Coach Pamela Burks
Today, like most days over the past few months, I woke up a little more "on edge", a little more frustrated, a little more...I don't know...unsettled. There is a lot going on that I have no control over. For a "control freak" like me it's overwhelming!
My emotions swing from worry to short tempered. Last night I was mad at someone about something STUPID! Something that I would have, under less stressful circumstances, ignored. My husband said I tossed and turned in my sleep all night, wrestling with the cover. Apparently, my evening irritation continued while I slept. Which made me feel crappy and tired this morning.
The 3 second buffer
When I was younger, I have a "Spitfire" temper. I could be smiling one minute and ripping your head off the next. Clearly that didn't foster long lasting relationships. After losing a few valuable relationships, I decided I needed to control my overreactions. Overly, reactive emotions are typically triggered by a word, an action or a past experience. I had to figure out what triggered my "fire breathing dragon" emotions. I created a 3 second buffer, pause between my emotional reaction and my verbal response. At first, it just delayed my "red hot fury" response for 3 seconds. THAT did not work! I had to SHIFT the emotional reaction into a reaction that I wanted to give.
Create your 3 second buffer
I figured out what triggered me, and how I wanted to respond instead. A RESPONSE to replace the emotional REACTION. The trigger made me think before I spoke. Sound familiar? I heard "think before you speak" from my mother all the time! She was right...AGAIN!
With my "think" trigger set, and a little practice, I reduced my number of "red hot" reactions. It made me ask myself why I INVESTED so much emotion into my reactions? I know now how to identify those REACTION triggers. It gives me POWER to prevent anyone trying to "push" my buttons to get a negative reaction from me.
What about you?
What triggers your automatic emotions? How are you managing your day to day emotional moments? What effect are your automatic emotions having on the people you are "sheltering" with? How are you releasing tension?
Need to manage your emotions? Try these tips
DECIDE to pause before you respond to everything for the next few days. See if it will help you realize and adjust an overreaction.
Take a 10-minute retreat (bathroom is a good place) to calm your nerves at least once a day. More often is better. Listen to a song that always makes you smile. Read a favorite poem that makes you feel peaceful. Just breathe deeply 5-6 times to release emotion.
When you're feeling on edge, frustrated, or unsettled, accept the emotions but "shift" your response. Take 3 deep breaths and repeat this:
I have COMPLETE CONTROL of what I do, what I say and what I think. I can INFLUENCE others but not control them. It's not my job nor my responsibility to "fix" the world around me. I will NOT CONTRIBUTE to the chaos around me. I am frustrated but I'm OK.