Emotions are a great alarm system, as they tell you that you need to pay attention and alert you to what is happening. On the other hand, they are counter-productive when you get lost in your emotions and start blaming your perceived aggressor, or lament what has been done to you. You blame your reactions on the other person. As long as you stay in a blaming mindset, it is difficult to think clearly. If you are feeling that way, the essential thing to do is to stop feeling powerless and like a victim. How do you do that?

Licking your wounds: First, acknowledge that you feel hurt and focus your attention into the hurt feeling. All emotions are made up of energy. Sit for a moment and feel the difference in the energy between anger and happiness. Become aware of the sensations in your body. Notice that anger has a tighter feeling and happiness generally relaxes your body. Identify and compare what happens to your body while you are feeling negative and positive emotions. Every thought causes a chemical reaction in your body. Observe what pain versus joy feels like. Your goal is to become neutral.

Meditate: Find a phrase, find an online course, or attend a class. There is abundant research that demonstrates over and over again that people who mediate are calmer, healthier, and more emotionally intelligent.

Use humor: Laugh at yourself! Laugh about how that individual “has done you wrong”! Lighten up…many studies have shown that laughter can reduce stress, burn calories, and even protect you from heart disease!

Disengage from the situation: Make sure that you separate from the negative emotions. Many times we get stuck in the drama and negative feelings. Do whatever you need to do to break away and separate from the situation and your negative emotions. Go for a walk or ride in the car, whatever you need to do to disentangle yourself from unproductive and powerless feelings.

Appreciate and disclose: Before you say anything to the other person, find something that you appreciate about him or her. Do not only think about your appreciation, feel it in your heart. Then, speak to the person, but don’t blame them. Take responsibility for your own emotions and reactions— do not give your power away by being reactive or judgmental! Tell them that you are not saying anything about their intent, but let them know that when they do “x”, you have reaction “y”. Again, take responsibility. Disclosing is not slapping someone else with your feelings!

Reframe: We make snap judgments about situations and quick decisions all day. Stop for a moment and analyze your thinking. What did the person actually say or do? Did you misinterpret what they said? Did you mischaracterize their intentions?

Breathe: Oxygen is your friend. Take a moment to sit back and breathe deeply.

Power poses: Do one of the power poses – please see:
You can simply Google Amy Cuddy and Power Poses to find the TedTalk video.

Ground yourself: Sit in a quiet place with your feet flat on the floor; breathe deeply, sigh, and exhale all of that air. Focus your attention on your feet. Feel inside your feet: bones, nerve endings, muscles, tendons, etc. Now, feel the skin that encases your feet – don’t leave out your toes. Repeat this up through your entire body, feeling and focusing on everything inside and out. Keep breathing deeply and sighing, even exaggerate your sighs. Once you can hold that feeling for your entire body from the top of your head to the bottoms of your feet, send roots down into the earth and feel the connection with the planet. Take a deep breath, sigh one last time, and do a power pose!

Now that you have managed your emotional reaction, perhaps you can figure out why you’re reacting.