Emotions can be dominant at times. So dominant, that they drive us to react in ways we later wish we hadn’t. Today I’d like to talk to you about regulating the intensity of your own emotions.
Our emotions are fundamental in helping us understand our experience of the world around us, and in that way, they help us navigate through our days as we try to make decisions that work to our benefit.
Take note of that word “navigate.” All too often our emotions are in the driver’s seat making the decisions for us and driving us to ruin. Emotions don’t make good drivers. They are put to much better use in the passenger seat, keeping us informed of our experiences and potential pitfalls.
That being said, many others tie up their emotions and stuff them in the trunk. Emotions function best when they are in the context for which they were created; helping us derive meaning from our experience.
I find that many people don’t so much fear the emotion itself, but the intensity of their emotion. Try to think of each one of your emotions on a scale from 1-10. 1 would be disengaging from that emotion, 10 would be hyper-engaging with the emotion, and somewhere between a 4 and 6 would be healthy engagement with the emotion.
As we learn to express emotions in a healthy way we are beginning to allow ourselves to engage with the emotion without the intensity. Be patient with yourself. Regulating emotional energy takes time.
If you think you could use some help learning the skills of emotion regulation. Give us a call here at Cedar Tree. We’re here to help.
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