It’s good to be in touch with your emotions, right? Not always.
If you become easily overwhelmed or flooded by emotions, so much so that you have trouble regaining your calm, you may need to learn emotional regulation.
Because out-of-control emotions tend to trigger more out-of-control emotions, which usually leads to more distress and a greater tendency to repeat the same pattern in the future. And, the regular expression of strong emotions can become addictive, it may even re-traumatize you.
For whatever reasons — trauma, highly sensitive person, or INFJ on the Myers-Brigg Type Indicator — I’m highly influenced by my emotions and the emotional states of others. I’m easily triggered, I spontaneously cry, and sometimes it’s not easy to recenter myself.
I’ve always labeled my emotional nature as “bad.” Feeling ashamed, I would try to hold in my emotions. But for me, that’s like holding back Niagara Falls. It only creates more tension.
This is why I’m gradually learning to better regulate my emotions.
Emotional regulation isn’t about denying or suppressing emotions, tightening and constricting. It’s learning how much emotion you can field without getting overloaded, how to calm yourself if you do feel overwhelmed, and how to pace yourself so you’re not constantly dipping in and out of upset. It means listening to and learning to work with your emotions in manageable doses.
Let’s look at simple yet effective ways to slow down a flood of emotions, whether you’re a highly sensitive person or not.