The more we witness our emotional reactions and understand how they work, the easier it is to refrain.
Are you aware of your own emotional reactivity and what triggers you?
What about other people’s emotional dysregulation and triggers?
Hard questions, right?
What’s difficult is that you have to have a lot of self-awareness around what’s going on internally for you to answer the first question.
It also requires empathy and clear communication to figure out what others may want or need from you when they are in emotional pain (the second question).
Let’s start with some common symptoms of emotional reactivity:
- Quick to anger or rage
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Frustration towards others
- Getting upset when someone sets boundaries
- Feeling triggered by something someone said or did
- Shutting down because of the flood of emotions
What else would you add to this list?
Possible causes of emotional dysregulation:
- Unprocessed grief and loss
- Unresolved trauma
- Expecting others to take care of you/your emotions (instead of doing your own work)
- Always giving to others and not yourself, which leaves you feeling drained and depleted
- Not prioritizing self-care and your own wants and needs in life
- Feeling lonely and not emotionally connecting with others
- Struggles with a medical issue or chronic pain
What else would you add here?
Self-care for when emotions are heightened:
- Take some deep, cleansing breaths
- Slowing count to 10
- Go outside and focus on the beauty all around you
- Do some grounding exercises
- Take a break
- Talk to a therapist
- Focus on meeting your basic needs like getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, staying hydrated, etc.
Anything else you’d add here that’s been helpful to you when emotions are high?
So, first start with your own awareness into how you’re truly doing internally. Then, focus on empathy towards others and what they want and need. Basically, take care of you first, and then you can better take care of others. I’m sending lots of love and compassion your way as you work through any emotional reactivity that’s currently showing up in your own life today.