The roller coaster ride — what to do what not to do

How to control the ride of emotions resulting into outbursts.

Have you ever rolled a half filled water bottle on the floor and noticed how water settles inside.

Initially it is a roller coaster ride. It goes up and down and side at the same time. As if it just cannot decide what to do what not to do. Just don't know how to tackle the force it has been rolled into.

And slowly as the bottle slows down, the water starts to settle with a wobbly movement.

That is how our emotions are. And so are the decisions derived from them when taken at a high point of emotional drive. When thoughts are swirling in the head at a blistering pace, twisting and tumbling through every neuron in the brain. These decisions often cause outbursts or lets just say something that we would want to change after it happens.

In other words these are decisions taken when the bottle is just rolled hard with water swirling inside.

Now I am sure I am not the first one to talk about it. And probably not the last one. And like many others, I find myself in the same train of having to do things that I regret moments later. I feel like I would not have done that If I were to do it now.

Well, there is something I started doing and it has started paying off.

Delay your decisions.

I should rather say action. Let the water settle. Or at least come to a wobbly state.

Now how do you do it?

Largely there are two things that came in very handy. And yes I had to commit myself and practice it a lot. I started preaching people to do it to put pressure on myself to continue practicing it.

First method is mostly helpful when you are in an in-person meeting or face-to-face situation. The second one can help settle down things when you are not communicating in person OR when you are in an isolation mostly reviewing something. So here are the two methods.

(1) Take a deep breath before everything you say

  1. When you are in a discussion that you sense is soon going to turn into an argument.
  2. When you see things done the wrong way despite repetitive requests and corrections.
  3. When someone forcibly asks you to do something that you do not want to do.

and so on…

(2) Start making a Hmmmmm sound inside your head

  1. When reviewing a document or deliverable that needs to go to client but way off the mark
  2. When on a phone call and feel things are not going the way you expect it to
  3. When looking at an email seeing something misleading

and so on…

Make no mistake about it…its not easy. Took me a lot of practice and perseverance. But when I started getting into the groove I could feel the positive effect. It may or may not help anybody else…I don’t know…but it would be a good idea to try it out and share how did it go.

Just remember one thing…

Delay your decisions.
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