Ever have one of those days where you want to scream at the next person you see, even if they have done nothing? Or how about the days where dropping your lunch on the floor causes you to burst into tears – a reaction that is far more intense than what is warranted in that moment?
We’ve all been there. For whatever reason, we are feeling highly emotionally reactive. And in many cases, we feel completely justified for feeling that way. However, how often are you honest with yourself about the impact of these moments on others? Do you externalize the blame by saying “Well, they shouldn’t have gotten in my way!” or “But I told him 100 times…”?
It can be tempting to give into the emotions when we are at our max. In fact, one of the biggest things I coach clients on is leaning into the emotions in order to acknowledge and release them. BUT, this should not be mistaken for a green light to let loose our emotions like an out of control fire hose.
So what do we do? How do we get through these times without completely alienating our loved ones or being forced to move to the North Pole?
Own your emotions. Acknowledge whatever is coming up for you. Trying to deny or avoid our feelings is the quickest way to amplify them. Be honest with yourself that you are upset, and take it a step further by accepting that when you are angry, hurt, fill-in-the-blank, you can be an a** hole.
Be gentle with ourselves
Now that you have acknowledged that you can be a bear when upset, don’t judge yourself. Having honest self-reflection time isn’t about criticizing or judging your reaction. It’s about getting clear on what you’d like to change.
Identify the source
This can seem obvious, but do you know what caused you to become upset to such depths? Take time to figure out when your bad mood started. Maybe on the surface it seems like it was your kids leaving their toys on the floor again, but upon further investigation you realize it started last night after you reviewed the household budget before bed, increasing your worry and interfering with you getting a good night’s sleep. Or maybe your boss is giving you more and more tasks at work and you are having a hard time setting a boundary.
Create an action plan
Now that you know what caused your bad mood, you can attempt to fix it! Speak up to that boss and let them know you need assistance managing projects. Talk with your spouse about setting a realistic budget to get out of debt. Go to bed earlier so you feel more rested and less irritable. By taking action, we create a sense of empowerment and control, which aides in soothing rather than exacerbating an issue.
Spend time alone
And sometimes you just need to be angry or upset. If you have done your self check-in and realize you are in a space of needing to ride out your emotions, take the time to do it. Let your loved ones know you are taking time for self-care and ASK for what you need! Don’t expect other’s to be mind readers or do for you. Take accountability for your mood by getting self care and removing yourself so as not to take out your anger on others.
If we allow our emotions to take charge and override our ability to avoid being destructive, they can become an egocentric way of self-soothing at the expense of others. More so, if we choose to succumb to the power of our emotions, we are acting with a laziness that disregards our own strength. Having intense emotions does not signify that there is something wrong with us. In fact, it reflects an open heart and a willingness to be vulnerable. When we take ownership of our emotions, we allow ourselves to honor a core part of what makes us powerful beings. Feeling an emotion so completely can be a beautiful and breathtakingly human experience. And when we tap into that strength, we can accomplish AMAZING things!