Emotions are very much a part of our daily lives and are deemed to be what distinguishes us from other ‘animals.’
Yet they can also be what trips us up again and again, as long as we are slaves to them, rather than their master.
For much of my life, I was on a series of emotional roller-coasters which eventually led to mental and emotional health issues that impacted on my relationships, finances, health, and mindset.
Until one day, miserable and broken, I said, ‘No More.’
To change, I sought out information and professionals to help me acquire the skills I needed and that I hadn’t received while growing up. I was thirsty for knowledge and wanted to learn how to be happy without feeling like life was an emotional roller-coaster that was out of control.
Here are 5 Ways to Exit Emotional Roller-Coasters that I Found to Work:
Keep Off the Ride:
This may seem obvious and yet it’s often overlooked. It’s important to know what pushes your buttons and to then manage situations and people you allow into your life. How often do you get that little niggle inside and you ignore it? This is where the roller coaster ride begins – when we don’t heed that inner knowing of what is and isn’t good for us. This often occurs as we are afraid of being judged, failing, not fitting in or being wrong.
It’s important to notice and acknowledge all emotions, whether they are considered good or bad. They are messengers of the programmes playing out in our heads and which we are often indoctrinated into as we grow up, through parents, society, culture, and religion.
Get to know and manage your own personal emotional states, which will mean that you can make more informed decisions and be able to manage yourself with more confidence.
Meditate on A Regular Basis:
Attempting to meditate when you are in the throes of strong emotions is futile. It’s like blowing on a fire that is already out of control to put it out. Don’t try to meditate when you are on an emotional roller-coaster! Wait until you are feeling calmer before you sit down to meditation.
Meditation is a great preventative measure when done on a regular basis, as it helps the brain to actually have the time to organize information with you aware. Practised regularly, this helps diffuse and process volatile emotional energies before they get out of control.
Meditation helps to install a practise of being able to respond more calmly and mindfully to daily events.
Count to 10:
Ever heard Grandma say this? Well, she was definitely wise and onto something. It’s always wise to avoid taking action or making decisions when on an emotional roller-coaster. We have all experienced the damage one can do when under strong emotion and the regret that follows.
Emotions, especially strong ones, can swamp the brain, as it becomes flooded with physical reactions and then the brain is challenged on which reaction to prioritise. When stopping to count to 10, this gives the body a short lapse of time that opens a window in the brain, to move from flight and fight to more logical processing.
Stop and Breathe:
This simple yet powerful tool continues to be underused. When I say ‘take a breath’ to clients they laugh or make some cryptic comment – at least at first. And yet, stopping to take a breath changes everything.
Firstly, the act of stopping stops you. Use the previous point of counting to 10 to help you stop. Do this physically – pull over in the car, leave the room, stand up if sitting or sit down if standing. Change your physical stance.
Next, focus on taking a big conscious breath. Take several until you feel something shift. If the emotions begin to bubble up again, acknowledge them and make a conscious decision to deal with them at a later time once you are calmer and can think straight.
The mind is a great selection tool when calm and clear and not clouded by strong emotions. A clear head allows you to make a more informed choice and choose how to behave appropriately. Stopping and breathing will give you the time to choose.
The more often you practise stopping to take a conscious breath, the more you will unlock your secret weapon to stress release. I invite you to access my free audio DESTRESS DETOX RELAX now.
Educate Yourself with the Right Life Skills:
Hire a mentor or coach to teach you the life skills you are lacking. Most of us have not be taught how to manage our emotions in healthy ways and so we keep on repeating the same behavioural patterns. Until we replace the pattern with something new and different. If you struggle with emotional overwhelm often, there is no shame in seeking out support.
You’ve probably heard the saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” well, neither was your emotional make-up.
Here are A Few Examples on How to Slowly Install New Life Skills:
- Read a wide range of articles on emotional intelligence and techniques.
- Keep a journal of your own emotions and write about them – putting things down on paper is very empowering and it also keeps you accountable.
- Make friends with your emotions – it’s easier to install change in a friendly environment.
- Talk to other people and listen to their stories – it helps give a bigger picture.
As humans, we love to have meaning in our life… to feel the thrill… which can sometimes be found while on roller-coasters.
It’s not everyone’s cup of tea though, and especially if you end up feeling derailed emotionally.
Life is not meant to lived as a constant roller-coaster ride, at least in my opinion; it’s meant more to be about gentle rises and falls and ebbs and flows. The above suggestions can help in learning to master emotions in ways that are healthy and beneficial to you and those around you, so that there’s enjoyment rather than thrill-seeking at the expense of one’s sanity.