Updated: Aug 28, 2020
This week we are talking about ways to manage emotions and associated sensations.
We think of emotions as mental experiences but they are very embodied - which means we can experience them in our body.
Think about your face flushing when you are embarrassed
Or the rising feeling in your chest when you are angry
Or your heart racing when you are anxious or afraid
The more we start to notice our emotions the better we can manage them. And the more we can enjoy positive and negative emotions
Look out for strong feelings during the week.
Both positive & negative emotions like joy and closeness or even depression and anger issues.
Notice the sensations that come with these emotions
Try and name the emotions when they come
Try to start to view these emotional experiences with interest rather than getting trapped in them.
Rather than trying to make the emotion go away - stay with it and watch it come and go
So rather than responding to anger issues by shouting try to pause and observe the emotion and the sensation come and go
It can be hard to get out of your head when you are emotional. Try these grounding strategies to allow yourself to experience without over-reacting
Take a deep breath
Count to 10 and notice your breathing
Play a distracting game on your tablet, computer, or smartphone
Turn up the radio or blast your favourite song
Cuddle and pet your dog or cat if you have one
Massage your temples
Take a hot or cool shower
Sadness - or depression - is often associated with physical feelings of tiredness and lethargy. It can make us feel like we don't want to do anything. Not doing anything makes us feel more depressed. This is the vicious cycle of depression. If you start to notice this happen you're ahead of the game. Now you can do something about it.
Panic and anxiety is often associated with unpleasant physical sensations - lightheadedness, shortness of breath, palpitations and so on. These are caused by adrenaline in the body. They often make us want to escape or avoid people or crowded places. If we start to notice this happening and view it as something normal the body is doing - rather than something terrifying and strange - we are in a great position to start to recover. And to start to stop it from happening in the first place. These physical effects of panic and anxiety are why we get headaches and abdominal pain when we are stressed or anxious