Stop Doing The Chicken [Little] Dance
Author: Amy Albero, LCSW
Do you remember the story of Chicken Little?
To briefly summarize…. Chicken Little was scratching around in the barnyard one day, when all of the sudden, something fell from above him and hit him in the head, and his reaction was, “THE SKY IS FALLING! THE SKY IS FALLING!”
Was the sky actually falling? No, of course not. It was simply an Acorn that hit Chicken Little on the head.
While Our Rational and Logical brain tells us that it is absurd to jump to the conclusion that the Sky is Falling, sometimes, in the midst of emotion and uncertainty/newness – we completely throw Logic out the window and operate predominantly from our Emotions (which are not always a reliable source for #facts).
I have been thinking a lot about emotionality and reactivity, aka the times I am a lot like Chicken Little. As an Empath who feels emotions very deeply and intensely, I am prone to be more emotionally reactive than most.
What can this look like in reality?
Have you ever …
Gotten an email from your boss that indicated they wanted to talk with you, and your immediate reaction was, “Oh my gosh, I’m getting fired!”
Gotten a text from a colleague or friend with questionable punctuation (“Thanks.”), and felt anxious and worried that they were mad at you or you did something wrong?
[Raises Hand] YUP! More frequently than I’d like to admit!
In these moments, my emotionality kicks up very quickly from pretty calm to very upset. As a result, I can work myself into an internal preoccupation with a replay of all the things I may have done wrong, and stay stuck there for quite a while, resulting in a bad mood and negative vibes
Needless to say, the entire experience is very uncomfortable and unpleasant, particularly when I am letting my negativity impact my relationships with others.
Lucky for us – we are WAY more sophisticated than Chicken Little, and can manage our reactions better than he did.
Contrary to what we know to be true – there is space between our feelings and our reactions to them. In these day-to-day situations, we don’t need to immediately react to every emotional experience we have, nor should we.
Instead, Find the PAUSE.
Find the moment where you can intervene and check yourself (before you wreck yourself!):
Breathe, and ask yourself:
Is this thought true?
Is this thought helpful?
Even if it were true, what is the worst thing that could happen?
The space between our emotions and actions need only last a few moments, but it is in those moments that we gain so much more wisdom, power, and control over our experience.
Give yourself some S P A C E this week!
Amy at Revive
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