These days, I consider myself an easy-going person and believe I have the ability to view both angles on any situation prior to me making judgement or offering an opinion. I also reflect that I wasn’t always like that and only within the last few years have I been more compassionate, understanding and neutral on how someone speaks to me, about me, about someone else, or about themselves.
I clearly remember though that when peri-menopause and up to a few years ago, it was very possible for me to wake in a bad mood, or feel happy and fulfilled in one moment and then depressed, anxious or angry in another moment with no obvious trigger or instigator. When these emotions flickered from one extreme to the other many times a day, daily functioning with confidence failed to exist.
When your body prepares for menopause anytime from around 40 to 50 years of age, understanding that your own emotions may become hijacked, by you, allows you to be prepared to face the demon head on when it surfaces.
Living in Yesterday’s Emotion
Too many find it hard to “let go” of a negative emotion that occurred a day, a week, a month or even a year or two earlier. You might experience feelings like anger, frustration, irritability, rage and resentment live within your heart and thoughts, causing you to feel symptoms within other parts of your body which at the time, you may not realise are related. Symptoms such as an upset stomach, stiff neck, body joint or muscle pain, headaches, low energy, depression, or even a racing heart or chest pain.
Now you may not think a little negative emotion could be detrimental to you but in fact, it’s quite toxic to your physical and mental state if prolonged, and this toxic trigger may be so hidden within you, that you are not conscious that illness, emotional outbursts, withdrawal from interacting with others, a loss of self-value, chronic anxiety, and more, is the result of you holding onto negative emotion.
Do you ever remember, as a child, saying things like: “That’s not fair”, “She said/he said…”, “They’re picking on me”, etc? These are the foundation emotions that create the victim mentality which can stay with you for your lifetime.
If no adult intervened at the time to teach you the skills needed to remove yourself from a negative situation, or how to turn a negative into a positive, then the writing is etched on the wall for a lifetime, or at least until you have the ability to empower your mindset to see people, situations and yourself, more kindly and compassionately.
Having the ability as an adult, to step out of your inner child/adolescent self, and assess a situation through adult eyes and reasoning, leads to emotional growth and freedom.
Listen To What Your Heart And Head IS Really Telling You
To live happily and free from deep set emotions, it is important to pay attention to, and consider how you are really feeling in certain situations, or when around a person or people that change your state.
If you are troubled by strong emotions ask yourself:
Why am I not feeling happy, comfortable, or at peace at this very moment?
What is the true and deep cause of my feelings?
How does this situation or this person make me feel?
Am I suppressing a feeling that I feel uncomfortable expressing?
Aim to identify the real crux of why you have negative emotions. Take a few days to devote time to this cause, and during this time, write down everything you can think of that stirs up negative emotions deep from within you – whether it be a person, a place, an experience, or words said.
Stress is a situation that causes discomfort or distress and can be physical or emotional. But setting aside physical stress for now, emotional stress may be slowly ruining your quality of life. The human body is actually programmed to function well with a small amount of occasional stress. This is when the body responds automatically to protect itself, so fight or flight is activated, the situation is resolved or diverted, and the body returns to its’ normal state.
It’s chronic (long term) stress that is dangerous for health and wellbeing. When the body goes into fight and flight, it releases the protective hormone cortisol. If cortisol hasn’t got the chance to deplete, and it remains activated and at high levels within the body, the body is now at high risk of long term detrimental side effects such as poor sleep, headaches, anxiety, depression, obesity.. and more.
When it comes to emotional stress, try to identify and challenge the thoughts or inner voices that make you feel stressed. It can be helpful to:
identify what makes you feel stressed
rate stressful situations out of 10 (10 being extreme)
remember you are not hopeless, silly, or bad for feeling stressed around people, environments, situations.
If you are experiencing chronic stress levels, deep emotions or struggling with body image, there are practical things you can do to help such as:
Keep a diary of the day, time of day, your environment, and how you are feeling at that time. You may soon see a pattern or identify with clarity, the triggers to your emotions
Take time out – just 10 minutes - to step out of your environment and turn off the “noise”. Sit quietly and draw regulated long deep breaths, in slowly and out slowly, to bring back calm
If negative voices enter your mind, listen to them, thank them for their thoughts and then reject them. Speak back to the voice with a positive comeback but you too have to believe the positive thought you are offering.
Go for a walk or get physical. It’s your body’s natural medication to calm emotion.
Speak to your medical practitioner if you feel you need greater support
Remember, you are a very unique person with the power to control every part of your thinking, emotions, actions and words.
Stay in the drivers seat of your life and aim to not surrender your vehicle keys to another person, emotion, or inner voice. Don’t allow yourself to be the passenger on your life journey. You have the power to reject emotional hijacking and stay in the drivers seat.