This 4 step process will give you the conscious ability to control you emotional reactions
1- Notice your emotional reaction – When we are triggered the brain will shock our system with chemicals as a signal to warn us of danger. This warning signal will feel just as intense for perceived danger as it would if we were in real danger. After the initial shock we have about 6 seconds of conscious thought before the feelings and physiological reactions take control. It is in that 6 second pause that our conscious ability to respond can occur.
- Once you notice the shock of an emotional reaction stop the energy by redirecting it.
2- Interrupt – Interrupt the reaction by using a statement that will redirect your focus; an example might be “Up until now I would have given my power to anger, feeling hurt or frustration, etc. But I do not want to let my emotions run me anymore so I’m choosing to take a breath and go for a walk.” Because the emotional mind is part of our survival system it also controls our physiological responses. When we react our mind releases chemicals into our system to initiate action. When we consciously redirect our attention on something physiological like breathing we can stop the mind from releasing more chemicals into the system which will help us calm down much quicker.
3- Curious – Once you have redirected your energy and feel calm, get curious (not critical) by examining your initial reaction. Begin by questioning your reactions relevance to your current life.
- What triggered my reaction?
- Was I hurt, offended or did I take something personally?
- What thoughts did I have that needed to be interrupted?
- How have similar thoughts perpetuated my reactions?
- In the past, how have I justified my reactions?
- When I reacted, how was I viewing myself, and what were my thoughts and views of others?
4- Evaluate – When you have had enough time to step away from the emotional reaction, realistically analyze your thoughts, feelings, attitudes and beliefs. Then determine how you want to think, feel, and act in the future. think, feel, and act will give you the power to live the life you have always wanted!