“I just couldn’t stop myself from yelling at this guy!”
“I could hear myself going on and on but I just couldn’t stop!”
“I want to crawl up in a ball and die!”
These are the phrases of someone who has been, to coin a popular phrase, “emotionally hijacked”. This is when you are triggered and you cannot stop thinking about something hurtful or upsetting – even at three in the morning. For some of you, your emotions control your attention. Emotion is just “Energy in Motion” but when you’re hijacked, you lose control of your attention.
The good news is that the more you strengthen your brain’s neuropathways for concentration, the easier it becomes to let go of emotional hijacking and return toward a flow state. What I’m talking about here is developing your resiliency, the amount of time it takes to recover from being upset. The quicker your recovery, the more resilient you are going to be.
Strengthening your attention helps you let go of stressful circumstances because your brain begins to choose where you put your attention. Instead of being compelled to pay attention to your emotions, you can choose to focus on the breath and let go of all other distraction. The brain’s neuropathways that strengthen attention also allow you to let go of the hijack.
Just think about when you are really upset. Do you find it difficult to get yourself away from that mindset? You feel trapped because it is difficult to use emotion to change emotion. Instead, you can develop ways to manage attention, and ultimately your emotions. The one technique I recommend is mindfulness.
Mindfulness allows you to have a bird’s eye view of what’s going on in your mind. You can see, or become aware of the “I’m trapped” feeling. If you can get to the point where you notice that you’re trapped, you’re less trapped already! You can remind yourself, “Oh, there I go again,” which helps you detach yourself from difficult thoughts, which lead to difficult emotions.
Practicing mindfulness allows you to build a muscle that’s strong enough to ward off emotional distractions, and afford you a path to responding in a more favorable way.
If you’d like to learn more about creating your own mindfulness practice, please book a Breakthrough Session and we’ll get started on developing your resiliency skills.
Empower yourself for more ease in life 🙂