Most of us are familiar with at least a little emotional turbulence.
And if you’re perfectly honest, you’ve probably lost your sh*t at some point in your life.
Maybe for you it’s a rare occurrence, or perhaps it happens to you on a daily basis.
It could take the form of a little outburst that’s done and dusted in minutes.
Or maybe your sh*t erupts like a volcano, spewing emotional soot all over those around you, burning those closest to you.
When emotions take over our body in such an all-consuming way, it can be difficult to maintain even an ounce of dignity.
Hence why many people feel embarrassment, guilt or shame once they come down from their emotional turbulence.
I know I’ve certainly had times in my life where I’ve been utterly shocked by how out of control I’ve felt in those times of emotion.
And if you’re like me, you may even be asking:
How can such a logical, down-to-earth, seemingly relaxed person lose their sh*t so horrendously?
In order to answer that, let’s travel back to our childhood…
If you’ve been around any 2-year-olds you’ll know it’s quite common for little ones to crack a tantrum if they don’t get what they want.
(Or even when they do get what they want!)
The tantrum is simply part of their learning process.
They’re learning how to navigate the emotions of being human.
Because yes, experiencing emotion is part of being human.
How the parent responds to these tantrums is paramount.
You see, when a child throws a tantrum, essentially what is happening, is they don’t know what to do with the emotion, so they are trying to give it to their mother of father (and closest carer).
What the parent does with that emotion is essentially a lesson; the parent teaching the child how to interact with emotions.
If the parent reacts to the tantrum in a negative way – perhaps throwing their own tantrum of sorts – the child learns that chucking tantrums is how you deal with your emotions.
Emotion = tantrum.
That’s what they learnt from their parent.
So the child goes into adult-hood programmed to think that when emotions become too much, you chuck a tantrum.
And so that’s how they deal with their emotions.
Of course, for most people they’re not consciously aware of this programming, as it’s stored in the subconscious mind, which is responsible for our automatic responses in life.
Emotion kicks in and the brain is hard-wired to trigger off a tantrum.
That’s what was modelled to the subconscious.
Now if you were also taught as a child that you are meant to suppress emotions as opposed to feel them in the present moment, then you will begin to suppress emotion as well.
We copy what our parents do.
That’s how children learn.
Suppression of one’s emotions can happen from a child falling over, and the parent telling the child not to cry.
Crying is the expression of the pain the child feels, and telling the child not to cry doesn’t get rid of the emotion – we need to cry for that to happen.
Instead it shoves the emotion down inside the body.
The emotion gets stuck in the body.
But just like a beach ball that’s pushed under water, it needs to come back up at some point.
And the further it’s pushed down, the bigger the splash when it does finally burst through the surface.
I’m sure as an adult you’ve experienced a few of these big splashes before!
Your partner comes home from a long day and maybe he forgets to put his shoes on the shoe rack.
Not a big deal, really.
But because you have so much suppressed emotion towards other things he has or hasn’t been doing lately – without being brave enough to air them lovingly – in that moment you lose it.
Like totally lose it!
You start ranting, screaming, telling your partner how angry you are at him.
Maybe you go as far as asking for a divorce!
You feel this surge of emotion coursing through your body and you can’t help but spill it all over him.
He, on the other hand, stands there stunned, confused as to why you’re acting like a child, all over a pair of shoes.
The truth is, it’s got nothing to do with the shoes.
That was simply the catalyst for you expressing all this other stuff that you’ve been shoving down for the past week, month or maybe even years!
And chances are, some of that emotional gunk you flung on your partner had a lot to do with how you felt you were mistreated as a child.
Hence why you regressed to your 5-year-old self.
You start acting out the emotion you took on when you were 5-years old.
This is because when we suppress our emotions and don’t deal with our daily hiccups – preferring to sweep them under the proverbial carpet – they accumulate.
They build up.
Until one day, that carpet rug is so full of our emotional rubbish, we trip over the bump in the rug and fall flat on our face in a pile of crap.
This is what we refer to as ‘losin your sh*t’.
And generally it’s the people closest to us, that end up in the firing line.
How do you STOP losing your shit?
Firstly, you need to recognise that you’re holding onto some unresolved stuff.
Some unresolved emotion.
Maybe you collected it way back when you were a child, perhaps it’s an accumulation of stuff to do with your partner or child, or you have no conscious understanding of what that emotion is, let alone, where it came from.
None of that matters.
What matters, is that you first accept that you’re holding onto some unresolved emotion.
Once you have that awareness and acceptance, only then can the healing begin.
In my One-on-One Intensive I have a specific method for helping my clients remove the emotions of anger, sadness, hurt, fear and guilt.
What’s really great about this method, is that you don’t need to be plunged into the emotion to clear it.
We simply gather the learnings from the first time you experienced that emotion, so you can gain the awareness you need to release it.
When we go to the root cause of the emotion and clear it here, like the domino effect, it knocks out all the emotion you’ve accumulated beyond that point.
You get to let it all go!
Of course, if you’re not at that stage where you’re ready to see someone who can help unplug the emotions at the root cause, start with some journalling.
Journalling is a powerful way of emptying out the emotional trash.
Dedicate some large chunks of time to sitting outside in nature with a pen and paper, and allowing your feelings, emotions, rubbish and crap to spill out onto the page.
We’re not writing a memoir here, we’re simply emptying out our life’s trash.
And that trash may be directed towards a certain family member, friend or colleague.
It may be anger at yourself or sadness over what you have felt you’re yet to achieve in your life.
Don’t judge it.
Just let it out.
And once you’re done, burn the piece of paper.
Don’t re-read it; we don’t want to re-install it into our subconscious.
Let it go.
This is a really powerful exercise that begins to not only empty the emotion out of your body, but to help bring awareness to it, so you have a deeper understanding of exactly what you’ve been holding onto all these years.
You may even find that you’ve been holding onto suppressed emotion at yourself for not standing up for yourself in certain situations; for not setting clear boundaries on how you wish to be treated.
Be open to whatever realisations come through during this journalling process.
It can be really powerful to do this journalling exercise a couple of times, or even regularly, to help empty out any new emotional trash you collect.
Because hey, life doesn’t always give us cherries!
Give yourself permission to feel.
It’s healthy to feel.
Crying is an expression sadness, laughter is an expression of joy; they are both moving states of expression.
We are human and we are here to feel and express.
Feelings only becomes unhealthy when we suppress them.
Let yourself fluctuate and be with whatever you feel you need to express in that moment, especially as you’re doing the journalling exercise.
Allow yourself the space to feel any emotions that rise to the surface.
In order to empty them out of our body, we need to feel them first.
If you feel anger, scream if you need to.
If you feel sadness, cry, sob; let the tears run down your cheeks.
Experience whatever it is you refused to experience when you first took on this emotion.
When we don’t feel our feelings in the present moment – when we are first triggered – then we suppress them.
And it’s this ongoing suppression that leads to us quite literally losing our sh*t.
You need to resolve your inner wars, or they turn into outer wars.
What’s interesting is, that often when we aim and fire our emotional trash at someone close to us, the real hurt that we surpassed, has nothing to do with that person.
In most cases, we took on that hurt as a child, often before that person even came into our life.
Yet they become the punching bag for all of our childhood gunk.
If you found this blog helpful, please leave a comment.
Share your experience of losing your sh*t.
Let me know what you took from this blog and once you give the journalling a go, share what new insights that gave you about yourself.
Can’t wait to hear how you go!