Life is hard. Life is complicated. Life can be exhausting.
We have families to care for, community events to attend, birthday parties to celebrate, recreational hobbies to participate in. Oh, and of course we have a bunch of errands and a never-ending to-do list and a mountain of emails to finish.
It’s a lot to manage, which can stress us out. And some of us choose to let that stress build up inside, until one small bump in the road sets us off:
- A flat tire
- A disagreement with a friend
- The kids are taking too long to get ready
- Your boss dumps yet another project on your desk
- A last-minute cancellation
- The wrong order at the drive-thru. You know, the one you don’t know is wrong until you’ve driven a block.
It could be anything.
But whatever it is, you are now freaking out about it.
Why do tantrums happen?
Once upon a time, there was a child who threw a fit. They stomped their feet, cried incredibly loud, and wailed for what felt like an eternity.
(Maybe it was you.)
We’ve all witnessed a child’s breakdown. If you’re a parent, you know it’s probably because that child is over-tired or hungry. They’re cranky. Anything can and will set them off.
Adults are just grown up children. It’s perfectly normal for us to occasionally lose control of our emotions when life seems stacked up against us.
We’re overwhelmed. We stockpile our stress and push ourselves to the point of exhaustion. We don’t make time to be emotional or express ourselves honestly in the moment. Instead, we let our emotions build up inside of of us. Eventually, we reach our breaking point and explode.
Remember that game Jenga? It’s just like that. You build up this tower so high, and brick by brick, you’re weakening the structure below it. It all comes crumbling down when you pull one of the blocks the wrong way. You’re so focused on making it to the top, that you forget about everything else that holds the structure together.
There’s no stability, which is why is eventually collapses. Humans fall apart when they’re emotionally unstable and something in our life goes sideways.
How to deal
The harsh reality is that life won’t slow down and it never waits for you. It never stops dishing out unwanted situations and surprises. Big and small, there will always be bumps along the way and forks in the road that will challenge you.
That’s just the way it is. It’s how life works, and it doesn’t always work in your favour.
But, there is a way to get through it – without throwing a child-like temper tantrum in public.
Stop holding all your emotions inside
You have to let go.
Bad vibes, negativity, troubled emotions – get rid of it all. Keeping your emotions bottled up is not a good idea. Suppressing your feelings can have serious affects on your mental and physical health. A study cited in the Daily Mail shows that risks of premature death, heart disease, and cancer are increased by doing so.
Seriously. Why shorten your life when there are plenty of simple ways for releasing tension, aggression and that which you’ve bottled up?
Here’s a few:
- Put on some loud music and sweat it out at the gym
- Stomp around the house, the yard or the block
- Join a kickboxing class or find something similar to a Tantrum Class
- Scream into a pillow for 30 second intervals , if you can out loud is even better
- Call a good friend to vent
- Write a journal entry or a letter to someone (which you don’t have to send if you don’t want to)
- Shift your perspective. Change the lens you are using to make meaning of the situation.
- Call me, and let me help!
You need to release those frustrations! Get mad, be sad. Feel whatever you want to feel, just as long as you do it in a safe and responsible manner.
You have to let it all out, before you can feel better.
Remember that child with the temper tantrum? After kicking and screaming and letting their tears roll down their bright red cheeks, they stop. They’ve run out of energy and they’ve depleted themselves of being mad or sad. They’re still tired, but they get a nap time soon.
It’s simple, after releasing the pressure, they feel better. They’ve let it go.
And you will too.
Give yourself permission
You are not the Energizer Bunny. Your battery will not last forever and you do not have to keep going.
You need to allow yourself to stop and release the emotions causing stress. Expressing feelings like anger, sadness, or fear helps you find relief. Once you do, don’t be surprised if you feel lighter and more capable of jumping back into your busy lifestyle.
We are emotional beings. When we don’t take care of our emotions, we lose control of them and it leads to outbursts, temper tantrums and the like.
Here’s my question for you: How can you “do it all” if you can’t do the most important thing of all?
Take care of yourself and allow yourself to feel — even experience emotions as they occur. Stop holding it all in, and let it go.
I’m Janice Otremba, a professional speaker, facilitator and coach who specializes in stress management, health and wellness, personal growth and life balance. Let’s kick your butt into gear with simple, sound advice for beating burnout and powering up your happy. Book a free 15-minute consultation call with me to get started!