On an emotional roller coaster? Techniques to stay present


In the last week or so, every time I ran into a friend or colleague, I have found myself debating: Do I actually stop and share that I’m going through it emotionally right now? Or should I keep it to myself?

After all, when I’m feeling fragile (and we all do at times), I know that the energy required to go out and show up to audition, go to class, and put myself out there in the world is immense. Often all it takes is a few words of honesty with people who I love and trust for me to dissolve into an emotional mess. And it is only natural that I be concerned about falling apart in a very public place where I have work to do.

But if you’ve been reading my blog lately, you also know how important it is for me to be as authentic as circumstances allow. Saying that everything is hunky-dory just doesn’t reflect my truth right now. But that doesn’t mean I can’t empower myself to move through this experience with as much ease as the more joyful experiences in my life.

As I was entering Day 2 or 3 of my very own emotional roller coaster, painfully aware that I don’t have control over when or how this experience comes to an end, I made the choice to shift my focus and take some control over my day-to-day experience. 

Here’s what I did:

1) I shifted my focus from all the things I have not accomplished in 2014 (can we say end-of-year blues) to all the things I have accomplished. It was a pretty long list.

2) I started making a list of things that I’m grateful for. While I have found myself resistant to posting what I’m grateful for on my Facebook wall every day for November, I’m well aware that gratitude really does shift your energy. While I occasionally write a list of what I’m grateful for, I often like to just make a quick mental list in my head as I’m going to bed.

3) I placed my focus on all the things I can control. My environment is a huge one of those and the declutter fest is on!

4) I sought out new inspiration on productivity and placed active attention into clarifying what I  want to accomplish, defining a new set of goals, and scheduling my action steps. Check out the two articles I read: here and here.

5) I started tapping again. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a practice that I was introduced to by Claire Hayes. Based on the meridians used in acupuncture,  EFT combines self-talk with tapping on key meridians of the hands, head, and torso to move emotional energy. This technique is incredibly simple, doesn’t take up much space, and can be incredibly powerful.

6) I bought a SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) light. I don’t know if the winter blues was the actual trigger of these feelings for me, but I have considered purchasing one for some time and was feeling so crappy that I  figured it was worth the investment. I’ve had it for less than a week now, but I can absolutely feel the energy shift pre/post use. And as an added bonus, it moved my decluttering process along because I had to find room on my desk for it!! (Curious about which light I bought? Click here.)

If you are currently suffering from an emotional downturn, I encourage you to try some of the techniques above. Go easy on yourself. Maybe try one at a time and don’t be discouraged if the emotional shift is only temporary. Usually, I can extend the length of the benefits a little at a time until suddenly I realize I’m in a different place.

While I’m still going through it, I’m happy to say that I’m not stuck in that energy 24/7. It is possible to acknowledge what I’m feeling and not stop my life on a dime while I’m working it all out. And that feels like major personal progress.

What do you do when you are feeling emotionally overwhelmed? Do you use any of the techniques I shared above? Or perhaps you have others that you could share with fellow readers? As always, I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments below.

Thank you for reading! And Happy Thanksgiving!



One Response to On an emotional roller coaster? Techniques to stay present

  1. Mom says:

    Just finished reading “Zen Golf” (which may have been something you gave Dad for Christmas) and it has really helped my golf game. But his suggestions come from Buddhism and are meant to work everywhere in life. Of main importance: live in the moment focusing all senses on the present. This keeps your mind from wandering dangerously to the past (errors) or future (putting the cart before the horse syndrome). It also involves being aware of your actions without judging them and therefore being able to learn from your mistakes.

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