When it comes to emotions, I believe we all have a general threshold level. This is the level you want to stay below so that you don’t lose your marbles.When we are able to manage certain things in our life, that help us to stay well below our threshold, then surprises and unexpected road bumps won’t launch us into emotional outrage. However, if we are not actively managing our emotional thresholds, when circumstances or events pile on, and put us over the threshold, the likelihood of holding it all together becomes less and less. If you’re having a hard time dealing with your emotions, it might be worth taking a look at these four areas to see if there are steps you can take to bring your emotional tolerance below your threshold.
Sleep – I know there are a lot of people who pride themselves on being able to go without a full night’s sleep. But the truth is, sleep requirements are different for everyone. If you are operating on too little sleep due to events, health, a new baby, or whatever it might be, then you are at risk of reaching your threshold sooner than if you have gotten the amount of sleep that is right for you. Sleep is beneficial for the body because the waste you create while you are awake is elimination while you sleep. As a part of this process, new fluid is brought to your cells removing the debris that causes irritations and mental and emotional blocks. I highly recommend the book, The Sleep Revolution, by Arianna Huffington to learn more about how and why to improve your sleep.
Hormones – Don’t you hate that we have to think about this? I do. But it’s a fact. Our hormones play a huge role in determining our emotions. In fact, as women, many of our hormones are predicatable and can be used to our advantage in certain circumstances. When we don’t understand them though, they can wreak havoc on our emotions by putting us in the wrong situations at the wrong time. I love the book Do Less, by Kate Northrup, which helps you understand how to use your hormones to your advantage.
Organization – Not everyone is an organization guru, I understand this, but I do find that a lot of overwhelm and stress are created when we have expectations that we aren’t able to accomplish. These unrealistic expectations are often the result of lack of either planning, organization, or a focus on what’s most important. We can attempt to keep our emotions below threshold by staying organized, even if it’s in the most simple of ways. I highly recommend keeping track of a Daily Big 3. The three most important things you need to get done each day. By doing this, you can stay focused on what’s important, and feel accomplished. If you go through your day with a long list of tasks, it’s likely that you will spend too much time on less important issues and then struggle emotionally when what you really needed to accomplish remains undone. Free to Focus, by Michael Hyatt, is a great resource for learning how to use the Daily Big 3. Beyond that, Michael recommends other strategies to help you focus on what’s most important to you. These principles have been lifesaving in helping my manage my overwhelm and stay below my emotional threshold.
Diet – I realize this is one of the areas no-one really wants to focus on. Me included. That said, I have seen the benefits of eating a clean, low sugar, low stimulant, gluten and dairy free diet. While I am by no means a clean eater all of the time, it is something I watch and manage closely because of the affects it has on my stress and emotions. When I have had a lot of sugar, or stimulants like coffee, I absolutely feel my emotions building and I know that I am nearing my threshold. Noticing and limiting those foods and drinks that cause a reaction for me has been a game changer. The Quest for Wellness, by Mark Sherwood ND, is a great resource for understanding the impact of your diet on your emotions.