Hello again, and welcome back to the Therapy Spot! Today I’d like to talk to you about an easy way to step back from overwhelming emotions.

This happens to all of us. During our daily lives we might get overwhelmed by many different emotions, such as:

  • Sadness. Perhaps you’ve suffered a loss or an injury and you can’t seem to stop dwelling on it.
  • Frustration. Your co-worker made an error, and now you have to fix it — as if you don’t have enough to do!
  • Anger. You’ve asked your partner a thousand times to help out more around the house, but nothing has changed.
  • Disappointment. Despite your best efforts, you didn’t get the promotion.

When we’re overwhelmed, we often say in IFS that you’ve become blended with a part. In other words, you’re not in harmony. You’re off balance! Add another person into the mix — say, your best friend, child, or partner — and you might have a party of parts on your hands.

Many of us turn to distractions, like chocolate or Netflix, when this happens. But we all know this doesn’t actually solve the problem. So how do you get back into balance, and back into Self?

As a child, you probably didn’t like the idea of the “time out” very much. Now, I want you to think of a time out as a gift to yourself. By taking a time out, you can separate from your overwhelming emotions. Only when you step back can you hear what this part is trying to say, and truly understand its motivations. So, how exactly does this work?

View the “timeout” infographic here

When you take a time out, you’ve begun the process of making a You-turn. You’ll invite calm into your body as you step back and focus on your breathing.

Interested in learning how to write from your parts? Do you want to respond, rather than react to those around you? I encourage you to check out my workbook, Be the One to Heal Yourself. Getting to know yourself and all the different parts of you can be hard work — but it’s worth it. Invest in yourself and start feeling better and seeing results now!

Image Credit

Learning,” by Flickr user CollegeDegrees360, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.