Some answers and perspectives from the Health Stuff TO Know mental health newsletter.
What in the world do Hallmark movies & mental stress have in common?
As you go about your busy day, please take a few moments to reflect upon yourself.
“Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow…” You got this.
✅ For today: Who knew, watching Hallmark TV can lead to mental stress!
I was watching a movie; and, somewhere between the pretty Vermont scenery & all that warmth–I suddenly caught myself comparing my situation to the lead character in the movie.
But, because we’re human–it’s OK. Sometimes, our emotions and thoughts do get the best of us. The key here is emotional regulation.
If this is you–I’ve got a simple step for you to follow. ⤵
✅ A simple step to take when we find ourselves in a situation where negative emotions are starting to take hold is to strongly put a PERIOD . at the end of the emotion.
That’s to say, don’t let these negative thoughts take hold beyond what they’ve already done. One way to do this is to tell yourself that the negative thought/emotion is not your present reality. This means, that the negative emotion it’s NOT happening now. It’s not happening at THIS MOMENT in time.
👉 By placing a period . on the rising emotion, we’re PHYSICALLY giving our brain some space between what we’re feeling & what’s actually happening. Of course, if you’re in a dangerous situation, please seek immediate help.
👉 So, if you’re getting upset at yourself because the character in a Hallmark movie is seeming to live a much more fulfilled and glamorous life than you. If you’re getting angry at yourself & your past failures: Put a PERIOD . at the end of your negative emotion. Don’t give it room to get much bigger.
After putting a PERIOD . on the emotion, you’re going to tell yourself that the past does not define you. And, you’re going to affirm that you’re in charge of what happens to you & your future.
💎 And, viola–you’ve just practiced a form of emotional regulation.
Try to remember the above steps next time you feel your emotions getting the best of you.
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✅ Transitions. Change from one place, time, experience, or a phase of life.
📢 CNN has a great interview with Lindsey Vonn. It’s worth a read because Lindsey highlights a very key point of emotional regulation & good mental health.
She’s announced her retirement & now she’s at a place where she’s looking for the next thing to do. Lindsey is in a state of transition.
👉 It’s very important to understand that looking for the next thing to do is not a sign of weakness or fickleness.
- Going about your transition actively is the correct way to do things.
- Assess where you are today. And where you wish to go tomorrow.
👉Talk it out & don’t overwhelm yourself with decisions. One step at a time.
Questions & Answers…
✅ Do Emotional Regulation problems happen/occur in other mental health conditions?
Yes. Yes they do! One thing to understand is that not everybody is going to respond to emotional regulation in a similar way.
🎃 In the ADHD brain, for example, fluctuations of emotions happen a lot more. Both in intensity & in frequency. This means… these fluctuations of emotions can take over your life!
So, for these people, it’s vital to understand that they’ve got to be on the lookout for those particular moments when their emotions are not being regulated properly.
- In medicine, we call this term: Emotional Dysregulation.
👉 People with an ADHD brain may have to ask themselves questions that bring to focus the issue at hand.
⭐ For example, using our Hallmark channel issue from today–they should ask themselves:
- Do I really need to know why Hallmark movie characters have such easy lives?
- Do, I need to know the answer to this question @ this moment in time?
Generally, the answer here will be NO 🙂 Put a strong PERIOD . after the emotion.
Keep in mind, for the ADHD brain, these moments of emotional fluctuations can last longer.
💎 So, it’s important for the ADHD brain to understand that it will have a hard time shifting from one phase to another.
✅ Below are two videos on Behavioral Activation. We talk about BA quite a bit here at Health Stuff TO Know.
Behavioral Activation is essentially when you go and do things that you like DURING moments that you don’t feel like doing things.
👉 This action causes a shift in the brain and you’ll find that you’re much more engaged in the task.
Reviewed & written by Dr. Puja, DO October 29, 2021