Riding the wave of emotion

By Dave Henning / December 8, 2020

“Remember all those years ago when you told me about riding the wave of emotion?  It’s one of the best things I’ve ever learned.”- Dear friend of Aundi Kolber

Aundi Kolber concludes Chapter 8 of Try Softer with the second through fifth principles that help strengthen our emotional muscles.

2.  Ride the wave.  Riding the wave of emotion means to tolerate that emotion as it forms, builds to its peak, and then decreases.  Try staying with your emotion for thirty seconds to a minute.  You’ll often find that your emotion peaks and then dissipates.

Furthermore, it helps to recognize that it’s normal for emotions to change, adapt, and even disappear.  Because that allows us to approach them differently.

3.  Practice containment.  Aundi describes containment as a strategy used to feel some healthy distance from the trigger.  This exercise gives our nervous system a break when we feel discomfort.  First, picture a strong container.  Then, put the disturbing content inside it.  Also, Aundi considers this resource not only appropriate, but vital.

As a result, your goal = a felt sense that there’s a lessening of your distress.  Thus, your distress no longer carries the same sense of immediacy.  You can process it at another time.

4.  Employ curiosity.  As Aundi notes, curiosity helps brains reconnect to the cortex.  Consequently, we acknowledge that the emotion we currently must deal with isn’t the ultimate truth.  Instead, we realize that it has data to share with us.  Hence, we work through our distress with compassion.

 5.  Speak grounding statements.  This final piece around emotional regulation involves learning to recognize that while we have feelings, those feeling need not define us.

Finally, Aundi stresses, at times we simply need to give ourselves permission to take in just a bit at a time.  Something we can mange.  After that, take a break.  In the process you move freely through your emotions – rather than getting stuck in them.

Today’s question: What Scriptures sustain you in riding the wave of emotion?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Healthy conviction from a faith perspective”

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Dave Henning

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