2. Focus on something that made you happy today
If nothing made you happy today, try the past week, or you could think about the best thing that ever happened to you. I find that focusing on something positive helps break the cycle of negative emotions that begin to quickly increase inside. It also helps to remind you that life wasn’t always as painful as it seems in the present moment, and helps give you perspective.
If you have had a bad run-in with a specific person in particular, you can also try thinking of the last time you enjoyed being in their company. Did they make you laugh, did you share something nice together, were you excited to talk to them? This works especially well with family members and close friends who have upset you.
It’s good to remember that everyone has bad days once in a while, and they aren’t necessarily angry at you – in fact, usually, they aren’t. They are simply reacting to their own bad feelings and taking it out on you. Once again, this technique of focusing on a past positive experience works well after you’ve sought out a quiet and empty spot to re-cooperate.
3. Listen to, or watch something upbeat
The biggest mistake that I made as a highly sensitive person was to listen to melancholic, dark music when I felt emotionally strained. Although it’s nice to feel as though others can relate to the way you feel through their music, this is not always a healthy way to deal with emotional turmoil.
If you’re primarily an auditory learner like me, listening to happy music is one of the best ways to stop emotional snowballing. I know it’s cliche, but try listening to “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bob McFerrin for starters! (It’s bound to make you smile!) If you’re primarily a visual learner, however, the next best alternative is to watch a comedic movie that will allow you to relax and break out of the negative cycles of emotion. Have a list of comedy movies at hand, just so you don’t lose time frantically scavenging for one. (By the way, if you want to find out what kind of learner you are, take our Visual, Auditory, or Kinesthetic test.)
4. Ground and orient yourself to your surroundings
When you feel like you’re spiraling out of control (i.e., feeling overwhelmed, inundated, panicky, grief-stricken) find something beautiful, calming, or pleasant in your environment to focus on. This technique is often used in somatic psychotherapy for trauma sufferers and works wonders with highly sensitive people.
For example, you may choose to focus on a patch of sunlight on the ground, a vase of flowers in the distance, a child running and laughing, the calming colour of the wallpaper, or anything else that brings you a burst of delight.
Orienting to something safe and pleasant in your environment is a powerful grounding technique that you can use anytime, anywhere.
5. Remember that this too will pass
This philosophic approach to preventing emotional snowballing for the highly sensitive person is a powerful way to transcend your emotional strife and look at life with a birds-eye perspective.
Think of everything good and bad that has ever happened to you. All of it has passed by and has been replaced with something different: the good with the bad, and the bad with the good.
Life is a constant flux; wax and wane of good and bad. If everything was always good, we would find life boring and we’d take it for granted. In this way, the bad moments in our lives can even be seen as necessary and beneficial – they provide a contrast for the good so we can appreciate it even more fully.
So just remember: when you are close to an emotional snowball, remember that this too will pass. Like everything in your past, it will perish and be replaced with something else.
Are you a highly sensitive person? Do you have anything to add to this article? If so, please do below.
Written by: Aletheia Luna Originally appeared on: Loner Wolf Republished with permission