One of the challenges of going through so many ups and downs is that it’s tiring.
Feeling emotionally drained is a consequence of riding the emotional roller coaster.
How do you calm the emotional roller coaster?
1. Let two opposite emotions co-exist.
One of the opportunities we have during this time is to allow opposite emotions to co-exist.
To welcome fear and calm at the same time.
To embrace sadness and joy, upset and ease, overwhelm and peace, all at the same time.
Allowing emotions to co-exist is not easy. It requires practice and intention.
Recently, one of the women I mentor was very upset at the beginning of our session. She was exhausted physically and emotionally. Her body was achy. She was stressed out by homeschooling and pissed at her husband for not being more supportive.
I spent the first part of our virtual meeting encouraging her to accept her negative emotions by taking her through the robust mindfulness process in this video. Afterward, she reported that a feeling of peace and contentment emerged naturally for her. Then the only additional step she needed to take was to give herself permission to feel disappointment and hopefulness at the same time.
What is something you can do by yourself when you want to navigate an emotional roller coaster better?
2. Observe rather than participate.
If you stood inside a tornado, you wouldn’t be able to see the storm. You have to get yourself far away from the storm so you can view it from a distance.
It’s the same when you are on an emotional roller coaster.
It’s hard (often impossible) to see things in perspective when your emotions are all over the place. You are a participant in the event. It is only when you shift to an observer role that you can see things in perspective.
This technique that I’m about to share is one that I have used myself for many years. I also use it with women I mentor, always with great success.
It’s called the Movie of Your Life Visualization. Read it once, and then take yourself through the process.
3. Visualize the “movie of your life”
Close your eyes and imagine that you are sitting in the last row of a movie theater.
See the inside of the theatre first. Look at the seats in front of you. The stage. The screen. The curtains.
Imagine your current life as a movie on the screen.
How does that movie start? Who is in it other than you? What’s happening?
What do you look like? What do you wear? How are your mood and your attitude?
Visualize your current reality, your challenges, your obstacles playing across the screen.
What do you see when you zoom in? What new details do you see when you zoom out?
Now zoom out even more. Imagine you are stepping back and creating a bigger distance between yourself and the screen so you start seeing more details.
If the scene is happening in a room, once you step back, you’ll see the house. You’ll walk outside. You’ll know the neighborhood, the city, the country.
If the scene if happening outside, when you zoom out, you’ll be able to see the scenery more extensively. You’ll get a bigger view.
Allow yourself to watch yourself on the screen.
Eventually, bring your attention to the trees, the sky, the sun, or the moon—the more significant picture of your life.
Get curious. Observe. Notice. How does it feel to see your life from a more distant place?
What transpires when you view your life as an observer and a participant at the same time?
Bring the visualization to a close, and open your eyes.
By the way, there are similar techniques in which you change or influence the scenarios, but the power of this specific visualization is that you don’t change anything.
You shift from playing the participant role into playing two parts: the participant and the observer.
You get a more objective view of your life, and you are able to create emotional detachment.
If you are creative and you like to challenge your imagination, you can take yourself through another visualization with the same purpose: Instead of watching your life from a movie theatre, see yourself climbing the spiraling stairs of a lighthouse. When you get to the top, stand on the balcony and watch your life from a distance. Turn around while moving an imaginary spotlight, and shine that light on different angles of a specific situation.
Step back. Climb high. Do what’s fun for you, as long as you detach yourself from your emotional roller coaster and see things from a distance.
I’m curious to hear your observations once you take yourself through the visualization.
Let me know in the comments.