Space For Processing Emotions
Being activated by something in our external environment is an inevitable part of life. What we hold power in is how we give space for and navigate emotional processing. Here are a few techniques to guide you through the emotional regulation process.
ONE - Activation Ignites within your body and your body is more heightened with energy or beginning to shut down. Depending on the intensity and intimacy of the activation (how meaningful it is to you in your life) you may stay inside your window of tolerance or be pushed way out of it and feel overwhelmed and spiralling.
TWO - The moment you recognize an activation has happened is the moment you create space and opportunity for choice. This choice point is - stepping in and providing yourself with what you need or remaining in your patterned protective coping behaviour you cling to normally.
THREE - Breath and space. Provide yourself with breath (to create space in your inner world) and physical space in your external world (as much as you're able to in your circumstances. Maybe that means going to the bathroom at work or a walk around the block).
FOUR - There is something key in this moment when you take space. This moment is not for you to attach your focus to your thoughts and ruminate on what just happened and everything you would like to say to the activation point in this moment. This moment and space is for your emotional body. This requires you to recognize where you hold choice and power. You hold the power in where you focus your attention in this moment. Quieting your mind and not thinking about the activation and creating space for your emotions and feelings to follow the course it needs to. Our emotions have space in this physical life experience and they have a desire to be seen, heard and validated. And this is what this moment of space and breath is for. If you are having a hard time quieting your mind - using a guided meditation or visualization to help you is a good idea.
FIVE - When you are activated and ignited you are operating out of your emotional brain and your logical brain doesn't have as much action going on. Thats why you're about to know in your mind how you would be rather behaving and what it is you would rather do instead and still not feel like you have control in how your navigate your process. Change takes time and consistent repetition to take hold. Working to let go of judgement of how long it takes for this to become your norm. Get curious about your experience and remind yourself of your choice points.
SIX - Once you feel a shift in your physical body and the activation has released because it was provided the space and validation it needed, you're now shifting from emotional brain activation and your logical brain is able to come back on board. This is the moment when taking an objective viewpoint of what happened for you is valuable. It's important to highlight your role in things and take responsibility for your part. It can be helpful to ask yourself a series of questions in this time. [ex. what objectively took place? what was my role in this? what need was calling to be met? was there a boundary that was crossed? what was my experience of activation like? what occurred physiologically, mentally and behaviourally?]
SEVEN - When communicating yourself to others in your environment and circumstances work to step into self-responsible language and let go of casting blame.
** It's helpful to either explain ahead of time if that's within your power or establish the language you would like to use in the moment with those around you. Outline the new process you will be trying, which will assist you in emotionally processing and regulating so that you're able to come back and have a more proactive and understanding conversation.