When Emotions Try to Take Over

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Englewood Beach, Florida

This has been an emotional week. The kind where it seems my feelings are running all over the place, dragging me along and I’m panting and racing behind them, trying to keep up.

I’ve grieved the loss of a friend. Been excited about an unexpected surprise. Wrestled with frustration over taxes. Battled worry about several situations. Dealt with rejection letters on a writing project. I can go on, but weeks like this are exhausting. Draining.

But the worst part is the lack of focus. The inability to concentrate on any given task.

I’m guessing I’m not alone in this. So how do we settle our mind when emotions try to take over?

Englewood Beach, Florida

Englewood Beach, Florida

Here are some of the things that help me.

  • Take a walk. Look around as you go, not just at your feet. Focus on the beauty around you.
  • Do some stretching exercises and practice deep breathing. Force your heartbeat to slow.
  • Write in a journal. Pour everything you’re feeling onto the page. You can tear it up afterwards so no one ever reads it, but just writing it down helps.
  • Call a friend. Especially one that makes you laugh. Laughter is good for the heart! (*But please, please, please, if your emotional storm is so huge you don’t know where to turn, call a counselor, pastor, a professional who can help you get your emotional footing back. Don’t struggle alone!)
  • Get extra rest. It’s hard to fall asleep when emotions are running wild, but sleep is the body’s mental reset button. Solid rest does wonders for our mental state.
  • Listen to music. This is one of my favorite strategies. My editor posted this video by The Piano Guys that not only has incredible music, but the background is Iguacu Falls, which plays a huge part in my novel, Angel Falls. Here’s another link, if you’d like to take a listen.
  • Watch silly cat/dog/animal videos. Or if you have a pet, play with them awhile. Animals have a wonderful ability to calm our hearts.
  • Remind yourself of truth. Emotions are real, but temporary. You will not always feel this way. Things will settle down and find their balance again.
  • Take action. Just doing one thing helps us take back control. Then do another.

If you’re on emotional overload this week, I hope some of these ideas will help. What do you do when emotions try to take over?

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If you live near Ocala, Florida, I hope you can join us at the Silver Springs International Film Festival for the premiere of Catch of a Lifetime, a romantic comedy I had the privilege of being involved with. (I wrote the screenplay and helped produce the movie). It will be shown at the Marion Theatre in Ocala, on Friday, April 4th at 4:00 p.m. Should be lots of fun!

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    The Conversation

  1. Jan Jackson says:

    Connie, first of all, this friend is sending you a big hug, and if you need to talk, I am always here. Great ideas to deal with emotion here. For me, when I am overwhelmed and at the end of my rope, I make lists. I know it’s crazy, but if I can write down all the things I need to do, and then check them off, one by one, it helps. I think it helps me focus on what my priorities are and what I REALLY need to do, and then it’s a sense of relief and empowerment as I check something off the list. To be honest, I eat my emotions all too frequently. There is something to be said for chocolate and a cocktail or glass of wine. In moderation… of course. =) To balance that out, exercise is a wonderful outlet. It releases endorphins, our bodies way of naturally fighting stress and pain. Finally, if something is really on my mind and I can’t let it go, I write it down, then symbolically give it to God, the universe, whatever you believe in. If I write it on my computer, I hit delete, or if you want to be really dramatic and symbolic, write it on a piece of paper, light a candle, and burn it. Just don’t set your house on fire! Extra hugs and prayers that peace and blessings are headed your way.

  2. Connie says:

    Thanks Jan–for great ideas, great advice and for being a wonderful friend!! It’s been quite a week, but a good one! 🙂