Make better decision. Regulate your emotions in 5 minutes

Edited. Original image from Lisa Widerberg

Edited. Original image from Lisa Widerberg

I am the zen girl. Nobody has seen me flare up.

I mean really nobody, at least, not since I take up yoga.

I am able to regulate my emotions well, even in stressful and fast-paced environment, like a commercial kitchen. But this week I experience an emotional hijack.

One of my close friends pulls an MIA act. We are supposed to meet on that day and he did not reply to my message. Not in the morning and not even in the afternoon.

Disappointment and anger consume me at that moment.

I check my phone constantly, hoping to receive some news. The more I check my phone, the more intense the feeling becomes. The more the feeling intensifies the more I check my phone.

I couldn’t focus on my work. All I could do is to check my phone and spend time doing frivolous activities.

I am edgy, distracted, frustrated and disappointed. Most importantly, my mind starts wandering from one negative scenario to the next. I start to think of sarcastic retorts if he replies. And then it all spiral downwards from there.

Until, I take a step back.

Until it comes to me that I have allowed my emotions to get the best of me.

Until I realize that I just destroying myself by allowing such atrocities in my mind. I’m not helping myself by thinking of the different aspect of negativity of the situation. I’m feeding on my demons.

At the end, It turns out that my friend is so tired that he sleeps for 18 hours straight. Honestly, who is able to do that unless they are drained? We arrange to meet up on the next day and we still have a blast.

After meeting him, I find myself charged for my future challenges. If I have allowed myself to jump to assumptions, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to spend a great morning with someone who has always inspires and motivates me to be a better version of myself.

I am able to regulate my emotions because I take 5 minutes to practice mindfulness meditation. I’m going to share it with you so that you could practice it whenever you feel overwhelm by your emotions and start to let negativity get hold of you.

 

Pause

Become aware of your thoughts, sensations and emotions. Allow yourself to tune into your inner world without judgment, even if they are negative, for at least ten seconds. Observe your thoughts and emotions.

Once I find myself overwhelmed, I stop whatever I am doing and start tuning into my body by becoming an observer. Think a person on a platform watching the train passes.

 

Analyse your feelings

Describe them, are you feeling angry, frustrated or upset. Understand your feelings. Are they rational or are they products of your imagination? Are they vital in assisting you to make a wise choice? Or will they most likely distort your decision-making process? E.g. it is natural to feel stress when you are head on with a snake, this fear is required for you to save your life. However, feeling stressed up in a traffic jam will cause adrenaline build up, resulting in an adverse effect on your health.

I am feeling a sense of worthlessness. Maybe I am not worth his time. A sense of disappointment. Why did he not act as he has promised? And I start to think that we will probably not meet again. He probably finds me too boring and will rather spend his time somewhere else.
Then it occurs to me that if that is the case, he will not have contacted me in the first place. The previous scenarios that I have been thinking are by far products of my own imagination and are unverifiable.

 

Stay in the moment

Practice focused breathing meditation. Notice your emotions again. Are they ebbing off naturally or are you trying to suppress them? Allow your emotions to guide you. Keep analyzing your feelings to be able to effectively take a step back from the emotional waterfall.

 

Brainstorm on your options

You could come up with more than two. Then think of the possible consequences of each action. And take action accordingly. Yes, I’m telling you that you could have the option of acting on your emotions but only if you determine that it is for the best.

I could react angrily when he replies, make him feels guilty. When we meet, it might be awkward. After the meeting, we might risk not being friends again.
Or I can respond calmly, meet up with him and give him an opportunity to explain himself. At the same time, I could let him know that my time is valuable and I hope that he will respect my boundaries. We will still be able to be friends, and our friendship might grow even stronger because it is based on trust and not on guilt.

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