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The word emotions written in chalk with a heart for the O.

Try as we may to maintain emotional balance and to have a positive mindset, there are times when a person, or a situation sends us over the edge. But do they? Is it the person, the situation, or our response? The only thing that we can control is ourselves. With that in mind, we all need a method to reign ourselves in when we feel that we have had enough. Knowing that we are responsible for our actions and responses, what are we to do when we are triggered?

The Process

  1. Recognize – It begins with awareness. You must connect with your emotional state and realize that you have been triggered. Once triggered, you have relinquished control, and your emotions are in the driver’s seat.
  2. Regain – Take your control back. You never want to be so driven by your emotions that they are making the decisions. Pause and decide what is best for you in that moment. Breathe, remove yourself, talk it out, you decide. You are in control. This is a time for self-care. Check in with yourself and do what is required to get your emotions in check. It is necessary so that you are clear headed and able to make rational decisions. Your emotions are not a bad thing. They signal that something is wrong. They are designed to inform you so that you make good decisions, not to control the decisions that you make.
  3. Resist – It is important that your focus is properly placed. It is time to turn inward. Resist the desire to focus on the other person. You are responsible for you and your actions This is internal work. External focus is fruitless. It will keep your emotions high and prolong the frustration. An external focus will cause you to miss your lesson and waste energy focused on what is out of your control.
  4. Reflect – Ask yourself, what about the situation or what was said caused me to react this way? Does it remind me of previous trauma? Has a boundary been crossed? Am I projecting? Does my reaction match the offense? There are no wrong answers. The idea is to not judge your response, but to understand it. What we understand, we can manage. Gaining clarity from the situation prepares you to manage your response in the future and decide the best way to bring this situation to closure.
  5. Release – There is nothing to be gained from beating yourself up. Let go of the negative emotions. Learn from the situation, make the necessary adjustments, move forward with the information that you gained from reflecting on the situation. Assure yourself that you have gained a new level of understand of yourself or perhaps taught someone about your boundaries. Something good can come from this if you allow it.
  6. Resume – Overthinking and replaying the situation will gain you nothing. Get back to operating as your best self and let it go! Realize that as long as you have learned, it was not a wasted experience.

The Results

Think of the six steps as a set of tools to help navigate an emotionally charged situation. Any task is easier if the right tools are available to complete it. There is no way to avoid life’s difficulties, but armed with methods to counteract them, we have a chance to successfully manage them or quickly recover. Success in this context can be achieved in several ways:

  1. maintaining control
  2. regaining control
  3. reinforcing your boundaries
  4. internal reflection and growth

You decide what success is for you and use the six steps to assist you in achieving it. I would love to hear how regain control when you are triggered. Leave me a comment. Let’s get a discussion going!!

two hands holding the word success

3 Comments on 6 Ways to Regain Emotional Control

  1. These are great learning tools to helps to get back on track when we loose focus. For years I have been on an emotional roller coaster whether good or bad. Releasing negative energy is a most powerful tool, it’s not a easy one to accomplish. After I Pause, reflect, and release I feel so much better than bottling all up inside. It’s all in Mindset.

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