When Emotions Jump in the Drivers Seat
So I'm human. I'm not perfect. I have my own share of up's and down's and I sometimes act or speak in a way where I think "where the hell did that come from?!?" As it wasn't coming from a place of love. It's being reactive. It's not thinking of the other person. It just feels blah!!! It's not who I want to be. So when this happens I know it's a red flag to stop and reconnect with me.
A bit over a week ago this happened. I was in a situation where the emotion fear was in the drivers seat and speeding full steam ahead! I wasn't thinking or acting from a place of love. Thoughts entered my head and I attached the emotion fear to it, which then brought up memories and experiences from the past. Completely nothing to do with the present situation! Looking back at it now I understand this is something I need to work on. I can be honest with you and say it's not the first time I've let fear rule my environment or actions, but this is the first time I am capturing it, talking about it and showing you a vulnerable side to me. In the hope I will grow and connect with other people out there going through the same thing. You are not alone!
I don't want to sit here and write down my thoughts and experiences with you and sugar coat them. That's not real, that's not authentic and that's just not me. Yes I am an advocate for wellness and living a healthy and happy life that's achievable and realistic. But I'm also a realist and life can be fricken hard and you fall down many times. I now understand though it's not just about picking yourself up when you fall, it's also about pausing in the moment and understanding why you fell down and what you can do in the future. This is when you will learn and grow.
Here are some tools you can use when you feel like you are acting from a place of emotion like fear:
- Breathe. Be aware. Close your eyes and sit in the moment. Do a breathing meditation. One I find that works great for me is breathe in while counting to 4, breathe out while counting to 5. This will lower your heart rate to bring you to a calmer state.
- WAIT = Why Am I Talking? Stop for a moment, wait. Don't say the first thing that pops into your mind. Wait.
- Write down the thoughts going through your head. Be honest. Then break the thoughts down to what is real? What is an emotion? Is there a memory or story attached to this? What is fact?
- Acknowledge all of your feelings and understand them, have compassion for you and those emotions. Be kind, acknowledge them, understand them.
- Shift your energy. Your thoughts will change after you start to shift your energy. You can do this by listening to uplifting music, remove yourself from the environment, go for a walk or step out of the room. Figure out your way that works for you.
Trial and error. It won't work perfectly the first time, but every time you use your tool kit it will strengthen how you process and move through these situations. Your aim is to have your thoughts coming from a calm place, not coming from a negative place driven by fear.
When letting emotions drive your actions, a majority of the time it's coming from a place of fear. We are humans after all, we want to see it all and have confirmation that everything will work out. Unfortunately this isn't the case with most things. So instead of letting fear drive, make some space for trust and faith.
Thoughts are just thoughts, it's when we attach emotion to them that gives them power. But on a finishing note... be kind to yourself when you go through these situations. Be kind, understadn, grow and move on.
Here is an inspiring podcast on the topic: