Five handy tips for dealing with unsettled emotions

From time to time our emotions can seem overwhelming and it can be a struggle to regulate our mood for one reason or another.  Emotional dysregulation may be resultant of many factors, including but certainly not limited to stress, workload, relationship issues, loss, negative thinking and anxiety; however once the delicate equilibrium of our feelings has been disturbed, it can oftentimes be difficult to restore a peaceful balance.  Here are five suggestions that may assist in soothing your emotional state and help to re-establish a more calm and peaceful state:

  1. Establish a safe space.  This can be either a physical safe space that is calm, peaceful and relaxing that you are able to retreat to, or a place where you can close your eyes and visit in your mind’s eye when times get tough.  This might be spending time with your favourite person or pet, settling down to watch your favourite movie, lying on a beautiful beach, or in the peaceful countryside.  Whatever your safe space, close your eyes, imagine the colours, sights, sounds and smells around you.  Make them vivid, breathe them in and Immerse yourself in the experience for as long as possible.  Feel the warmth, safety and contentment of your safe space wash over you, let it soothe and calm your emotions. 
  1. S.T.O.P method.  Stop what you are doing.  Take a step away from the situation for 10-20 minutes (minimum) if possible.  Observe the situation from several viewpoints; write a pros and cons list if this will help.  Proceed with the situation when you are feeling more calm and logical.
  1. Water.  1. Splash your face with cool refreshing water then count for 15 seconds.  Repeat this procedure 6 times or until you feel calm.  2. Half fill a sink or bowl with cold water.  Immerse both hands into the water and count for 60 seconds.  Remove your hands and count for a further 60 seconds.  Repeat this procedure several times until you feel calm.  Dry your hands and apply hand cream for 60 seconds. 
  1. Look outdoors.  Go outdoors or sit by a window for 5 minutes.  Utilise mindfulness practice by noticing any signs of movement outdoors (people, insects, animals, leaves, petals, wind, cars, bikes etc).  Repeat the 5 minute timer until you feel calm.
  1. Read a paragraph of a book.  Look at a paragraph of a book.  Start with the first letter of the first word, pronouncing each individual letter of the word, then read the word.  When you get to the end of each sentence, read the sentence.  Repeat this process for the whole paragraph.  When you get to the end of the paragraph, read the whole paragraph.