12 hours ago. Sun 17 Feb 2019 12:46:32 PM IST
How do you feel after you’ve had a meltdown? Do you feel embarrassed or ashamed of your behavior or of letting others know how you feel? Do you feel relieved that you’ve expressed your feelings or justified for letting them out? Are you afraid or anxious about possible repercussions for your outburst?
While most people would rather forget a meltdown as quickly as possible, it can be a learning experience if you let it.
For example, if you see that you tend to melt down when you’re trying to do too much at once, you can use that information in a positive way by learning to manage your time better or learning to say “no” more often.
If you feel embarrassed about revealing your emotions in public, you might examine how you feel about your feelings. Why isn’t it okay for you to be angry, or to be sad, or to need something from someone else? Feeling ashamed about your emotions often results from cultural or parental messages — for example, that “men don’t cry” or “’nice’ women don’t get angry” — and it can get in the way of establishing good personal and professional relationships. For some people, reducing the hold of such messages requires help from a mental health professional.
(Actual picture of me during a difficult meltdown)
And what if you feel relieved after a meltdown? Sometimes expressing your feelings — even in the form of a meltdown — can relieve stress if you’ve been holding your emotions in check. But wouldn’t it be better to learn to express your feelings before you got to the point of dissolving in tears or lashing out at others? It’s not easy, but it is possible to learn to communicate your feelings in a way that allows you to feel more connected with others and enables them to feel more connected to you.
Do You Need to Apologize After a Meltdown?
You never need to apologize for your feelings, but you may need to apologize for your behavior or for the way you expressed your feelings.
If your meltdown involved yelling at other people, being verbally or physically abusive, or destroying someone else’s property, then you should apologize — and come up with a plan to manage your emotions differently the next time you’re upset or stressed.
If your meltdown occurred in chat, it’s appropriate to apologize to anyone you may have disrupted or offended. But keep it brief, and focus your energy on understanding what happened and how you can prevent further meltdowns.
Preventing Future Meltdowns by Reducing the Stress in Your Life
The better you get at nipping meltdowns in the bud, the less likely you are to ever have another one. But why not take steps to reduce the negative stress in your life so you don’t even come close to having a meltdown? Here are some ideas to get you started:
Develop a stress-reduction plan. A stress-reduction plan doesn’t have to include meditating — although it can — but it does generally involve regularly taking time for yourself to do something that’s healthful and relaxing, such as exercising, practicing breathing techniques, or engaging in creative activities, such as singing or making art. It may also include eliminating or reducing sources of stress in your life, such as excessive screen time, activities you don’t enjoy or don’t have time for, and internal pressure to accomplish more than is reasonable. Thinking about and writing down an actual plan for reducing stress makes it more likely you’ll take the necessary actions to carry it out.
Listen to your body. Tight muscles, headaches, and other types of pain and discomfort are telling you something. Rather than taking a pain killer and pushing ahead with what you’re doing, take a step back and observe what’s making you tense.
Don’t ignore your feelings. Believe me, it doesn’t work, sweeping your feelings under a rug doesn’t make them go away. Acknowledging how you feel, on the other hand, gives you the opportunity to look at what is causing those feelings and to take action, even if it’s just discussing your feelings with another person.
Find someone to talk to. There seems to be within Cage community, an amazing support network. When something upsetting happens, or you feel chronic stress building up in your life, simply talking about it with someone who can listen nonjudgmentally can have a therapeutic effect. Sometimes a therapist is the best person to talk to about difficult subjects, but a friend or other trusted acquaintance may also be able to fill this role.
Spend more time in nature. Being in a natural environment has been shown to have calming effects. You don’t have to be active in that environment, necessarily. You can just observe the sights and sounds of nature, such as the wind blowing, water running, and birds and insects making their natural noises.
Make time for fun and play. Everyone needs to recharge from time to time by doing things they enjoy.
Steer clear of people who are hurtful and unkind. You’re not obliged to socialize with people who don’t treat you with care and respect, even if they’re related to you. Minimize the time you spend with people whose company you don’t enjoy, and seek out more time with those you do.
Get help if you need it. There’s a lot you can do on your own to lower your stress level and your risk of having another meltdown. But if self-help measures aren’t providing the relief you need, consider seeing a professional for help. For depression, anxiety, or relationship problems, a psychotherapist — such as a psychologist or licensed clinical social worker — may be your best bet. For help with time management or goal-setting, a life coach or health coach may be a good option.
Whatever type of professional you choose to see, check out that person’s credentials, and be as clear as you can be about the type of help you’re seeking.
And lastly, If the relationship you form in kink community isn’t supporting your mental health, perhaps it’s not the right fit for you.