14 How To Take Back Control of Your Feelings
EPILOGUE to the podcast episode: we did eventually get to the postponed Lionel Richie concert. Watch his (very grand) entrance.
STOP, DROP, and ROLL!
If your feelings are on fire...
Stop, drop, and roll, to take back control.
STOP the madness
Realize: you can choose to try feeling something else.
(We say "try" because we're being honest here. We don't want to make it seem like it's soooo easy to quickly switch from one feeling to another. But we will say that if you don't even try...well...you know what they say: you gotta play to win.)
You don’t have to continue feeling so anxious, or grouchy, or resentful, or whatever.
You have the option to be "the watcher," not "the doer" or "feeler" only.
And "the watcher" can influence the doer and feeler.
Here's what we mean.
DROP the old paradigm
You can influence your involuntary nervous system to help calm its fight or flight response...by controlling your breath.
Take an equal amount of time, doing each of the four parts of your breathing listed below.
- Pause while you hold your breath
- Pause while you hold your breath
For example: if you take about 4 seconds to inhale, then also take 4 seconds to pause before you exhale, make your exhale take 4 seconds, and pause again for 4 seconds before starting your next inhale (which will also last for 4 seconds), etc.
If you do this for a few minutes – give it up to five minutes to really see – you'll notice you feel calmer.
And how great that this is completely non-toxic, environmentally friendly, super affordable, and super portable, too, right?! 😜
We can nurture a great relationship with the amazing organism that is our body through our breath.
Rectangle Breathing is just a modified version of Box Breathing, where you hold the pauses for longer durations.
The real fun of this whole breathing thing is to experiment.
Just dive in and start and if you keep at it with gentle awareness, you'll start to sense what feels natural and right for you, in terms of the duration of inhales and exhales, etc. A count of 3, or 4, or 5, or whatever, depending on how fast you count, depending on how you customize it for you.
Bottom line: engaging our with our breathing can help us drop an old feeling we don't want.
ROLL with the new feeling
How to get your desired feeling rolling?
This will take some work because you probably don't have much momentum behind the feeling you'd rather feel, at first, anyway.
But, just focus on getting a tiny bit of traction.
Here are a few ways we enjoy working with Nature to influence our feelings.
The sense of Hearing
A playlist of songs that make you feel great.
Here's one that that creates a sensation of expanded energy, and presence, and calm.
The sense of Smell
Aromatherapy can come by way of candles, lotions, incense, sprays, diffusers, smelling salts, etc.
Here are great go-to essential oils.
- Lavender is calming
- Eucalyptus is clearing
- Grapefruit is uplifting
The sense of our own Physicality: kinesthetic/proprioception and touch
Postural feedback, a.k.a. as using a "power pose," has been shown to increase our feelings of power.
Postural feedback is when you literally put your body into a posture that projects confidence and power, in order to feel confidence and power.
For example, stand with your arms raised above your head like an Olympian who just crossed the tape at a finish line.
Hold that stance for a couple of minutes, and it literally changes your body chemistry so that you feel calmer and more powerful.
Temperature affects our mood.
You can use a blast of cold or heat to jolt your system.
Gulp an iced drink or stick your head in the fridge 😉
You might think we're just being silly, but it's for a purpose, as we explain below.
The mental game
When you can prove to yourself that you are taking charge, it helps you feel better.
Taking an obvious (silly) action is blatant proof to yourself that you are taking charge!
Journaling is a great way to remember or re-interpret things in your life in a positive way.
Sometimes it takes a lot of writing and time to see a difficult time in your life in a more positive (or at least less negative) way, but it's worth it.
Once you have this new way to view things, you can remind yourself of it when old habitual feelings get triggered.
To be clear: we’re not saying you should always try to control your feelings.
We’re also not saying that all unpleasant feelings are necessarily undesirable.
Feelings are feedback.
They let us know how we're dealing with emotions and events and circumstances in our lives.
It's just that, sometimes, when we as "the watcher" know that a feeling is a roadblock to the Life and Person we want to be, it's helpful to have a way to get some control over them.
Wouldn't you agree?