While in an active tornado of emotional crisis many have a tendency to react impulsively, thoughtlessly, or default to outside counsel. External counsel should be a “control” type of tool; a checks and balance tool... not a crutch that cultivates dependency or debilitates personal power. There must be balance in seeking help and being capable alone. We will never be able to do everything ourselves that others are able to do for us, yet the cultivation of dependency is a common red flag showing lack of genuine care for self or another. This requires discretion and balance. Reacting emotionally on impulse without thoughtful considerations leads to compounded turbulence. These tools are not definitive, they are only mine and a few others personal favorites. Each individual must try a variety of techniques to find what works best because… shockingly… none of us are identical. As much as the world wants everything to be a “one size fits all“ and a “it works for them so it will work for you,” this is just not true.
Objective Self-Observation: Think of anyone you love — best friend, partner, child, sister, parent, etc. — imagine you're in their world and they're in yours, begging your advice. What would you tell them? What would you say to ease their pain, stress, or anxiety? What advice would you offer for a solution? By visualizing and redirecting our thoughts to someone else we love we can dissociate from our emotion a little. Our problem solving and decision making skills begin to flow from a logical objective place of love instead of situational blindness, confusion, bias, fear, pain or other obscurities emotional overwhelm tends to cause. This visualization shifts perspective from beneath an ocean of emotion to an outside view. Try to see the whole ocean versus only the few feet in front of your face inside the storm. We want to clearly see all possibilities, options, and solutions.
Refocus: Ground by searching for one thing that is in our control in this moment: our reactions. It’s how we hold our (emotional) body as a wave hits that is often the real problem, not being powerless to stop or control the wave. People have a tendency to strong-arm their environment when feeling out of control, but (in terms of our emotional body) when one digs heels into the sand and braces rigid against a wave, the wave hit harder… drowning, tumbling, carrying away, etc. When feeling powerless because everything is going wrong this is the same reaction as to grab and squeeze the people and things around us harder. Focus on what one can control (ourselves), how one can react versus what one cannot control. Ask it in your head, “What can I do?” You can lift your feet, move with the wave versus being smashed (watch-listen, chill), let it pass, then make moves. Always ask yourself, “What are the ways I can react? How will my reaction affect possible outcomes?”
Direct Grounding: If having an anxiety attack or severe crisis, reach out for help. Then find a place to sit down, stomp your feet on the ground and slap your thighs continually as long as needed until you feel yourself coming back to your body -- earth, out of your head and feelings. Begin to identify something for the five senses: something you can taste. Put something in your mouth, even if it’s your finger. Identify a smell. Identify anything you can fixate your eyes on. Identify a texture you can run your fingers across, and something you can hear. Find an environmental sound and analyze the nuances of it intensely with one pointed focus.
Spiritual Cleansing: You do you boo boo. Whatever works for you, whether that’s flogging yourself (I’m being funny obviously), egg cleansing, coconut cleansing, nature cleansing, spiritual baths, confession to a priest, chanting, praying, or banishing on Self techniques. For more specific custom individual suggestions please book a consultation with myself, my godfather, or consult your own spiritual leader.
Sensory Deprivation: The best way to create this is by going in a pool or bathtub. Sit and meditate with deep breathing first. Then do some fast deep deep breathing in through nose, out through mouth, so your body heaves. Once your body is flushed with extra oxygen, then submerge yourself underwater and turn your eyes to look towards your third eye. Hold as long as comfortable. Keep eyes closed as you come up and exhale slowly. Stay there Iike that with eyes closed breathing comfortably as long as desired. This forcefully stops rushing thoughts and mind chatter when the body is properly flushed with oxygen prior to submersion. There is a meditation technique to accomplish this without water submersion. Please contact if needed.
Will: My “Keep It Simple Stupid KISS” method is, repeat to yourself out loud or in your head, “I am not my emotions.” Keep saying it with conviction until you can think clearly and calmly. Breathe slowly. Force yourself to smile. It works as long as the emotion is not grief or sadness. Take it a step further and force yourself to laugh. Laughter banishes most overwhelming emotions.
A few of my godfathers preferred techniques include:
Four Fold Breathing: Inhale slowly for a count of four, hold breath for a count of four, exhale breath for a count of four, empty breath slowly for a count of four.
Diet: Avoid spicy foods, drugs and alcohol while extra emotional.