The old say ‘making a mountain out of a mole hill,’ is very true for all of us. We all have had moments when we have let our emotions rule logic. Last night I created the Himalayan Mountains, I become overly reactive with one of my sons for not placing his plate in the dishwasher (he left it in the sink, OMG!!!). Instead of rating this minor issue as a zero or one on my emotional thermometer, I instantly heated it up to a ten. A ten rates it as a catastrophic, life changing, end of the world event. To make matters worse he told me to chill out.
“CHILL OUT, I HAVE JUST CLEANED UP AFTER DINNER, PUT TWO LOADS OF WASHING ON AND NOW I HAVE TO PUT YOUR PLATE AWAY. CHILL OUT INDEED!” I roared.
“Mum, just breathe. All you have to say is my dearest son can you put your plate in the dishwasher.”
Yep, that’s all I needed to do and I knew it, I was letting my amygdala take control of my emotional thermometer.
This week we have been looking at our emotional thermometers and how practising mindfulness and meditation can help us when we over react to a situation. Having these skills helps us to build our resilience. We have looked at what sensations we feel in our bodies when we start placing minor events on the ten of the thermometer. Do your muscles tighten? Does your heart start beating quicker or your breath get shorter?
We are looking at ways to reduce these sensations once we realise they are taking control such as mindful breathing and reflecting on our emotions pre and post breathing exercises, as a whole group. Rating events on a thermometer is another activity that we have undertaken this week, simply being aware that getting out in handball is not a ten on the thermometer.
Have a go at mindful breathing and thinking about where you would place something on the emotional thermometer.