Submitted by: Yun Li, Ph.D. www.yunexus.com/
Emotional upset is like a weight that weights us down and leads to stress and exhaustion. You know you might carry emotional weight when you feel tired for no apparent physical reasons. Practice these simple skills to flex your emotional muscles and shed unwanted emotional weight.
1. Notice and pay attention when emotions rise.
2. Verbally acknowledge the emotions silently or audibly, to your self or to others.
3. Remove yourself from the environment that houses the emotional upsets.
4. Change your physical posture (say from sitting to standing) whenever you notice you have unwanted emotions.
5. Stop the train of thoughts forcefully and mindfully, especially the repeated and habitual thoughts that trigger the unwanted emotions.
6. Refocus the attention on the event (NOT the thoughts about the event) that triggers the emotional upset. You will notice that the event itself does not cause emotions, but the thoughts about the event do.
7. For a strong unwanted emotion, use the sentence completion exercise to clear: I feel (emotion) because (the observable event), and my thoughts that (my interpretations of the event) really make me feel (the emotion). Best do this in writing for as long as you need.
8. For a persistent unwanted emotion, find the theme thought behind the emotion and challenge the validity of the thought.
9. Maintain good physical energy: eat well, exercise regularly, and sleep plenty.
10. Practice gratitude! Gratitude! Gratitude! The stronger your gratitude muscle is, the less likely you will harbor the unwanted emotions.
Note: If you have frequent emotional upset, ask for professional help.