We might feel that emotional regulation is about feeling okay. However, it is reasonable to assume that “feeling okay” is just the reward we get for listening to our emotions. My assumption is that emotions are there to motivate you to do the right thing. For instance, fear makes you run away from threats, love encourages you to invest in a (hopefully) beneficial relationship, and anger fuels your desire to protect your rights. From this perspective, emotions are the instant priority list of survival. Of course they can be far from flawless, but they most often encourage us to move in the right direction before we even realize that there is any such thing as a right direction.
Who am I? To answer this, we must first learn to become more aware of ourselves. To be aware, we must STOP and PAY ATTENTION! We need to STOP and objectively watch and experience ourselves in action.
We live most of our lives by habit. These habits keep us stuck in patterns that limit our experience of life. Once we detect a pattern we were previously unconscious of, we can choose differently, if we want. With awareness comes choice and with choice, we gain freedom.
Start building the awareness habit: STOP and PAY ATTENTION. Set an intention to become aware of how you automatically react to different things in your life.
For example, how do you typically react to the alarm clock, traffic, work colleagues and situations, your partner or children? How do you react to anger or fear in someone else? How do you react to your own anger or fear? Become a witness to your own life. Pay attention to how you do things.
Become aware of how your thinking creates your reality. Probe the messages underlying your emotions. Learn to honour your body’s wisdom. Awareness reveals to us a whole new fascinating world.
Racing thoughts may be replays of past events which generated anxiety or sadness for you. They may also be worries about things that could happen in the future. They are strings of thoughts that are blown out of proportion, have a pattern, consume time, and often have no rational conclusion.
When thoughts like these flood your mind, they drain your energy, stop you from living in the present moment, and can create a loop in your brain that feels difficult to escape. They can also make it harder to concentrate and accomplish daily tasks, and impair yourmemory and sleep.
Having racing thoughts is often disturbing and frightening because it creates a sense of being out of control. But having racing thoughts does not mean you’re out of control or crazy. It does mean that you are anxious and that your stress level is higher than usual.
Our mind usually worries about things it is convinced are true but, most of the time, are actually not true. You can balance your mind’s tendency to predict the worst outcome by coming up with positive alternative scenarios.
Returning your focus to the present will help you accept and let go of what you cannot control. It will also help you realize that you can’t change the past, and that the future hasn’t happened yet, so it’s a waste of time to keep thinking about them.
Focus on here and now…
I believe courage is plentiful. In fact, it’s all around us,uncertainty holds us back from being brave. It’s the fear of the unknown — whether we’ll succeed or fail or get hurt or not.But courage doesn’t have to mean taking random risks; it can mean taking calculated risks. To do so, it’s important to collect data and expose yourself to anxiety-provoking situations.Bravery isn’t something you’re born with – you acquire it over time as you gain life experiences. You can practice being brave by acting on what your heart tells you to do and challenging yourself with new experiences, even when you’re afraid.“There are so many ways to be brave in this world. Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than yourself, or for someone else. Sometimes it involves giving up everything you have ever known, or everyone you have ever loved, for the sake of something greater.But sometimes it doesn’t.Sometimes it is nothing more than gritting your teeth through pain, and the work of every day, the slow walk toward a better life.That is the sort of bravery I must have now.” ― Veronica Roth We are actually designed to feel fear. It is a survival instinct or response. When you start feeling anxious about something, it is time to evaluate the situation and make a decision.Do what feels right for you. You do not have to prove anything (maybe to yourself). People who truly care for you will respect your decisions and will not push you to an uncomfortable situation.Know your strengths, goals and values. A deep knowledge of yourself will help you confront stressful situations. Chances are they will kick in when you need them most.Think often about your important traits, goals, and values. “The neuropathways in the brain that are used the most are the most likely to fire,” says Peter Ubel, M.D., author of You’re Stronger Than You Think (McGraw-Hill). “If you remind yourself of your good traits, they’re more likely to kick in when you need them.” Make a list of your strengths and goals, in your mind or on paper.Do you have a specific religion? Your own private faith? Either way, keep it strong and use it all the time. “Awareness of a loving force that’s greater than yourself can help you do what seems impossible,” says Dr. Orloff.
When trouble looms, she says, “send up a little flare prayer.” Avoid These Mistakes …Thinking physical courage is the most important kind.Seeing only the negative. Inventing endless “what if” dramas in your head.Worrying about what other people think.Think of consequences and make a cost/benefit analysis. Is it worth enduring the heart-pounding panic to speak at the company meeting? Keep in mind that you are in control of your decisions and actions. So, get informed!!! Don’t hesitate to ask and don’t assume things. Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is having enough strength to get up and try again.
Honestly, if it’s a matter of life and death just do the right thing.Tell yourself “I think I can” over and over. Have confidence in yourself.