Handle Emotion Before They Handle You. What Can We Learn in Crises?

Emotion don't sit at the head of the table

Covid and other leading headlines know how to cause an emotional reaction, don't they!?.


Social media, the internet, news stations; thrive on a crisis. And why not? It makes a great headline; it drives internet traffic and catches scrolling eyes and ears. It's big business. Sadly, all at the expense of our wellbeing.


Here's the thing. You may not have control over others or even the world, but you can control what you think and do more than you realize.


Social media has changed drastically in the second year of Covid. We've figured out how to hack the algorithms at the expense of offering well-rounded, thoughtful information. It may seem all well-meaning, but like anything, if not in check with ourselves, we can be swept up/away by its hype or energy.


How can we manage the onslaught of information that comes at us?


Don't Click on emotion-driven headlines. Limit Social Media as an information source.


Emotions are a great way to enhance our lives, but they should never rule the day. As Emily P Freedman said in one of her podcasts,(here)

Emotions are allowed a seat at the table, they're just not allowed a seat at the head.

Speaking in integrated wellness terms, let's consider our WHOLE minds. Fear and panic flood our minds limiting our thinking capacity.


In a world that feels more like it's on steroids, and an all-access, all the time, "ready," "aim," "shoot," "fire," kind-of-world, how can one manage these outside forces from taking up residence in our hearts, souls and minds? We need to be prepared to say NO, enough and draw a line.


The noise coming at us can shut down whole-brain thinking and keep us on hyperdrive.




I love this diagram that captures the right and left hemispheres of our mind working together to create higher function thinking. These two hemispheres overlap in the middle; this is where integration happens; the two sides bring together a greater depth of thought. Here we can access "wise mind." But here's the thing. This Integrated third mind can only be accessed in reflective, meditative states. Being still and finding calm prepares us to think more deeply more well-rounded. Setting a calm environment is vital for this to happen.


Try:


Clearing away visual or noise clutter. Create a meditative space. Light a candle, grab some tea, use essential oils to help set an environment to prepare for retreat. Grab this ☞ Download ✧ for a helpful primer to create the space for productive reflection and whole-brain access.


Aundi Colberg, the author of TRY SOFTER, says, 'Setting boundaries is complex, difficult work, but I promise that as we begin to set limits and learn to listen to what our bodies are telling us, we will start experiencing the freedom that comes with hearing the heartbeat of our internal world."


Furthermore, our bodies are forever communicating. It's the hard drive that keeps everything functioning below the surface, and it does so without our being alert to its functioning. But we can become conscious of our inner world. We can inquire within ourselves and even assess the inner chatter running. Our internal chatter is stealth, unconscious, and running on auto-pilot in the background of our minds, and sometimes it acts like a saboteur rather than a kind friend. If the inner chatter is blasting, invite your trusted, kind friend into the conversation. What would your kind friend have to say? Pay attention to the tone you are speaking. Is it tempered or agitated? Is this the person you want to host for dinner? If not, don't invite this critic to hang out in your mind. Redirect their noisy jabber. Seek out your kinder, trusted friends.

Staying mindfully aware can help one stay in a good headspace. "Willing" or the will to do something is at the heart. If we're looking to be grounded & in a productive state, we'll need to establish what this looks like for ourselves.


Keeping our internal worlds in good shape will need your "head" to take the lead, not your emotions. Bottom Line, you can use your head to take the lead or risk Social Media's algorithms colouring your perceptions, capturing your emotions, and driving your state of mind. This is something to stay aware of online.



Photo credit: Yi SK Unsplash.


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