No matter how good your communication skills, everyone experiences “emotional hijacking” when conflict affects their significant relationships.
First Step for Emotion Regulation: ASSESS the elements of what is happening
ACTION: Stop doing whatever you are doing, so that you may reflect on your own experience
EMOTION: Label the emotion you are experiencing in the moment. (a one word answer, such as anger, sadness, disappointment, fear, anxiety)
THOUGHTS: What types of thoughts are you having related to the emotion?
a. All or None
d. Mind Reading
e. Assuming the worst
f. Time Traveling
Second Step for Emotion Regulation: Application of SKILLS
ACTION: Inhale, expanding the belly, for a count of 3; Exhale, contracting the belly, for a count of 5. Repeat 6 times
EMOTION: Validate it; Practice KIND – NON JUDGMENTAL- COMPASSION towards yourself for having the emotion. Say to yourself “It makes sense that I am having this emotion, based on….”
i. My history
ii. Anyone would feel this way in the same situation
iii. My current biological disposition (e.g. sleep deprivation, PMS, recent alcohol consumption, medical illness, other stressors)
THOUGHTS: Let go of sticky obsessive thoughts, REDIRECT ATTENTION to the present moment.
a. Move attention to the physical sensations of breathing (see step 1b).
b. Next, notice the feeling of being inside your mind-body vehicle.
c. Hear sounds around you
Third Step for Emotion Regulation: LEVEL II SKILLS
ACTION: Identify and take the action OPPOSITE to the action tendency of the emotion. NOTE: Only if the emotion has little chance of actually being justified
a. Anger → Gently avoid, and then practice compassion towards person or situation.
b. Sadness → Get up, get moving, get active! Go for a workout, be social.
c. Fear/Anxiety → Move toward the source of the fear, over and over again!
d. Shame → Share, discuss, out yourself
EMOTION: Develop a better relationship with your emotion by Practicing Willingness to have the emotion you are having in the moment. Repeat the MANTRA “I am willing to have this feeling of…. In this moment
THOUGHTS: Check your thoughts for accuracy. Are your thoughts 100% true? Seek to find an ALTERNATIVE INTERPRETATION of the facts, which is…
a. Less all or none
c. Believable to you!
Source: Mindful-Mastery: Mastering your Mind-Body Vehicle