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Rhodes Wellness College

Managing Strong Emotions

The Emotional Wellness Class is currently working hard on releasing old, stale trapped emotions from past traumas. Most of us were not shown how to handle strong feelings and often either under-express or allow strong emotions to overtake us. It is important to note that the honest expression of emotion is healthy and we are not suggesting you “hold it in”. Sometimes though, people get caught in a “loop”, where they can “recycle” the same feelings over and over. These are techniques to get out of the cycle and not allow strong emotions control you. 
Recent research indicates that we have an emotional “style” – much like we are born with a particular personality. We want to learn to be flexible and fluid within our style and gain mastery. First we need to learn good management strategies. Here are some tips for managing these strong emotions. 
  1. Practice mindfulness. The center of emotional memory is located in one of the oldest parts of the brain called the amygdala. When the amygdala is activated, you experience a rush of feeling. The best way to manage this is to call in other more rational parts of the brain (called the cerebral cortex) to think about the situation before you react. Mindfulness allows you to take a step back and become the “witness” to the event.
  2. Change your body language and facial expressions and look for something funny. You can calm yourself down by forcing yourself to look and move differently that you “want to”. This takes practice and dedication, but it is worth it and it works.
  3. Behave in a manner “opposite” to the emotion you are feeling. If you are feeling rage – practice skipping around the room or making funny faces. If you are feeling like you are going to cry, laugh instead. If you are fearful, do the thing you most fear. 
  4. Do healing work. The most effective way to not be overtaken by strong feelings, is to create an environment where these feelings have a “voice”. All our Wellness students are trained in this process. You don’t have to be a victim of your past.