There are moments when people lose control of themselves in a sudden bout of anger or on a particularly bad day when they are can’t help what they are feeling. The reason could be anything ranging from hormonal imbalance, drop in sugar level, exhaustion to lack of sleep. Not able to control your emotions on a few occasions is common. Sadness, fear, anger, anxiety, restlessness trouble everyone from time to time but there are some people who constantly struggle with their emotions. They often feel guilty about their reactions and people around them may feel suffocated because of their “toxic behaviour”. Ever wondered what could be the reason behind this behaviour?
Dr Nicole LePera, also popularly known as The holistic psychologist, author of bestseller How To Do The Work- Recognize your patterns, heal from your past + create your self in her recent Instagram post talked about this problem where adults don’t know how to regulate their emotions. “When you start to observe, you’ll see many adults who act like children: we sulk, stomp, threaten, yell, or engage in silent treatment,” she says.
“Almost everyone I’ve ever worked with struggles with their emotions (including myself.) And, our emotional health influences every aspect of our lives,” says Dr LePera.
The eminent psychologist says the foundation of how we experience or cope with stressful emotions comes from how our parents teach us. She says that they do this unconsciously, through how they cope with their emotions. “Attachment trauma or early relationships when we weren’t safe have lifelong impacts on how we feel about ourselves and others as adults,” she writes.
While dealing with emotions can be a daily struggle for many, a few simple techniques could help one take a pause and adopt a better strategy for stressful situations.
Here are some tips to regulate emotions by Dr LePera:
1. Meditation: If you are one of those, who reacts to a situation immediately without analysing it properly, meditation could help you immensely. “With practice, we learn to step away from the impulse of reacting to every impulse, craving, or thought. This creates space for a response rather than reaction,” says the psychologist.
2. Humility: Sometimes, we are just not able to control our emotional outbursts and end up damaging important relationships in our life. However, it is possible to take corrective measures. According to Dr LePera, efforts can be made for repairing our relationships after emotional outbursts. “I’m very sorry I exploded like that. I was feeling scared,” “I know that I hurt you”, or “I want you to feel safe” are some phrases that would help clarify that you didn’t actually mean to hurt.
3. Breathing: Apart from meditation, focussing on your breathing has a positive effect on your emotions. “How you breathe influences how emotions are processed. Learning how to use your breath to process stress heals,” says Dr LePera.
4. Journaling: “Healthy venting” is a beautiful way to process, says the expert. She also suggests writing a letter to express what you feel but not sending it. “Allow everything you are feeling to come out in words or drawings. Identify and sit with all of your emotions as you scribble them down,” she says.
“With space and practice we learn to become the witness of our emotions, rather than having our emotions drive our behavior and choices,” concludes Dr LePera.