When difficult emotions start to intensify, we may experience certain symptoms such as anxiety and stress. In such situations, we should remember to de-escalate those emotions to stop ourselves from giving a trauma response. “In moments of emotional intensity, the PAUSE method can be a lifesaver for bringing calmness and clarity,” wrote Therapist Linda Meredith. Addressing difficult emotions in a healthy way can ensure that we make our responses and reactions healthy and safe for people around us. The expert further explained the PAUSE method that can help us to de-escalate our emotions.
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Pause: We need to pay attention to the body, the emotions we are feeling and the thoughts that are clouding our mind. Paying attention and getting aware of our body and mind also creates the gap between thinking and reacting – this is important to analyse our responses better.
Acknowledge: Instead of going all out with the responses, we should acknowledge the emotions we are feeling. We should delve deep and try to analyse the triggers that are causing the activation of such emotions. Naming the emotions can help us to address them in a healthier way.
Understand: We should try to understand the roots of the emotions. We should try to segregate the emotions and try to introspect the experiences that may have caused us to feel in a certain way.
Strategise: In case we are not able to handle the situation in a healthy way, we should step out and give ourselves a break. We should also have a strategy in mind for how we want the situation to play out. Be it going for a walk or taking deep breaths, we should focus on de-escalating the emotion.
Engage: Once we feel relaxed and calm, we should engage with our emotions and try to address them. In case we are with people, we should try to empathise with them and have a healthy relationship.