Learn with Calma

In this section we share our knowledge about emotions, how they affect us, and how we can learn to control them so that they do not control us.

A crisis is a transitory state of intense distress in which you encounter difficulties while dealing with the situation by using the usual or already known methods.

Crises are experienced as short-term situations in which finding a resolution is urgent and cannot be postponed

The first thing to consider is whether it is a problem that you can solve at that exact moment:

1) If it is possible, solve the problem

2) If it is not possible, then cope with the crisis in the best way possible.

Emotions are multiple experiences: this means that they are made up of physiological and neurobiological responses, bodily sensations and thoughts. All these phenomena constitute an emotional response.

Understanding your emotional response to different events will help decrease the intensity of your emotions and will allow you to listen to what they have to say to you.

All of us have the ability to feel the same emotions. Emotions drive actions, save us time and help us overcome obstacles.

Strong emotions help us overcome obstacles, and save us reaction time (we don't always have to think about everything)

While experiencing an emotion, our facial expressions and body posture communicate faster than words and show how we feel to others.

Emotions point us out the things that we like and the things that we don't like. They are signs that something is happening to us and that somehow that matters to us.

Facts are those things that actually happen in a situation. Our emotions are a response to such situation and can vary from person to person.

If our emotions lead us to ignore the facts, that may be a problem. Emotions can be very useful if they lead us to check the facts of a certain situation.

Identifying the emotion we are feeling helps decrease emotional intensity.

One way to understand your emotions is by identifying the following factors:

  1. What thing (outside or inside of me) triggered my emotion
  2. What I thought or assumed at that time
  3. What I feel in my body and what I want to do
  4. What I really did/said
  5. What the consequences were (outside and inside of me) of what I did or said.

Emotional experiences are transitory and if they start, they also end.

All emotional responses have a triggering, something that causes them. Identifying it helps to understand emotions.

When someone is feeling an emotion, they may notice changes in body sensations

Connect with your body when you are experiencing an emotion and identify in which part of your body you sense that feeling the most.

All emotions have a meaning for those who experience them and depend on different factors, such as the history of that person and the things that are happening at that moment.

We may feel fear even if there is no actual threat or feel anger even if someone is trying to be nice. Identifying the facts first in the situation is a good way to distinguish them from our emotions and assumptions.

Distress tolerance skills help to sustain painful emotions without making the moment worse.

In moments of intense distress and when we cannot solve the problem at that moment, distraction can be useful to regulate emotions.

Being able to find ways to calm ourselves is helpful in difficult times.

Look for things (textures, music, sensations, readings) that help you calm yourself down.

As emotions cause bodily changes, bodily changes also influence emotions (cold or heat, for example, can influence your emotional experience)

There are many ways to improve a difficult moment, it is important that you find yours by practicing:

  • Imagine different situations
  • Encouraging yourself
  • Praying or practicing something spiritual
  • Finding some positive meaning to what is happening
  • Focusing your mind only on the present
  • Giving yourself a different moment

Accepting the emotional experience implies being able to stay with it without having to get rid of it immediately, trying to get to know it with curiosity, listening to what it has to inform you and accepting that emotion in the present moment so that you can then choose what action to take.

Our behaviors have events that generate them and also have consequences. If we can identify them, that will give us the clue as to what role they come to fulfill. The function refers to the meaning that this behavior has in that context in which it occurs, the change that it generates in you and in others. Some problem behaviors (such as self-injurious behaviors) have the function of relieving discomfort in the moment. The problem is that they do not usually solve things in the long term and often even make them worse

Observe the intention and then the effect that the behavior has on you and others. Evaluate whether the effect it has serves to achieve an intention in the long term. Evaluate if it is the most effective conduct to take at the moment

One of the ways to feel less vulnerable is by maintaining a balanced sleep and eating routine. Sleeping or eating poorly increases vulnerability to "negative" emotions

  • What generates it? You or someone you love are threatened, hurt or attacked; a goal is blocked
  • What do I think? It's unfair, "It shouldn't be like that," "I'm right," "It's disrespectful."
  • What do I feel? Body strain, head heat, clenching teeth
  • What do I feel like doing? Attacking, hurting or ignoring, criticizing, yelling, slamming doors
  • What generates it? People or animals that have qualities that you admire or value; Someone you like or attract a lot
  • What do I think? "This person is wonderful", "I like this person / he understands / attracts me", "He will always be there for me / I can count on him"
  • What do I feel? Your heart beats faster, you feel enthusiasm, you feel powerful, happy, with more energy
  • What do I feel like doing? Approach, share things, give things
  • What generates it? That your life, your health or your well-being (or those of the people you care about) are threatened
  • What do I think? "I'm in danger", "Things can go wrong", "They can hurt me"
  • What do I feel? Palpitations, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath
  • What do I feel like doing? Avoiding, escaping, asking for help
  • What generates it? Losing someone or something important
  • What do I think? "I can't get it back", "I have very little value", "There is no hope"
  • What do I feel? Low energy, heaviness, lump in the throat
  • What do I feel like doing? Moving slower, staying in bed or at home, avoiding situations and people, not wanting to talk, sleeping a lot
  • What generates it? Getting rejected, exposing very private aspects of yourself, being criticized or exposed
  • What do I think? "I am inferior", "I am going to be excluded", "I am not enough"
  • What do I feel? I blush, I feel my face is hot,I have a pain in my stomach pit
  • What do I feel like doing? Hiding, becoming small and invisible, covering my face, disappearing from the place, avoiding people or situations
  • What generates it? Causing harm to myself or to others, doing things against my values, not keeping a promise
  • What do I think? "I hurt another person", "I misbehaved", "If only I had done something else ..."
  • What do I feel? Heat, discomfort, restlessness
  • What do I feel like doing? Repairing, compensating, apologizing, punishing myself
  • What generates it? Someone threatens to take something very important from you, you feel a threat to lose something important, someone does not keep you in mind or ignores you
  • What do I think? "This person will leave me", "I will lose this person", "I am not important to another person"
  • What do I feel? Muscle tension, palpitations
  • What do I feel like doing? Approaching, controlling, holding on
  • What generates it? Others have something you want or need or receive privileges that you do not
  • What do I think? "I deserve to have that", "I was treated unfairly," "I have little value."
  • What do I feel? Tension, heat, clenching teeth
  • What do I feel like doing? Taking away what the other person has, getting what the other one has, competing against the other person
  • What generates it? Seeing or smelling bad things, something that looks unpleasant to you, some behaviors of other people that seem immoral
  • What do I think? "It's toxic", "I can't even get close!", "It's disgusting."
  • What do I feel? Nausea, vomiting, coughing, restlessness
  • What do I feel like doing? Getting away, running away, washing myself or cleaning.
  • What generates it? Being successful at something, achieving something, achieving what you want, being around people who love you, seeing someone you love succeed at something
  • What do I think? "How good life is", "How exciting the future is!", "What a beautiful moment!"
  • What do I feel? Body energy, activation
  • What do I feel like doing? Smiling, jumping, sharing joy with others, clapping, talking more