3 Tools to Calm Your Emotions
Updated: Jun 7, 2019
What are emotions? A definition psychologist, neurologist, biologist, and sociologist can’t seem to agree on.
“How do you manage your emotions, Kahila? When I listen to your life story I can’t help but wonder how you haven’t fallen apart yet and are even more determined than before. What’s your trick?”
This was a comment I heard one night while at dinner with a friend.
I smiled and responded; “I guess my trick is that I allow myself to feel every damn emotion there is to feel. Some are a little more manageable, and some are so challenging that it takes me a while to process and let go of the burden and the pain.”
“You make it sound so easy.”
I responded: “nothing about it is easy; in fact it takes time, and dedication. At the end, it is so worth it.”
More often than not, society responds to emotions in a destructive manner, such as:
“Why are you so emotional?”
“Calm down, its not that serious.”
“Why are you crying?”
Comments we've heard or said at some point in our lives.
It drives me crazy, yes, I said crazy. Because that’s an “emotion” we've all experienced at some point, right?
The problem is that we think only positive emotions are healthy, such a happiness, and joy.
Happiness and joy can only exist alongside of other emotions, such as anger, fear, and sadness.
Think of them as a boxed set, it comes together.
We can’t just choose certain emotions and feel just that all the time.
Each emotion has it’s own valid place in our life.
How would you know what happiness is if you’ve never experienced sadness?
Most people I have encountered in my personal and professional life have tried the “magical” tricks that are out there to “transform” your negative thoughts into positive ones by simply thinking positively. Just think positively (insert eye-roll emoji here).
Here’s the thing, anger isn’t joy, and joy isn’t contentment.
So you can’t just wish it away by positive thinking only.
Every single emotions has it’s own meaning and purpose. It is here to serve a purpose and to help you grow.
When you try to change your emotions with changing from negative to positive, you end up disconnecting yourself from your emotions and your inner dialogue, therefore, falling into state of depression or anxiety.
Here's the thing...
The emotional work starts within… you can’t project your emotions to others and expect them to understand how you are feeling, and to ease your pain.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying you shouldn’t talk about your emotions, I think you absolutely should… however, there is a healthier approach.
When processing emotions you must remember that no other person is responsible for “fixing” things for you, rather, you are the only one responsible for processing your emotions in a effective manner so prolonged pain is reduced.
Start the emotional process by asking yourself:
What do I need right now?
Then try these 3 steps:
Here are 3 steps I practice in order to release emotional tension and prepare myself to face the emotions in a more productive manner. With this short practice I remind myself that I am in charge of how I feel not anything outside of me.
1. Breathe! Close your eyes and take a deep breath, fill up your chest and belly for a count of 4--hold your breathe for a count of 7--release your breathe for a count of 8. Repeat this breathing technique 3-4 times depending on how you're feeling. You should be feeling a little calmer, and if you do, thank your emotions for helping you release the tension. “thank you sadness for allowing me to release the tension.”
2. Now, open your eyes, stretch out your arms, look up, and smile… like you are smiling at a friend that just walked in the room. It’s a momentary change of emotions and it's the healing your soul needs. The change in your facial expression and facial muscles will signal your brain of the changed state, from sadness to happiness.
3. Next, practice mindfulness... sit up straight, or stand, listen for sounds around you. Focus on one sound, birds chirping, cars driving by, people talking, etc. Focus on that for couple of minutes. Lean towards the sound and thank your brain for focusing on the sound and allowing you to tap into all your senses. Shake off your body and release the tension your body was feeling.
You are not alone.
You are not the only person experiencing strong emotions.
You are not the only one that experiences “negative” emotions more often than “positive” ones.
You will overcome these emotional blocks by finding the root cause and working diligently to overcome each.
If there are no tears, how could you be grateful for laughter?
You are love,