“My colleagues are working on my last nerve, I’m about to lose it.”
“I’m going to explode on him if he keeps treating me like this.”
“You’re going to have to hold me back if this keeps up.”
Have you ever said (or even thought) something along these lines?
These are good examples of an emotional ticking time bomb. When you feel like this, you should wear a warning sign around your neck. You are nearing implosion and if you give in to those emotions it could damage your standing.
Let’s take a look at a real-life example.
Olivia is at work. She works in customer service and has been in her position for many years. She knows the processes inside and out. Unfortunately, she was faced with a situation that she didn’t know how to navigate. So, she calls for her supervisor. That supervisor is fairly new to the business and has been run off her feet all day.
When she responds to Olivia’s call for help, she does so in an exasperated tone. So, Olivia explains her issue with a request for the supervisor to help. The supervisor tells Olivia to figure it out herself and begins to storm off. Olivia has also reached her breaking point and shouts after the supervisor, telling her she knows how to do her job and that the supervisor is incompetent for not helping her. Or anything to the likes.
Yeah, the girl’s a time bomb and now she has a lot of explaining to do. Even though she may feel justified in exploding, and while we can sympathize, it wasn’t an appropriate response.
Now, Olivia can apologize, but there’s a good chance she and the supervisor will be unable to mend fences. She may also face disciplinary action, potentially lose her job or be put to the back of the line in terms of promotion opportunities. All because she gave in to the overwhelming emotions.
Managing Your Emotions
When you feel the tension building within you, take a long, deep breath.
This will give you a moment of pause to consider the potential consequences or implications of overreacting to it. It’s also important to understand what’s causing that stress and unrest to feed the negative emotions. You can see emotional ticking time bombs in action in your daily life, too.
You can see it in a hospital with two nurses, one who is cheerful and compassionate, the other rushed and unfriendly.
You can see it in your own office, with two people in the same position coping differently with their tasks.
Our beliefs, filters, upbringing, life experience, values, and health all contribute to how we process situations. Which is why we all have different emotional responses to an identical situation.
There are five saboteurs you need to look out for – frustration, fear, disappointment, self-doubt, and anger.
- Frustration – there’s an obstacle in your path.
- Fear – your brain is trying to protect you.
- Disappointment – an expectation hasn’t been met.
- Self-Doubt – you’re underestimating your worth.
- Anger – your values are being challenged.
To manage these emotions, you must identify them and ask yourself why you feel this way, acknowledge it, put space/time between the trigger and response, and actively choose how you do respond.
The greatest challenge you will face in managing your emotions is putting space between the trigger and your initial response.
You can do this with a few deep breaths or by walking away from the situation where possible. This will allow you the time to actively choose your response. You can’t control your immediate emotional response to an event or situation. However, you can control your response and that is the key to diffusing an emotional ticking time bomb.
5 Ways to Nurture Your Emotional Health
Taking care of your emotional self is vital to your overall wellness and health. When doctors talk about taking care of their health, they are usually just referring to your body, but looking after your emotional well-being is just as important as watching your diet and avoiding things like smoking.
Tip #1. Get a Handle on Your Stress
Stress releases harmful hormones and neurotransmitters that affect your physical as well as mental health. Stress quickly wears down your strength and resolve, making it more likely that you will make unhealthy choices and making it more difficult for you to manage your emotions. Eliminating unnecessary stress in your life is an excellent first step, and then you need to find ways to relax and reduce the stress that remains in your life.
Tip #2. Make More Social Connections
Having a full social circle and making time to connect with people in your life are both critical for lasting emotional health. Friends and partners provide you with support and comfort, they teach you new perspectives, and they enrich your life in innumerable ways. A support system helps you be more resilient in the face of crisis or adversity, which protects your emotional health over time.
Tip #3. Strive for Balance
Finding balance in your life between work, play, and self-care is crucial for your emotional well-being. When any one of these aspects takes priority over the others, you will start to feel stressed out, aimless, or disconnected from your own needs. Be intentional about creating time for each of these things proportionally in your life to maintain balance and protect your wellness.
Tip #4. Protect Your Body’s Health, Too
While physical and emotional wellness are different things, each still has a profound impact on the other. When you take care of your body, you protect your mental well-being, as well. A healthy body is better able to combat the forces of stress. Eating a healthy diet provides you with the nutrients you need to fuel your brain. Good health keeps hormones regulated, which allows you to monitor your emotions. The unhealthier your lifestyle, the more likely you will be to suffer from depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues that significantly impact your emotional health.
#5. Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help
If you are struggling to gain control over your emotions, if you have suffered trauma, or if you just need some tools to understand and regulate some feelings, asking for help is a great step toward health. Whether you get assistance from a friend, a loved one, or a professional counselor, your emotional health can benefit from support just like your body needs regular check-ups with your doctor. Asking for help shows you value your emotional well-being and care about how to protect it.
Your emotional health influences everything about your daily life. You do yourself a disservice to ignore its importance to your overall health and taking care of your emotional wellness does not have to be complicated or cumbersome. Some daily habits and a little time for yourself can help you learn to manage your emotional health and give it the attention it deserves.
Think calm… think grateful… think happy… think… anxietypanda.org 😉by