You’re going about your day and something or someone causes you to stress or have strong feelings and emotions. Maybe you’re going to panic, it’s not the right time and place to panic or show your emotions. What do you do?
The “Stress Hour”
Whenever something stresses you out or causes you to have strong feelings, write it down or make a mental note. Put it at the back of your mind until you reach a time in the day where you can review this note/list. You can call this your “stress hour” or whatever you wish to, but it’s imperative to take time out every day for this. Depending on what worries/stresses you or causes you to have strong feelings, you’ll address them all differently. So get through them one at a time (prioritise), some of them may require quiet introspection, whilst others may need you to be more productive e.g. making phone calls/attending appointments. This is a very important technique because it is preventative. Now, let’s say you have tipped over the edge, there are a number of techniques you can try:
Cleaning, watching a TV show, doing a puzzle or having a conversation. This is for short-term release because it does not solve any underlying issue. Works well with all emotions where you need to calm yourself before confronting your feelings and thoughts.
Using your sense of smell, touch, sight, taste and sound, notice everything around you. Spend time observing the stillness or the sound of the world around you, walk barefoot and focus on how it feels, observe the shapes of the clouds, smell the flowers and grass around you, taste and feel the texture of food and water. This allows you to temporarily disconnect and reduces the physicality of anxiety.
3. Emotional Release
Scream, run, shout, laugh or even dance. This releases the intense pressure of overwhelming emotion, particularly anger and fear.
4. Love You
Tidy your room, treat yourself or maybe have a bubble bath. This is great for guilt or shame, but doing it in the first place might make it seem as though it’s superficial…..it’s not.
5. Challenge your Thoughts
Imagine someone you love had the same problems as you, what would you tell them? This is hard to do the more you feel and the more emotional you are because it requires clarity and reasoning. However, this is a good long-term technique if you’re logical. You can also keep a thought record.
6. Higher Energy e.g. Meditate/Pray
Take ten minutes out of your day to focus on your breathing and nothing else. If you are religious, you may wish to choose to pray. Try volunteering, joining a cause, or simply doing something nice for someone else or a stranger. This is a reminder that we all have value and purpose, no matter how small or big. However, it’s important not to get too invested in problems which are not your own. Leaving your problems on the back-burner means you’ll always find a way to avoid addressing them.