Before reading this article I would like you to ask a question to yourself: “Am I able to remain cool when someone is angry or argues with me? If you are like majority people, your answer is not only no, but Obviously no!
Now take a minute and think, when you are in anger what are you listening to? Where is your attention most of the times? Is on the other person or on the story your mind is telling you? Such as “how DARE he say that to me!”, “He must be thinking that I am STUPID”, “He is ATTACKING me”, “He is wrong AS ALWAYS”, I’ve GOT to protect myself”. If you are listening to these mind mutterings, then you can’t hope to stay calm. In this situation, charge is taken by these stories and a message will be sent to your body to release adrenaline—body is now prepare either to rip one’s face off or to run away. All the neurons in the beast brain-amygdala- are active, and you are just helplessly and irrationally reacting on the command of this beast. Have you ever said, “I was so mad I couldn’t think straight,” Any emotional extreme can lead us to make hasty decisions we might later regret. Even when emotions are positive our behavior can be erratic and unpredictable. Now question arises how to deal with this helpless situation? And the answer is very simple, take back the charge from amygdala and give it to right part of the brain, The Higher Functioning Brain. Now you can think rationally and find out of productive solutions. So how do you do that? Answer is, breathe.Yes I mean it.
Before I tell you some techniques to stay calm, let me tell you that Breathing is the most important part to knock out this beast. Why? Because the beast-brain-adrenaline rush is causing you to breathe rapidly, high up in the chest, and flood your bigger muscles so you can fight or flee. It is depriving your rational brain of oxygen. Deep breathing will provide sufficient oxygen so that rational brain can take charge and function effectively. After few minutes of deep breathe, you are ready to apply some techniques to handle a crucial situation calmly. But wait for a second, before going to techniques; first we should know “that” moment when we have to apply them. We all have pet-peeves, things that get under our skin, and certain issues that just set us off. The awareness of these triggers is a crucial starting place to achieving emotional balance. Being prepared and ready to deal with frustration and irritation helps us intervene before our emotions get the best of us.Think about a situation that triggers you. What are you doing? Are you with anybody specific or at a certain place? How does this trigger make you feel? Make a list of your triggers. This is proactive approach to deal a situation smoothly. This will help us having a plan in hand well before time. Here are some techniques to keep you in balance.
Re describe from a different perspective:
After a few minutes of deep breathing, next step to deal with the flood of disturbing thoughts that leads emotional extremes is to shift the paradigm- the way we are thinking and interpreting the situation. Give a new description to your feelings. This requires that we alter some the thoughts and beliefs that are taking place. Following techniques will help you to shift your paradigm towards your triggers.
Suggestion for a friend in the same situation:
A great technique is to consider what you would tell a friend in the same situation. Often we are much harder on ourselves than we are on others. Maybe you’re saying critical and belittling comments to yourself and making the situation more difficult to handle. If you are considering someone you care about, wouldn’t you give them positive uplifting advice? Of course you would! You would offer them support and encouragement to deal with their struggle. If you wouldn’t tell a friend these things, why would you tell yourself?
Past experiences are your teacher:
In retrospect we would probably deal with many situations differently. Fortunately learning from our past experience offers a great technique to help change troubling perspectives. Consider how you have handled a similar situation in the past. Did it work out well? What did you learn from it? Reviewing a similar situation from the past helps us to understand what we need to do to get the results we desire. This can be a reminder that some of our worries may be exaggerated and we have been able to successfully deal with a similar situation before. Or, it may just be a chance to pause before acting to make sure we don’t impulsively make an unhealthy choice.
Do a reality check:
This is where we consider if we may be overreacting and exaggerating what is taking place. We may think of the worst possible scenario, or we might using restrictive words like always, must, and never. Have you ever said, “This always happens to me!” Or, “I never have any luck!” and “he always treats me badly!”These types of statements can really amplify the emotional distress, and more often than not, are major exaggerations.Instead, we want to ask some different questions. Ask yourself, “what’s the worst that could happen, or what do I want from this situation?” “Is there a positive way I can look at this that I’m overlooking?”
These type of questions help change our focus from feeling out of control to having a chance to determine how we want to feel and making changes that help us get our needs met. These tips and techniques can help us to keep things in perspective and deal with matters more effectively. This will build a road towards healthy relationships and batter communications.
Susie Michelle Lisa Brookes Joaquin Feliciano