December 6, 2021

How To Cope With An Emotional Storm

This is a great exercise to do when you find yourself in an emotional storm. It will keep you steady so you can choose what actions you take rather than switching on your autopilot. It's called Dropping An Anchor (Harris, 2009)

  • Push your feet hard into the floor
  • Sit forward in your chair, and straighten your back
  • Press your fingertips together, move your elbows, move your shoulders. Feel your arms moving, all the way from your fingers to shoulder blades
  • Notice that there’s a lot of pain here that you’re struggling. Notice there’s also a body around that pain – a body that you can move and control. Just notice your whole body now – hands, feet, back
  • Now also look around the room and notice 5 things you can see.
  • And also notice 3 or 4 things you can hear
  • So notice, there’s something very painful here that you’re struggling with
  • And notice your body in the chair which you can control.
  • Notice that there’s you here with these feelings

In a very challenging emotional storm, you might like to cycle through this exercise a few times until you feel more in the present moment. Remember, the aim of this is not to make anything go away, even if it feels unpleasant, but to be present with whatever you feel and take a different action. If, for example, if you find yourself regularly CAGING (controlling, avoiding, getting rid of, escape) difficult and unwanted thoughts and feelings, this is a good way to both start noticing them and making room for them.