Calming strong emotions
For the rest of the day, turn on your emotional radar and be especially alert to even the slightest negativity you may feel. Whenever you discover yourself having an “attack”-no matter how mild, take the suggested “evasive” actions below. For today’s exercise, this is for negative emotions only, but you may want to keep this knowledge “handy” for experiencing overpowering positive emotions too. Keeping a score pad for this activity will help you maintain your intent to do the exercise.
Evasive actions to take:
Note any strong physical sensations in your body. Place your mind briefly on each area that is active.
Sit up or stand up straight. Assume a powerful posture.
Take three deep breaths.
Write down a name for the emotion.
Write down a number from one to ten that rates the emotion’s strength.
Write down about how long you’ve been having the emotion BEFORE it showed up on your “radar screen” and was then categorized intellectually as a negative experience worthy of being recorded on the pad.
Note what your “talker” is saying and see if you are thinking words that brings the mind’s focus to the emotion itself instead of the “triggering event” that “caused” the emotion. If not, do so. Think words about the emotion instead of the “cause”. Ask yourself, “How am I feeling? What am I feeling?”
Mentally speak words that indicate that you see that you do not have to do anything to continue the emotion, and that it is not something you wish to be doing on purpose. Mentally speak words that indicate that the emotion is unwanted and that you would rather put your attention on other aspects of your life.
Mentally speak words to the effect that the cause of the emotion and the emotion itself are two distinctly different aspects of life that require different strategies to effectively handle them.
If possible, “turn the face of your spirit” towards a more positive or, at least, a neutral direction.
Ask yourself,Did this work? Am I more empowered to reduce negativity’s impact on my nervous system?
How is it that something so simple as sitting up straighter can change my emotions? What would my life be like if I had a habit of always keeping my posture “emotionally correct”?
If I am going to make a decision, no matter how unimportant, would better posture help?
Do I always broadcast how I feel with my body? Are my body and mind usually an integrated unit?
When I am having a negative feeling, how often do I “help it out” to “keep it going”? Why do I do that? Can I stop that?
What works better for me: “talking myself out of” an emotion or simply putting my attention on other experiences open to me at that time?
When I am having a negative emotion, does anyone else get hurt?
If I were a saint, what would I have felt like during today’s challenges?
If I only have two choices, which would I prefer to be: a person pretending to be a saint or a person who indulges in emotions and really “lets them rip?”
Did I start even one emotion today on purpose?
Can I make life happen for me instead of letting it happen to me?