Why am I overreacting, and how can I stop?

Have you ever had an experience when you know you’re overreacting but you can’t seem to stop yourself? When someone says or does something rude or annoying and you blow it out of proportion… but even though you know you’re blowing it out of proportion but you can’t seem to stop.

In this post, I’ll help you see why this happens and we’ll look at some ways to help you to stop.

Are you taking care of your body?

First and foremost, you need to make sure you’re body has what it needs. This sounds very basic and practical, but when your body is stressed, your emotions get dysregulated. It’s one of the most common reasons we overreact.

When we are…

  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Not eating the right food
  • Not getting enough sunlight
  • Too stressed or exhausted

the body will not be correctly regulated and will be prone to overreact. If your body is dysregulated, your emotions will be too.

Notice hidden beliefs or unhealed wounds

Maybe there’s something to learn from the situation. Maybe there is an unconscious limiting belief or an unhealed wound ‘running the show’ from your subconscious without your knowledge.

We aren’t aware of these unconscious limiting beliefs but we create or react to situations because of them. If you’d like more information about unconscious limiting beliefs and how to heal them, please check out my video here.

So… what can you do in the moment?

When you feel like you’re overreacting, there may not be time to get your body back in balance and address unconscious limiting beliefs. The first thing you can do when you notice that you are overreacting is to acknowledge and label your emotions.

Acknowledge and label your emotions

This is something I use in my work as a humanitarian in crisis situations and with my therapy clients. By labeling your emotions in a very specific way, the emotions can dissolve very quickly. There have been many studies done on this and it’s very powerful.

To take this further, check out my heart connection visualization. It will help you give care and empathy to yourself. This can be even more nourishing than getting care and empathy for others.

Understand the other person’s perspective.

This can be a hard one to accept and I’m not suggesting that you do this ‘for their sake’, but when you do take a moment to understand where the other person is coming from, you’ll see how little their actions have to do with you.

We might feel that they are attacking us personally, but they might be operating in their own ‘bubble’ and their actions are not about you. Knowing this can take away the sting and help you process your emotions.

Try heart breathing

Focus on your heart. Breathe in the emotion that you are having. Trying to avoid the emotion does not help us get past it. Frustrating, I know. We naturally want to avoid the pain of the emotion. But it is by breathing it in, you acknowledge and feel it and in this way, you can move past it.

When the moment has passed

Take some time to journal about your thoughts and feelings. It can help you untangle the jumble of emotions you might be feeling. It is also very helpful to speak to your therapist about it, but journalling can be very effective and can be more readily available to you.

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My book

If you have enjoyed this article and would like to take this journey further, check out my book The Good Thing About Mortar Shells: Choosing love over fear”.