How To Cope With Emotional Tension

By Paul Dunion | October 8, 2019

  • It is extremely helpful to recognize and name tension in the present moment.
  • Locate the tension in your body.
  • Direct your breath to the area of the tension.
  • When possible, verbally acknowledge the presence of tension. Recognition and acknowledgement go a long way toward helping manage tension.
  • Notice and name any emotion associated with the tension. Typically, fear will be the emotion affiliated with tension and occasionally, anger or sadness.
  • Interrupt any catastrophic thinking. You likely will neither be fired, be abandoned by your family nor die in the next hour.
  • When possible, move your body gently, avoiding freeze and shallow breathing.
  • When the tense incident has passed, explore when you first experienced such tension in your life.  It can be extremely helpful to separate the historical situation from the current one.
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