Our emotions play a vital role in our life experience, governing many of the difficult choices we make each day. They indicate to us what we hold dear – what it is that we truly value and whether or not we’re living by those values. But we can also be ruled by our emotions when negative feelings arise, where they sabotage our ability to move forwards – perhaps out of fear or vulnerability – or the shame we feel when things don’t go the way we anticipated.
When these intense emotions arise take a moment to pause. Breathe in deeply through the nose and relax the shoulders as you take a big sigh out through the mouth. Let’s gain control of our nervous system by engaging our prefrontal cortex - the frontal lobes of our brain that govern conscious thought and cognitive processes such as planning and rational thinking.
We can do this by writing in a journal and asking questions like:
~ Why am I experiencing this emotion? ~ What sensations do I feel in my body? ~ What steps can I take to calm down?
We may not be able to change the situation causing our internal discomfort, but we can change how we respond by being mindful and not getting caught up in our emotions. Through writing, we can identify what might help a given situation and then take actionable steps to resolve the issue without it completely disrupting our day.