[Disclaimer: The following information is not medical advice but provided for informational purposes only.]
I don’t have to tell you just how busy life is and it's common to experience moments of stress and emotional overwhelm. What can we do though, when we’re feeling like everything is caving in around us? Learning how to de-escalate our emotions can help us navigate these feelings we are experiencing. In this article, we'll explore the nature of stress, and its impact on emotions, and list five practical techniques to help you de-escalate your emotions effectively.
Stress is a natural response which is triggered by our body when it perceives a threat or a demand that requires a response. In fact, stress is a survival mechanism designed to protect us, not to harm us. When faced with a stressful situation, our body releases stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, preparing us for a fight-or-flight response. In some cases, stress can be beneficial, motivating us to perform better and overcome challenges.
The Impact of Stress on Emotions
Stress, on an ongoing basis, or high-intensity stress, can however significantly impact our emotions, often leading to heightened feelings of frustration, anxiety and irritability. It can make us more reactive and less rational, affecting our ability to communicate and make decisions rationally. Experiencing prolonged or chronic stress can also take a toll on our mental and physical well-being, leading to burnout, fatigue, and a weakened immune system.
What can we do to help our bodies de-escalate when we’re in a state of constant stress?
This example will never get old - but there is a reason why airlines encourage you to put your oxygen mask on first before helping other, more vulnerable passengers. This is because if you don’t look after yourself first - you will not be able to help those who can’t help themselves. So let’s look at some ways in which you can help your body de-stress when emotions are high.
Practical Techniques for De-escalating Emotions During Periods of Stress:
Find a scripture to meditate on
While the tips below are practical things you can try, dealing with the spiritual side of anxiety and stress and the effect it can have on our emotions, is more important than we realise. The bible says that we are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6).
We are not of this world (John 17:14) even though we are in this world. Romans 12:1-2 encourages us to be transformed by renewing our mind.
We can't deny that our circumstances exist, but we can speak the solution in faith. When we speak the scriptures over our life, we are saying: 'God, I'm trusting you in this situation and I'm clinging to everything you promised me in Your word. I am in You and You are in me and I know You've got me.'
Find a scripture that covers the area of concern in your life. Continue to confess it until it goes from just the words you're saying - to revelation in your heart. Allow God to transform you from the inside out.
Take a look at our 10-Day Prayer Devotional and Guided Journal for depression and anxiety if you need some help with what to pray for.
Deep Breathing, Self-Care and Relaxation Techniques
Taking slow, deep breaths helps activate the body's relaxation response. Focus on inhaling deeply through your nose, allowing your abdomen to expand, and exhaling slowly through your mouth. This technique calms the nervous system and brings a sense of immediate relief. Why not try it now?
Engage in activities that promote relaxation and self-care, such as practising pilates, going for a walk in nature, listening to soothing music, or taking a warm bath. These activities help shift your focus away from the stressors facing you and provide a much-needed mental and emotional break.
Mindfulness and Grounding
Engage your senses by paying attention to the present moment. Notice the sights, sounds, smells, and physical sensations around you. Grounding techniques like counting objects or feeling the texture of an object can anchor you to the present, reducing emotional intensity. This is particularly helpful with children. Sewing a small object, like a button, in the pocket of a child who experiences moments of anxiety is a great way for them to become more present and take their mind off of the situation.
Expressive Writing (i.o.w Journalling!)
Grab a pen and paper and write down your thoughts and feelings without judgment. This form of release allows you to process your emotions and gain clarity. It's a therapeutic tool that helps alleviate emotional stress and regain control.
Reading or listening to a podcast
Reading is a wonderful destresser and can help take your mind off the difficult situation you’re facing, especially if you’re reading something uplifting, encouraging or that builds your faith. I know that reading is not for everyone so you may find that putting your earphones on, cutting yourself off from the world for a short while and listening to something inspirational is just what you need to get your thoughts back on track.
Also Our 'Book-lover's Reading Planner' is now available in our shop.
Don't walk this road alone. Reach out to a trusted friend, family member, a pastoral carer or therapist who can provide a listening ear and support. Venting your emotions to someone who understands what you are going through, can help you acknowledge your feelings and offer a fresh perspective, reducing emotional burdens. Sometimes - It’s all about perspective!
When you’re going through periods of stress and emotional turmoil, it's really helpful to have adequate tools for de-escalation. By implementing these practical techniques— finding a scripture, deep breathing, mindfulness, expressive writing, seeking support, and self-care—you can regain control over your emotions and navigate challenging situations with greater resilience. Remember, self-care and emotional well-being are crucial to leading a well-balanced and fulfilling life.
Please reach out using the CONTACT US form on our website if you need prayer. I'd love to pray with you.