Immediate Help When You Are Emotionally Activated or Flooded
Updated: Mar 7, 2022
Positive Mental Health Strategy
photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash.com
Feeling triggered (flooded/activated)? I have found the following process to be a life saver for me when I am caught in an emotional tornado and mental hail storm, so I am offering it to you. This tool is effective once you are no longer in the circumstance that set you off, but have been ruminating about it all night and feeling its negative effects on your mood.
When you are ready to engage in introspection, go for a brief walk to allow yourself some space to feel safe — emotionally, physically, and mentally. Then find a private place with your journal, sit down and take a few slow deep breaths with your eyes downcast or closed. Consciously relax your body starting from your scalp, down through your eyes, jaws, neck, and shoulders, softening the area around your heart, and allowing your inhale to drop into your belly. This practice of self-calming and dropping into the present moment will aid you in accessing your inner wisdom.
Now journal on the following questions, taking your time to find the words that seem the most authentic for you:
What are you feeling? Start the sentence with, “I felt _______when _____ happened.” Continue writing out your feelings until you have identified all the emotions that are apparent to you in this moment.
What is the story you are telling yourself about this situation? Who are you condemning — yourself? someone else? circumstances? What shoulds and should not’s do you notice in this narrative? Who are you judging? What are some implicit beliefs that are driving this perspective?
Now affirm, “This is an opportunity for me to show up as the highest version of myself.”
What do you need? Perhaps you need radical self-acceptance, acceptance of others, to accept the things you cannot change, to speak your truth, forgiveness of self or others, to set a boundary, to have courage, to have mercy, to release the need for things to be the way you want them to be, etc.
Now create an affirmation that expresses the truth that you have accessed as a result of your introspection, and write it down. Continue to repeat your affirmation throughout your day, and write it down as often as feels supportive to you.
Notice, with gratitude, the resources and people that are present for you right now in your life and perhaps, the way someone showed up for you during this uncomfortable situation.
Close your practice by appreciating yourself for the intentional work that you are doing to mature and grow in awareness.
You are not alone.
For a more detailed approach to the process, please refer to the following article:
May your mind be peaceful and calm,
may your body be relaxed and comfortable,
and may your heart be filled with love.
Thank you for reading.
Blessings and gratitude,