Do you find yourself getting irritable for almost no reason? Or do you find yourself suddenly feeling down without knowing why? If you are feeling these emotions and you don’t know the reasons behind them, don’t think that you’re losing your grip. There are a lot of factors that can influence going through an emotional roller coaster ride, and sometimes, these factors go by unnoticed.
It wasn’t like I wanted to be cranky. I went to bed early, had 8 hours sleep a night, and still woke up in a bad mood. It felt like there was an increasing distance from people around me that everyone I knew steered clear of me; my friends, my family, people at work. I felt as if everyone seemed to be careful around me. I did my best to be friendly, to put on a good face, to fit in, but it didn’t always work. It was as if people could tell that I wasn’t really happy. As if they knew that I was smiling yet there was a river of emotion under the surface that wouldn’t go away.
I struggled when things didn’t go the way I expected. I would plan ahead, imagine different scenarios and how or what I’d say to people or how I’d feel. If I was having a dinner party, I felt as if I had to plan every detail to make sure it all worked. I noticed all the little things that didn’t go how I had planned and if they didn’t fit my plan, I’d get irritated and upset.
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Our minds have access to so much data that it needs a way to sort it. One of the ways it does this, is that it might highlight all the differences, all the little things, the details in our lives. When you walk into your home, do you notice if a picture is a little off centre? Are you the type of person that will notice if your things are slightly out of place? People that notice differences can sometimes get caught in the details. Details can be great for getting things done, but it could be a problem if you keep focussing on the things that are going wrong. This is what can lead to a bad mood, feeling not good enough or feeling like nothing is working. Noticing differences is a tendency that some people have. It’s automatic and this is what I used to do. But knowing this meant that I could celebrate the times when it helped me be the best in my job, prepare an awesome dinner party or prepare for a holiday. The times that it was a problem, I tried to remember in the moment that things change. It was important to remember what was in my control.
The only constant is change
Sometimes we can get too caught up in the changes that are happening or the pressure that we might be feeling. It can be difficult to look at the bigger picture at times. It can be challenging to see the real reasons behind why you might be feeling irritable. Sometimes we might get too focused on one thing, on that certain change that is taking place right before your eyes, or that constant pressure that you have been feeling.
Things are always changing, and there are some things that are out of our control, and some things that are in our control. Our feelings (even though it doesn’t feel like it sometimes) are in our control, we just don’t always recognise or know how to change them in a moment. Knowing and realising that there are things that are out of my control is what has helped me to learn to let go.
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The more I let go of the things that I could not control, the more I noticed that I didn’t seem to be in a bad mood all the time. I realised that I could take responsibility for how I communicated, how I felt and essentially for myself and how I show up in the world. It helped me to realise that others are responsible for themselves. I’m not in control of how someone else feels, or what they do or say, and that’s OK, because I am in control of me.
When I was under pressure or things were changing in my life, and I didn’t know what to do, I would ask myself “what CAN I do?”. Even if it it was a simple thing like making a cup of tea to relax or going for a walk to think and reset, I made a list of the things that I enjoyed and started doing them more and more often to remember that I am responsible for me.
What about negative emotions?
Emotions such as moodiness, impatience, anger, overwhelm or sadness can sometimes feel like they come from nowhere. They can be triggered by people, memories, anticipation of the future, work, friends or simply because we were focused on something less than great to begin with. There are so many things that can happen in life and it’s important to remember that positive emotions can be triggered just as easily. Often we can be the trigger of our own emotions. Sometimes people forget to remember this when in the moment of things not going how we hoped. If we are noticing what’s not working rather than what is working, it’s a good idea to remind ourselves of the things that are going well, and what we’re in control of.
What people are saying about Emotion Academy:
"After many years of training, courses, and counselling in various forms I thought I had certain aspects of my life sorted. Yet completing Emotion Academy showed me that I had been running away from my emotions and not facing them. After Emotion Academy, now I have the tools to engage with myself and win the internal battles once and for all - Neil Welsh, Victoria
Just like any other emotion, you can also control your bad mood. There are steps you can do in the moment or incorporate into your daily life to help keep perspective, to focus on what is in our control. This is what I do;
1. Take deep breaths
Breathing has so many benefits but we can forget to remember to breathe deeply when we get overwhelmed or when things are not going as we like. Breathing can change how we hold our body, it can change our level of focus and as it takes oxygen to our brain, it can give a moment of calm. Take a moment to breathe three deep breaths and notice a moment of calm and relaxation before choosing what is next.
2. Environment is important. Who do you spend time with?
We all have a few friends that we trust the most. Who is someone that supports you? Having someone, or some people you can spend time with when you’re feeling great, or when you’re struggling can make a massive difference. Whether you are someone who likes to talk it out and share what’s going on and how you feel, or you like to work it out yourself and then spend time with friends or family, both can be helpful. It can also be great to know if someone has been there before, someone who has been through something similar who can help keep you on track and grow beyond where you are at right now.
Melisa Grigg - Head Coach & Trainer
Melisa was stuck in sadness for 15 years, hated her job, was overweight and her relationship had just ended. Melisa inspires people with her story and now teaches how she sorted her life out. She worked out how to be happy and how to lose over 30kg of body weight. In simple steps she teaches how you can stop procrastinating, find confidence, stop being so sad and finally start to find true meaning and purpose in your life.
3. Move your body
There are really a lot of benefits to moving your body. Whether it’s exercising or going for a walk, doing star jumps or dancing around the house, moving around can help you to feel more positive. When you exercise, your body produces a hormone that controls stress and improves your mood. All it takes is a little bit of movement. Have fun with it!
Taking time to switch off, whether it’s sleeping, reading, going for a walk or listening to calming music, it can give us space to process the day, to relax and re-energise. Sometimes it seems as if we’re meant to be switched on all the time to get things done, but you can actually be more productive, more efficient and more effective after you’ve given yourself time to rest and rejuvenate. How many ways do you like to relax?
Keep it simple
Little things add up over time. Sometimes the reason why a little thing can trigger a strong emotion is because the negative emotion is a stack of a lot of small moments. The same happens with positive emotions. Small changes add up over time. So just keep going and notice the positive little things that you can focus on or do every day. The more I incorporated these steps into my daily life, the easier it has become to make them habits that are just part of my day. These days I hardly ever feel cranky or irritable. In the moments when I do, those emotions are quickly replaced by more positive and empowering ones. My days are just overall more enjoyable and I don’t sweat the small stuff anymore. Life feels easier to handle somehow and I actually really look forward to the excitement that change brings. If you’ve been feeling irritable lately, why not give just one of these steps a try and see how it makes a difference for you.
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