Posts tagged #emotional

Three Ways to Soothe Intense Frustration

Frustration is the annoying neighbor—he sees you before you can duck behind the badly placed front window curtain and now he’s in your living room not using a coaster. Like the unwanted neighbor, the intensity of a frustration meltdown usually comes out of nowhere and never wants to leave. So, what do you do when you feel like an emotional battlefield is taking place in your chest, head and gut? Read on!

Awareness raising questions-ask yourself these questions to open up the mind and prepare it for our step by step instructions to deal with frustration:

  • What happens when I stop pushing?
  • What is the fear if I don’t make it happen?
  • Would it be ok if I didn’t push and instead let things be?

Now that our brain is on board with this mission, let’s dive into some practical tools for self-soothing.

  1. Take a Step Back…way back
    Sometimes we need to pull back from the bonfire—otherwise our face will melt off. The same goes with intense situations. If we feel a raging fire emitting from a certain situation it would make sense to take a step away from it. You want to give yourself the perspective so that you don’t get burned. Taking a step back can mean giving yourself some time alone, having a relaxing bath, going to yoga, talking to a friend or hanging out with your kids and/or pets. In other words, go do something else for a while. You need this time to process, decompress and reorient yourself. 
  2. What are the triggers underneath this?
    When we have an intense emotional reaction to something it may mean that it is a deep wound from childhood. Maybe our needs weren’t met or the recent situation reminds us of how we didn’t get the love and attention we wanted in a similar situation. For example, you showed our painting to a parent and they were busy so they ignored you or they were angry about something else and took it out on you.

    These memories can leave a deep scar and when we do something in our present life that reminds us of that, we feel the same feelings in a more intense fashion. We show our creative project to our colleagues and they react negatively or they ignore it—there is the trigger. It’s like a hook that is stuck inside you and when the person says something they are essentially pulling on the emotional hook. Hence the emotional frustration. What we need to remember is that these triggers can be soothed. Sit in a quiet place and go within. Ask to talk to your inner child or the deeply vulnerable part of yourself. Then tell it what it needs to hear. You’ll instinctively know what to say. Once you’ve soothed that part of you, it won’t need to get your attention. The hook will be removed. Sometimes this is a process that takes a few “soothing” sessions, but it will get better each time.
  3.  How can you fill yourself up?
    Just as there are emotional triggers and hooks from childhood there are also triggers that relate to today. Maybe you aren’t living a balanced life and giving yourself what you need right now. When we look at the holes in our lives, we may see that we are getting frustrated at work but it’s really about the fact that we don’t have any fun. Or we don’t give ourselves enough sleep. Or alone time. Or social time. So, we may have an intensely frustrated reaction to a family member but when we take a bigger look at our life, it’s really about the fact that we aren’t expressing ourselves enough.

These triggers are very helpful. They let you know how you’re doing and what you need. Sit down again and get quiet. Listen to the inner part of yourself for messages about what you are ignoring or what you’ve focused on too much. Take note and try to adjust your life so that it’s more fluid and all encompassing.

Try these three ways to soothe yourself and you will notice that the next time you get into that state, the warning signs will be there for you. In other words, you’ll feel it right before the frustration gets really big. Or you’ll be more ready for it when it happens. Or better yet—you may dupe the frustration all together! Ah to live in a world with strategically placed curtains.


Emotional Factory Settings

My life is upside down. If upside down means right side up that is.

In other words, my life is traveling speedily down a road I like to call “awesome”! Just flying down the open road with my hair blowing in the breeze…metaphorically for now, but I’m ready for actual windblown hair at any time! All is right with the world. Now let’s go back a couple of weeks.

My life was upside down. Upside down with no opposite talk, just upside down. I was not driving along the road called awesome, I was careening down the highway to hell (yes, I can hear AC/DC too).

The difference between an upside down life and an upside down life that’s really right side up is this: emotional factory settings.

These are your knee-jerk, spastic, unconscious responses to life that we’ve hopefully managed to meditate, downward dog, transmute and clear away—for the most part. Until we find ourselves under extreme pressure. The pressure could be happy experiences like moving to a seaside hut in Costa Rica with your devoted and sensitive poetry—writing warrior/lover or it could mean finding out your new boss is the person who relentlessly bullied you in high school. Pressure is pressure; both bring out our emotional factory settings.

Our body has slipped into such as state of stress that it must operate on factory settings. There is no extra energy or awareness available to act in a conscious way in every moment. You must know me well enough by now…I would never agree with that!

Of course you can turn things around! So, how do you reset back to your calm, conscious, customized Self?

Try these tips:

  1. Prevent emotional explosions. 
    I built up such a powder keg of nervous energy that when someone poked the bear...I was exploding all over the place. And all over the poor unsuspecting person in front of me. The key is to let out the nervous energy. If you feel tense go for a walk, go to the gym, yell into a pillow, hurl rocks into the water, run to a friend’s house or jump up and down. The real point is to release that nervous, pent up energy.
  2. Communicate your feelings. 
    This is a tough one for me so I’m not saying this lightly. If you feel an icky feeling in your gut—someone hurt your feelings or you felt cast aside-acknowledge those feelings. Try to name them and write them down or say it out loud. Then if you want to tell the person directly, do that. Maybe it’s just a matter of relaying the event to a friend. Remember to frame it in a way that the person you’re telling is a sounding board, not a gossiping partner. The key here is to release the emotion once it’s acknowledged.
  3. Relax yourself.
    Take a bath. Put lavender under your nostrils. Take rescue remedy. Go for a massage. Take a nap. Read a lighthearted book. Pet your animal. Gaze at a body of water or fire. Breathe deep cleansing breaths.
  4. Eat regularly. 
    Keep your energy steady in the body so that your blood sugar isn’t all over the place. Going long periods of time without eating only serves to throw your emotions, hormones and general calmness out of whack! Don’t go more than three hours without eating—even if it’s a snack. A handful of nuts, some crackers and humous or a piece of fruit with almond butter will do the trick.

Try these techniques to unplug the emotional factory settings doing you no good whatsoever, so that you can return to your evolved and customized settings—the real YOU!