
The first thing which changes when you feel emotionally overwhelmed is your breath pattern. If you can consciously start breathing deep, slow and long breaths, you will immediately come into your senses. Do it for at least 10 breaths or whatever count works for you. This is the first and most important first aid to apply. Without this, it is difficult to do the remaining.
- Body Posture
Is your body curling? Can you sit straight? A curled up body wants to protect itself. It indicates a state of fear. Since there is no real threat, you want to send signals to your brain that everything is fine. Sit straight. Put your two feet on the ground so that it makes you feel stable. Slowly straighten your spine and move to an attentive mode. Then expand your chest. This brings you back into control.
- Pay attention to the emotion
This is a difficult exercise but the most effective one. When I have a breakdown, after I take care of my breath pattern I first jump into this step. Look out for the emotion in the body. Once I spotted rage and another time I could just feel a ball of negative energy. Pay attention to it. This hurts, feels extremely uncomfortable and you feel you just can’t hold it there. But after a few seconds or minutes, you can feel that move out of you. This can happen in the form of a jerk or a sudden void inside or you can actually feel the emotion leaving your body. I felt a different experience every time I tried this.
At this stage, you got rid of the emotion which surfaced. The next steps are for you to come back to a normal and cheerful mood soon and can be done in any order you prefer.
- Take a bath
Water washes off the negative energy. Just pay attention to how your body is feeling with no thoughts on rationalizing your breakdown. You will feel calmer and sometimes instantly better.
- Eat comfort food
Drink some warm water, herbal tea or some carbs to gain back some energy.
- Write gratitude diary
When you take a few minutes to focus on the good things in your life, your mood shifts to the positive side. The emotion has left your body at this stage, whatever low state you are maintaining is all in the mind. So this exercise moves your logical mind also to start feeling better
- Apply frankincense oil
One of my friends told me that one thing which helped her fight anxiety was this oil. Take a few drops of this and mix it with moisturiser and apply it to your face and hands and keep smelling it. It calms down your mind naturally.
- Listen to soothing music
Try some increase your vibration music or play your favorite list of songs. Sound vibrations have the power to change the mood of the place.
Sleep provides the rest for your brain and your subconscious mind closes its business.
You can play with the above order and add or delete a few from the list but it is important to apply the emotional first aid instead of writhing in pain. As Brandon Bays mentioned in her book Journey, emotions don’t last for long. We don’t pay attention to them when they come up which makes them take control over us. Children are the perfect example for the same. They shift their emotions dramatically. Similar ideology has been presented in the Power of Now, an emotion loses its power when you face it head on. Do the needful and feel empowered.
How do you deal with an emotional outburst? Let me know in the comments section!
Happy self care!