Updated: May 22, 2019
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I have decided to open up the wellness course that I shared via email to everyone, as the feedback I got was really great. I feel that these skills can really help others in creating the lives of their dreams! Overcoming difficult emotion is possible and can be done in a healthy way that lasts. Having emotional awareness means being able to become aware of, identify, and articulate emotions so that you may handle them in a healthy way.
Thank you so much for joining me for the FIRST video in my 4-part video series! This video starts with us building our roadmaps. What I mean by that, is starting with where we want to be, where we are today, and ways we think we can get there. We also look at things that get in the way. In this video the "obstacles" I talk about, are generally unwanted or negative emotions. Now, I don't think emotions are BAD, but sometimes we don't know how to handle them in healthy ways. So in this video, we'll track our triggers so that we can identify which emotion we are experiencing in any given moment.
STEP #1: THE GROW MODEL
To start off, we fill out the GROW model. The grow model is a model that is generally used to figure out career goals, but I have found it to be especially helpful in figuring out emotional goals as well.
Head to this link to find the PDF download.
G: Goals - what are your goals? Think big here! Don't just think about the material things you want, but think about what you want based on how you FEEL. Why do you want the big house? How do you think it'll make you feel? Our desires are always really about wanting to feel a certain way.
R: Reality - What does your life look like now? Where are you, now? Don't be negative. Simply state the facts. Perhaps you want to make 10k a month and you're only making 3k. That is the current reality.
O: Opportunities - What else is possible? What else is possible outside of your current reality? What if certain obstacles were removed? What would that look like?
Obstacles - what are the current obstacles? DON'T BE NEGATIVE! Don't put a negative spin on anything, just be clear about what the obstacles are. Perhaps you want a loving beautiful relationship but you can't stop accusing your boyfriend of cheating. That is an obstacle. Or maybe you want to travel but you have a full time job. Those are simply the obstacles, point blank - without being made into a negative or "bad" thing.
W: The Will - What do you need to learn in order to get what you want? This is the accountability aspect of this model. What do you actually need to DO? How can you keep yourself motivated? What support would be helpful in you moving forward toward what you want?
So now you have your GROW model in place, which means you have a blueprint on where you are now, and where you want to be. Both in the material world, but more importantly in your internal emotional and mental world.
STEP #2: THE TRIGGER TIMELINE - Journaling exercise
This is a journaling exercise where you track the progression of a specific circumstance in order to get to the core emotion behind it. This is usually done AFTER an emotional upset, done in retrospect so that in the future you may be able to stop the emotion from getting out of hand at an earlier step along the timeline.
The HALT Skill:
Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. (PMSing, Drunk, High)
These vulnerability factors will guarantee that you will react to a trigger, or a prompting event that incites a specific emotion, in a different way than you would if these were addressed. For many people, being hungry really throws you off and makes you
HANGRY - that word didn't come from nowhere! So making sure you address all of these before approaching life will ensure that you will react differently when triggering events arise.
The Prompting Event:
Write out exactly what happened to trigger the emotional response. Perhaps your boyfriend didn't call you back for 3 hours and you started to panic. Write that, exactly without any emotional spin on it.
For example: I called my boyfriend 3 hours ago and he just called me back.
Thoughts and Beliefs:
This is the section where you can write out exactly how the situation made you feel. This part doesn't have to be rational. This is literally the thoughts that ran through your head during and after the triggering event. For the example above this could be a potential thoughts + beliefs journaling entry:
My boyfriend didn't call me back until 3 hours later and I started thinking that he must be cheating on me. He must be with someone else and he must not love me anymore. Maybe he's playing games and ignoring me on purpose so that I freak out and then he has a good reason to break up with me.
All very irrational, but all very possible. (it has happened to me!) and it shows just how our thoughts can spiral on, and on, and on.
This is one of my favorite parts of this timeline because occasionally you might actually catch your body sensation before any of the other aspects. The prompting event might actually trigger a body sensation first, which then leads into the thoughts. In this portion, pay attention to how your body feels when the intense emotion is going on. Maybe your hands are sweaty, you chest feels tight, you have a lump in your throat, your eyes are watering, your ears are ringing... all of these physiological things can arrive alongside the intense emotion, and usually do.
Example from the above scenario: I started breathing heavily and quickly, I got really hot and started to sweat and I have this anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach.
Body and Facial Expressions:
This part is similar to the last step, but it's focused more on how the body sensations are expressing themselves. Maybe you're sweaty so you're fanning yourself, you're breathing heavily, you're screaming. Maybe your shoulders are hunched up to your ears and tense.
Example from the above scenario: I started to pace around the room and I was covering my eyes and crying. I couldn't stay still.
The final step is the EMOTION! Once you start to do this more often you'll be able to quickly identify the emotion, which will then lead to being able to utilize valuable skills for each.
Can you identify the emotion from the example above?