Let’s talk about distraction, and how it almost magically works to achieve emotional control. But first, we have to note: distraction can be the immediate cause of an emotional outburst as well as the means to end it. Distraction works, in short, because it is a change of focus either way. But where do we start?
Emotional Control Requires Awareness
As with all mental and emotional methods, becoming aware of when our emotions are beginning to change is the first and most important lesson we ALL must learn. Without it, we will not make an early arrest of a possible escalation. So how do we do that?
We don’t build the roof for a house before we build the foundation and the walls. Therefore, practice this one foundational essential before things get out of hand. Become conscious of how your mental world works. You will notice it has to work step-by-step, even if those steps follow each other seemingly instantly at times. To develop this awareness that will be the foundation of our mental skills, we need to take some kind of action the moment we notice a change in our feelings. We all feel these changes, but doing something constructive about it at the moment is the next problem.
Physical Actions Aid Control
What is the action we need to take? You must take some kind of physical action. Stop what you are doing for a quick moment and think of what and why those feelings are rising. The physical action is to pause (stop what we are doing) and think. So, learn to stop and think fast and first. We will need to practice this ability to arrest the process for a moment. Then, learn to think of what and why. What is happening? Why is it happening?
If we are playing a team sport, in particular, we have to practice being alert and becoming quickly aware of what is happening around us. Think of football or basketball, for example. When alerted to what is happening, we can then think of what to do. It is a step-by-step process. Something happens; we become aware of it, and then we take step two and react thoughtfully. Teaching our children this not only helps them control their emotions; it helps us control our reactions to theirs, as well. That’s a much-needed action, don’t you think?
Learn as You Help Your Child
Whenever your child’s emotions explode, go into teaching mode first, before you take any disciplinary or needed corrective action. Ask them, “Tell me what happened?” Then ask, “What can we do about this?” Focus on the child’s answer and concerns about what is happening in and to them, not in the other person or the unfortunate happening. Discuss it, if needed, and talk about what is the best way to handle the situation. Then let them know this is always the way to react to our feelings. Be consistent and keep up the teaching. You are on your way to teaching emotional control.
Don’t forget we will have to teach ourselves to react this way too, or we will model the wrong reactions and our children will not fail to note our inconsistency and apparent hypocrisy!
Since there are more steps to learn about how to teach and, in the process, control our own emotions while engaging in straight thinking, check the next article. We will learn to do this step-by-step.
With a little guidance, you can make rapid advancements!
You can get a “jumpstart” at emotional control by discovering the truth of who YOU are — the “Real You” — and who your children truly are, as well as how to best engage your children in finding the whole truth. Our team at InnerKinetics is ready to provide that help. If you’d like some assistance, you can request a consultation and an InnerKinetics consultant will call you to answer questions and schedule your meeting. If you are more independent and want to cut to the chase, you need not wait for a call back because you can get answers to your questions and schedule your session HERE.
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