There I was after a long day at work, common stressors that everyone deals with, deadlines, difficult coworkers, make the commute home sitting to dinner and one little thing from the children and I lose control over my emotions and blow up. Instantly changing the mood of the house, the kids are instantly shy and timid and displeasure on the face of everyone. As you can guess it was a happy rest of the night in the house.
So how did I come to the point to come into the house and just destroy the little eco-system that was in place prior to me showing up? How did I sabotage my self and family for a normal evening? Looking back on my life I can tell you that any lesson I did learn about controlling my emotions goes right out the window when all of life piles on. So how do we change this?
Most of the time we are not aware of the situation we are getting into at the time. We are not educated in coping mechanisms to help prevent those outbursts we have. Ultimately, we are not in control of ourselves or our emotions. Again, how do we change this?
Firstly, we must realize that nothing that life throws at us should control our emotional health. We need to look at each situation as just that, a situation that needs to be address and cataloged and prioritized. There are things that rise higher on the priority list that need to be dealt with first. Though there is nothing that is more important than our own emotional health.
Secondly, we must look at why we are not educated. The response that happens is perfectly normal for your body when things start to stack up and you feel out of control. You lash out emotionally, trying to gain some control over ourselves since we have lost it in the first place. Typically, this happens at the wrong time to the wrong people. Not the to the situation that caused the stress in the first place.
Lastly, we have to figure out why we lost control. Was it a specific situation that reoccurs? Was it a new stimulus that has not happened yet? Self-reflection helps a great deal with this. Typically, after an emotional outburst, there is time to sit down and think about what happened. If this time does not present itself, find a time prior to going to bed when you can sit down and think about your day, write it down and be subjective and true to yourself.
To gain the control over your emotions, to break the cycle of an emotional rollercoaster, self-reflection is key. If you cannot identify what is causing the trigger you are doomed to repeat this event every time. Look at what points are affecting your emotional health and see if there is a way to add prioritization to the tasks. If it is dealing with work, you may need to address this and get help with the tasks that seem to be piling up. At home there are ways with communication to get help as well. Something that we have incorporated was the fact that anyone that recognizes someone having an emotional outburst anyone can point it out. Then we address the possible issues that are causing it. Offer assistance with what we can, whether that is a task or situation. Then implement that and see if that is the true cause of the problem to keep it from arising again.
If we look back at the original scenario of coming home after that long day of work and commute and loosing our emotional control and lashing out at the family, with the coping mechanism and open communication you can request a few moments to yourself to sort out the day and come fresh to the family. You can discuss some of the issues maybe with the behavior that pushed you over the edge. Prior to it triggering you. This tool will help not only you, but if you have children, they will learn it is ok to be in touch with your emotions and learn to control them themselves.
If we cannot learn to open up and communicate, without the fear of retribution we will never change.