Last update: July 27, 2016
Sometimes it is normal to be more cheerful or animated than usual; It is also normal to feel anger when things don't go our way.
Definitely, emotions have a very specific purpose, that is to make us reach our goals, allow us to communicate and make us survive.
The problem arises when these emotions stop adapting to the situation and the person who feels them lets himself be excessively carried away by them, adopting behaviors that do nothing but interfere with their effectiveness and adaptation. Instead of solving problems, therefore, they create them.
In psychology this behavior is called emotional instability. Emotional instability is a personality trait and sufferers are constantly changing moods without apparent cause or logic.
The person in question does not tolerate frustration, that is, if something does not go as he would like, he implements a series of very intense and extreme emotional and behavioral responses such as anger, aggression towards himself or others, taking drugs, promiscuity ...
They are people with low self-esteem, with dichotomous thinking (either he's white or he's black), communication problems and few resources to deal with life's difficult situations.
They are also people very impulsive and viscerals who do not think about the consequences before acting and then find themselves with more problems than before that, even in this case, they know how to manage.
On the other hand, they fall in love easily, they idealize people, which leads them to be emotionally very dependent, changing partners relatively frequently, as it is difficult for them to be alone. They claim to always try one feeling of inner emptiness.
All this causes them many problems in the social, work, family ...
Emotional instability has a cure though it is essential that the unstable person be motivated to change and improve.
Unstable people do not change overnight, as they have internalized and automated the behaviors we have explained; however, with exercise and desire they can shape their personality a lot.
Some techniques used in therapy to help overcome emotional instability are:
Cool the mindPeople with emotional instability become heated and react viscerally and explosively, without thinking. It is therefore necessary learn to see problems from a certain emotional distance in order to be able to analyze and manage them better. One way can be to get away from the situation, entertain yourself with any activity that gives pleasure and that it is healthy (it is NOT worth getting drunk to forget).
Going out for a walk with the dog, riding a bicycle, listening to music, watching a movie alone allows us to distract ourselves and clear our minds so that our level of anger or malaise reduces considerably after some time.
Detaching yourself from the situation and calming down is very good, it allows you to see things from another perspective, but it is not enough. The problematic situation must be addressed.
The problem solving technique is very easy to do and can be of great help. It is about generate many alternative solutions that do not include self-aggression or the aggression of others, much less maladaptive behaviors.
It is good to understand and be clear that none are 100% beneficial, because they all have pros and cons. After thinking of all possible alternatives, it's good evaluate each of them carefully.
We therefore choose only one solution, the one that has more advantages and fewer drawbacks and we apply it.
By choosing it, we create a plan to address the inconveniences that may arise from it so as not to be unprepared and react badly to the frustrations that may arise. The most important thing is to know how to make a decision and not postpone it, accepting that it may disagree with our plans.
Socratic dialogue with ourselves
Socratic dialogue is a technique that consists of question your own way of thinking. that in emotionally unstable people it is usually wrong, causing them a high degree of discomfort.
To carry out this technique, we must first identify the situation or problem that causes us intense emotions and discomfort.
Once identified, let's ask ourselves what we think about it. Typical thoughts of these people are: "If she has not called me, she certainly has forgotten me, she does not love me".
After identifying these harmful thoughts, we begin to question them. It is very helpful to write our questions and answers in a notebook.
An example of such a technique could be: What makes me believe that she / he doesn't love me? What other alternatives could there be besides what I think? Am I coming to hasty conclusions?
When people ask these questions and answer them based on the facts, their emotions change completely, becoming more adaptive and calm.
These people they lose the reason, which perhaps they have, because of their behavior and their way of saying things. Assertiveness training becomes necessary which will help them a lot with their self-esteem and relaxation problems.
One of the assertiveness techniques is come to some agreements.
This technique is used when the person sees his rights violated or is frustrated with something and he needs to express his discomfort adequately.
The following steps are followed:
-First of all, the other is valued as a person and puts himself in his place: “I understand that it was not your intention”.
-We express, therefore, the true cause of our malaise, but without judging the person since people make mistakes and it is necessary to differentiate people from their behavior; “I was upset because, even though I know you acted like this without wanting to…”.
After expressing our discomfort, we propose a solution so that it does not happen again also taking into account the proposals of the other or his / her opinions; in this way, we negotiate and come to an agreement. There is no need to shout, argue or insult ... this would cause more problems and we would never get to the solution.
Simple, but difficult. Practice plays a very important role if you want to get out of this emotional prison you are in. Allow yourself to be free and let emotions not control your life.