Overview: Emotional Diffusion Techniques
We sometimes need to diffuse highly charged emotions to enable us to take back control of how we are feeling. Anger is one of the emotions which can really get the better of us and can result in a host of negative outcomes. Highly charged emotions also stop us from being able to perform at our best because they restrict our ability to focus on what will work for us.
When we engage with thought diffusion, we step back and observe our feelings so that we can get a hold on them in the way we want to. When you are experiencing negative emotions, your brain is more likely to focus on negative thoughts and you will get caught up in a negative cycle. Before you are able to manage your emotions in the moment, you need to start paying attention to your ‘red flags’ – the things that indicate your emotions are starting to flare up. This means you can respond to them before they escalate and take over. Name them and identify them so that you can be aware of them when they emerge.
In a high emotionally charged moment, stop and take time out. If you can, remove yourself physically from the situation, even if it is just for one minute. If you can’t physically remove yourself, take ten deep breaths, making sure your out-breaths are longer than your in-breaths. This helps calm your body back down so that you are in a better position to respond in a more rational way.
Observe what is going on so that you can use all the information you have about yourself and the situation. Try to stop filtering out positives and focusing on the negatives. Notice what is happening with your thoughts, emotions, behaviours and physical self and how you might be interpreting what is going on in the moment. Is there a different way to view what is going on that might be more helpful? Is there an alternative to being angry or aggressive?
In the space you have created by taking time out, you can now choose how you are going to respond. Instead of being angry or negative, you can opt for a more constructive or assertive approach. This your opportunity to so more than simply react to someone or something.