Last week, I posted a blog about tracking behavior change. One way in which I get clients to assess progress, notice changes, or pay better attention to their feelings is to get them to notice and track emotions. Emotions can be intense. They can be not-very-intense but-still-stressful because they last over time. Often people minimize the impact and significance of emotions. When clients get better at regulating emotions, they get better at identifying what sets off emotions, identifying the significance of what they feel, figuring out what emotions are telling them, and finding ways to cope ahead, minimize the impact, prevent, or make use of emotions.
Notice how big your emotion is (elephantine sized?)
Notice how intense your emotion is (how pink is pink?)
Notice your relationship with your emotion (are you stuck beneath an elephant’s foot?)
Notice if you are avoiding your emotion (are you running away from stampeding elephants?)
Notice how long it takes for the emotion to change or leave (holding on to elephantine problems can create even more problems.)
If the emotion isn’t changing, can you change your relationship to your emotion? (make peace with your cartoon elephants- an open invitation.)
What is your emotion trying to tell you? (believe me, elephants have things to say!)