How to Not Flip Out When Tensions Run High

Ticked off, impatient, short fused and irritated as heck. Lately it seems that tension is running higher than usual for a lot of people.

More than ever patience levels are being challenged for even the most composed individuals. From weather related events, to an unexpected health crisis, to job insecurity and financial turmoil, to shocking political antics and civil unrest, the list goes on. There is just no shortage of issues or circumstances that can and will test our emotional poise.

In our fast-paced world, life is often moving faster than our emotions can keep up with and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by emotions like frustration or anger. Our unsorted or unresolved feelings can start to stack and we end up having a blowout.

Emotions such as anger, fear and worry can and often do lead to unhealthy stress levels, knowing what to do to manage, or self-regulate our emotions can help to minimize the amount of stress we experience.

While we may experience some stress due to rush hour traffic or something we see on the evening news that makes us angry, that’s not necessarily unhealthy. The real health compromising effect of stress is when we dwell on that anger for an hour or two, or longer. That’s when stress begins to adversely affect our health.

Tools to help us connect with our heart and that help us slow down our inner speed can go a long way to prevent a stress build up and blow out.

To defuse frustration or anger, it’s important to become emotionally aware and acknowledge what we’re feeling. Taking a pause to identify what triggered our anger can actually help to slow down the emotional energy drain.

Once we identify the trigger we can ask our self what emotional belief is under that feeling of anger – e.g. Am I feeling disrespected? Am I feeling unfairly judged? Am I feeling uncared for? By asking our self these questions, we often can uncover a deeper belief underneath.

Runaway anger uses a lot of emotional energy. We can reduce the intensity of an anger reaction by simply breathing a little slower while focusing on our heart. Doing this smooths out the heart’s rhythm and sends a signal to the brain to ease up on the reaction, allowing us to regain some emotional poise. Learning to reset our emotional balance just takes some meaningful practice.

When feeling frustrated or like you’re gonna “flip” out, remembering to stop and take a moment to do an emotional reset can help prevent a lot of energy drain.

Try this tool as a way of resetting and do it for one minute or longer until there is a feeling that something is lightening up. Even if we don’t get to a complete release, a little ease can bring some relief. As more ease starts to filter in, quite often so will a more balanced perspective that can help to defuse emotional reactivity.

Use these simple steps for the HeartMath® tool called Notice and Ease

Notice and Ease

Step 1: Notice and admit what you’re feeling.
Step 2: Try and name the feeling.
Step 3: Tell yourself to e-a-s-e as you gently focus your attention in the area of the heart, relax as you breathe, and e-a-s-e the stress out.

The HeartMath Notice and Ease tool helps us shift our energy to inner self-awareness and connect with our heart’s rhythmic power to de-escalate the reaction and get back to a place of balance where we can think more clearly and find a more balanced perspective.

For more tips about how to defuse anger, get the book Transforming Anger: The HeartMath Solution for Letting Go of Rage, Frustration, and Irritation (New Harbinger Publications) by Doc Childre and Deborah Rozman, Ph.D.