How often have you been told “just calm down” as a way to manage your feelings? Usually this doesn’t help the overwhelming feelings lessen and it typically makes us feel worse for feeling like we cannot control how we feel. The good news is you do have power over your feelings, although it may not seem like it at certain times. Sometimes feeling heard helps, but when you need to take it a step further try some self-soothing techniques:
Deep Breathing can be done anytime, anywhere. An important note about deep breathing is to really engage your diaphragm and make your tummy move. Inhale a slow, deep breath through your nose, hold for a few seconds, then with a slow, controlled release, exhale through your mouth. If you want to use counts, follow a 5 second inhale, 4 second hold, and 7 second exhale pattern. If imagery helps (especially with little ones), picture smelling a flower and then blowing out birthday candles after holding your breath.
Mindfulness requires us to stop living in the past or future so we can be fully present in the moment. Simply put, take time to appreciate the wildflowers! But, while you appreciate the variety in colors, fragrances, and feel of the flowers, pay attention to the thoughts you have and notice your feelings. Try not to be critical of your experience or analyze it to fully enjoy the moment of being present.
Control may seem elusive now, but finding coping skills that work for you and putting them into practice will help empower you. If you would like to visit further about coping skills and how to lessen your overwhelming emotions, reach out to today!