This week I’m featuring guest posts from some of my best blogging friends while I take a small blogcation. Don’t run away – these are awesome posts from talented bloggers! Today’s post comes from Daisy at When Life Gives You Lemons.
I’m an emotional person. Like Kristen Bell and her sloth shenanigans, but over everything. I don’t mean that I cry at everything, although I do. I mean that all of the emotions that normal people feel, I feel in excess.
To demonstrate this, when watching Kristen Bell’s breakdown over the sloth appearing at her birthday party, I was probably equally excited. I actually almost started tearing up and freaking out with her. Sloths are cute, okay?
This is an issue for several reasons in my life: My blood pressure is dropping like it’s hot. My boyfriend thinks I’m crazy, and people around me probably also think I’m crazy. Also, having the tendency to jump the gun on things is probably not the best way to be conducting my life.
Also, strong emotions lead to overeating and overspending. If I’m excited, sad, mad, annoyed, or even just happy, I want to shop. Emotional eating and emotional spending are a big problem in North American culture, and I fall victim to both of these things all the time. When I got my first internship, I was so excited. I emotionally shopped until I was flat broke, which wasn’t a hard feat as I was already jobless. Seeing my credit card bill after that shopping trip was a sobering experience.
During that first internship, I had to deal with a horrible coworker who micromanaged me to the point of me locking myself in the supplies closet in tears. I dealt with that by emotional eating; I gained 15 lbs during my four months there, and it took me 6 months to get rid of it.
So, in short, I need to learn how to calm the $%&* down, and I’ve been brainstorming things that help me do that. The following things are lifesavers for my wallet, weight, and health in general:
1. Read a Book
Even just doing this for a few minutes slows my heart rate and distracts me from whatever it is that I’m spazzing about. Even if it’s something super exciting in a good way, I find that I can be unhealthy-excited, as opposed to healthy-excited.
Normal people get excited and happy, I get exuberant. Chilling out with a book for a few minutes helps me see things practically, and act upon the exciting things in a normal way.
I think this may be because you have to concentrate on the words on the page to absorb the book. TV never works for me because that’s more mindless; reading requires concentration on things other than my emotions.
If I’m super grumpy, this works even better. I’m a stewer (I stew over things). If I’m grumpy because the boy didn’t make coffee that morning, I’ll stew over it until it’s a criminal offense. Getting my mind off of it for a few minutes will stunt the anger from multiplying, and I’ll probably be able to transfer my thoughts to the book instead of the target on the boyfriend’s head.
2. Stare at a Blank Wall
I know most of you probably think I’m joking, but seriously. If you’re super angry, annoyed, excited, or just over the top, do this. Stop, take a deep breath, and stare at a blank wall.
I prefer white, but any neutral or pale color will do. It takes away the over stimulation and makes you focus on calming down.
I should warn you that any old wall will not work. If it’s a bright color, don’t do it. Same with patterns or wall paper.
Apparently, this helps decrease sensory overload and that’s why it works.
3. Go for a Run
It sucks for all of us that don’t necessarily like to exercise, but sometimes running it out really works.
If I’m super excited about something, and my mind is going a thousand miles a minute, sometimes running helps me calm down and since my mind is elsewhere, I can run for longer without complaining about every single step in my head. It’s a win/win. Afterward, I’m usually too tired to get overly excited about things, and I’ll just passively go over the event in my head instead of jumping up and down about it.
Any exercise will work for this, so feel free to pick your poison. Some people like walking with their dogs, some like yoga. I find yoga too serene, so for me, running is a good way to pound out my pent up energy.
4. Check Your Bank Account
That’s always a sobering experience.
Warning: do this only when your overflowing emotions are positive ones. It will take you down a notch. Never do this if you’re wallowing in hysterical self pity. It will only drive you to drink.
5. Do Something Mundane or Routine
Doing something ordinary, or something that normally bores you, will calm you down as well. I find that any period of time in which I’m freaking out, I’m also the most productive with housework. My adrenaline keeps the vacuum going at top speed, and the regularity of housework helps me calm down.
Some people say cooking calms them down, or even just taking a hot bath.
The difficult thing about all of these tips is getting the motivation to do these things when you’re bursting at the seams with excitement or hysteria. If you’re like me, you’ll want to shop, eat, or pace the floor while frantically calling everyone you know to complain/rejoice/overanalyze the incident. But, I encourage you, next time you’re emotions are getting the best of you, force yourself to try one of these activities before stepping into a mall, restaurant, or grocery store.