What are your emotional bus stops?

What are your emotional bus stops?

What on earth do I mean by your emotional bus stops?

Sometimes it feels that we can go from 0 to 60 turbo-powered and end up reacting in a way that isn’t helpful to us. In my blog post ‘Take The Power Back’, I talked about taking the power back from our emotions and I introduced a tip on how to do that. It’s important for us to know what’s happening when we’re overreacting to an emotional stimulus. It can really trigger us into doing things that are not helpful.

What are your triggers?

Have you ever snapped at your partner, really taken their head off?  Or you’ve reached for a glass of wine or chocolate biscuit before you even knew what you were doing?

Reached for a glass of wine

I know it’s happened to me.  We usually don’t have a lot of time between the trigger and our response or reaction.

The point of the emotional bus stops is to stretch out that process, so that we’ve got more time to notice what’s happening and then choose to do something different … literally get off the bus!

What do I mean by get off the bus?

It’s down to this breakdown of our mind/body connection.  We’re living in a time where we’ve put so much emphasis on cognitive ability, our intellectual ability, that we’ve drowned out all the messages that our body is sending us … it’s talking to us and sending us little message all the time.  When you start to slow down, maybe do some meditation or some mindfulness, that’s when you start to tune into those messages again.

We’ve stopped listening!  I liken this to an insistent toddler!

Toddler

Imagine you’ve got a toddler beside you, tugging at your leg when you’re trying to have a conversation with someone.

“Mum, Mum, Mum.”

You carry on your conversation, they don’t get a response, the tug gets a little bit harder and the voice gets a little louder.

“Mum! Mum! Mum!”

Still no response and then suddenly,

“MUM!”

Or even worse …  a full-on tantrum in the middle of the supermarket.

Are you ignoring your body?

That’s essentially what’s happening to us when we’re not listening to our body.  We are ignoring the whispers of “there’s something here needs your attention.”

When we don’t listen, our bodies respond with some scary symptoms; heart racing, feeling scared, panicking, feeling sick, feeling nauseated, headaches or feeling out of control.

What we need to do is slow down that process.  We’re going from zero to 60 on turbo boost, we’re doing all the bus stops before we’ve even noticed.  We need to slow down and notice some of those other messages that we’re so, so skilled at blocking out.

Notice the messages

It’s time to practice slowing down

The messages are still there, so we can reverse-engineer it, but it takes practice.  You’ve been really practiced at doing it the way that you’re doing it, so to change it, you have to unlearn it and practice.

It’s just about raising awareness at this point.  The way I do it is I think to myself

“Okay, well there’s a response that I wish I hadn’t had and I’m going to forgive myself for that.” 

It might not be in the moment, it might be later on when I’m reflecting on the situation.

I need to think what happened right before I reached for the chocolate biscuit.

  • I was feeling really under appreciated.

That caused me to feel a real heaviness in my chest.  Then I think, ‘what happened before that?”

  • Before that, I had sweaty palms, or I felt a flush of heat.

I can’t give you your combination because everyone is different.  Maybe you felt really stressed or angry.  What happened just before that?  A flush of heat or tingling?

Take the time to get off the bus

The point is that the more you notice the things that happened before the really scary symptom, the more you’ll notice them in the future.  In essence, that slows the whole process down for you and gives you the chance to get off that bus before you start doing things that you don’t want to do.

Let me know how you get on.

And if you would like help then click below to contact me for a Breakthrough Session.

Take the Power Back

Take the Power Back

Have you ever stopped to consider what your emotions actually are?

Emotions start off as a physiological response to a stimulus or trigger. They are something that you feel in your body and it’s the description that we give that feeling in our body that is the emotion. We can have different feelings and we equate them to different things.

If you’ve ever felt held hostage by your emotions, then you’re going to love this. My clients often tell me that if they just could get until on top of their emotions, if they could control their emotions then they’d be able to take the right next action to achieve their goals.  If they weren’t such emotional beings, then they’d be able to achieve their goals.

If I wasnt so emotional

What happens when we’ve got that physiological response?

We’ve given it a label and then what tends to happen is that our brain or our self-talk starts getting involved and sometimes that’s not good.

If we go through the process using stress as an example as that is something most of us have experienced:

  1. something happens, there’s some sort of stimulus or trigger.
  2. we have a physiological response in our body somewhere
  3. and then we say, “I’m really stressed”.

What does it feel like when you say “I’m really stressed or I’m stressed”?

For me and what my clients often tell me when I ask them is that it’s scary. It feels like they’re out of control. It feels really panicky and there’s nothing they can do about it. “I’m really stressed”, and past history dictates that this isn’t going to end well.

I’m going to cover how to get out of that cycle in a future post so look out for that one, but what I want to cover here is just a little bit of magic to try and unhook this a bit for you here and now.

Instead of “I’m so stressed.”

I'm so stressed

What about if we changed it to “I seem to be experiencing stress.”

I am experiencing stress

What’s different about how those two feel?

Can you choose the emotion you are feeling?

The biggest difference is when I’m all stressed this is happening TO me. It’s happening TO me and there’s nothing I can do about it.

When I say I’m experiencing stress, it’s something that is happening inside of me for sure but it’s not happening TO me.

It’s not my whole identity. I have choice.

Im experiencing stress

When I’m stressed, I don’t have any choice and there’s no getting off the bus.

When I am experiencing stress in a calmer way, I can choose, and I can slow things down. I can notice I’m experiencing stress and think “What am I going to do next?”

It’s as simple as that. The feeling’s the same, it’s just the escalation in our negative self-talk can be slowed down, and when you notice that instead of saying “I’m really stressed”, say “I’m experiencing stress”.

Slow Down

Get playful with it, try it out and let me know how you get on.

If you would like to find out more about coaching others on their emotions, mindset and making a real difference to their lives, join me at Coach School.

Coach School

And if you would like help on changing your behaviour to change your results then click below to contact me for a Breakthrough Session.