Close your eyes, and think about where you are, your energy, and what’s really going on inside you. What is happening inside you and what is causing that? I got to talk to an old friend this past weekend about overarousal and what it’s like to live with really intense emotions that sometimes make it feel as if your body can’t handle it. Numbing everything doesn’t help, go long enough with your emotions and reactions turned off and life becomes somber and depressing, because you’re not just turning off the sad, you’re turning off the happy too. Don’t try to control what makes you unique, embrace it and use it for something good.
People have tried telling me that I’m bipolar, I should just get some medications and that would help, I’d learn to control it all then. I don’t think the solution is to control it, to never let it surface because you’re afraid of the consequences. Fact of the matter is there are some people who live and feel more intensely than others, that’s completely okay and nothing wrong with that. We as a society have learned to stick a label to everything and everyone has multiple labels and that in some way makes them less. I’m not bipolar, I just experience life a little more intensely, and I think the more self awareness, the more you understand your emotions and reactions you can live an even fuller life.
My solution is not to numb what makes me special with medications, I want to embrace it for who I am and use it to do something good. I’m just at the beginning stages of learning about this, the self awareness and trying to figure out what my triggers and responses are. My friend sent me 4 steps she got from a book she was reading, how to deal with this.
Step 1: Reframe the situation.
Think about the situation and similar situations you have gone through. Taking a moment to stand still and think about other similar situations that you got out of or fixed, can help give you ways to get through this situation. All the feelings and emotions that can come at one point, or having way too much stimulus, can be really frustrating if you don’t know what’s causing it. Close your eyes, and think of successful experiences, try to use those techniques to deal with what you’re feeling at that moment.
Step 2: Have a mantra or saying that you connect to inner deep calmness.
My phrase is, ‘We are more than conquerors’. The reason I chose this quote is no matter what I face in life, how difficult it can be or somber, how badly I sometimes want to give up or can’t see a way out anymore I remember that we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Nothing can separate us from his love, absolutely nothing. If we have him on our side, what CAN’T we accomplish and get through?
Step 3: Witness your overarousal
Being aware of your body and thoughts, how you react to things is probably one of the most important things. Close your eyes, and imagine to be looking at yourself. What do you see? What advice do you give and what do you know about the situation? I know that when I’m in a dark pit and not able to see a way out, I need rest and sleep. 99.999% of the time my hardest moments come at night. When you’re tired, vulnerable, and actually need to go to sleep. I know what I am feeling is valid, but I also know if I get rest then I can look much more rationally at my situation and I’ll feel a lot calmer. I would look at myself, analyse what is going on and see that this is how I am now, it’s okay to feel what I feel, and I need rest. Once I get that rest I know I’ll feel better, and then I’ll reevaluate the situation.
Step 4: Love the situation, love yourself!
Whether you wanted it or not, like it or not, this is the person you are, this is the place you are in and the way you are made. It’s not going to help us to ignore that, talk down on it or ourselves, or wish for different because at that moment, that’s what it is. Better yet, we should embrace the situation, love it, because everything can teach us something. Love ourselves, because this is what makes us beautifully unique.
We all have battles we face, we all feel like it’s too much sometimes, that’s okay. Find the things that help you to deal with all that. Getting out to move, breathing techniques, closing your eyes, repeating a certain phrase, getting out of the room, etc. This is doable, we just need to find what fits us.
*The tips I got from a book, it’s not my own cleverness sadly.
*Photo credits: Eveline Jonker