Managing Strong Emotions

As we become aware of our emotions and gain understanding about what’s happening in our brains when our “downstairs” brain becomes too much for our “upstairs” brain to manage, we have language and choices that help us model what it means to take care of ourselves and our relationships.  We can say things like:  “this is really upsetting me, let me take some time to calm down, then we can continue the conversation”; or “I love you too much to argue about this, let’s continue the conversation when we are both calm.”; or “I can’t really think clearly about this right now, let me go calm down then we will work through the details.”  Then we take a walk, or read a book, or go for a run, or do some jumping jacks, or pet the dog, or do whatever helps bring your “upstairs” brain back on-line.  For a more detailed (and pretty scientific) explanation of what happens when we “flip our lids”, watch Dr. Dan Siegel present “Flipping Your Lid:” A Scientific Explanation (7:27) on Youtube.

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