In the heat of the moment, our emotion takes over. Between fight or flight, it is easy to overlook another choice called release.
The fight or flight instincts are survival responses operating from our emotional gut. They are designed for emergency circumstances (e.g. to eat or be eaten) and have worked well to keep human alive.
Trouble is that now-a-day, many of the so called emergency scenarios are self induced. And the fight or flight impulsive responses are results of emotional hijacks and often not the rational courses of action. Examples include road rage, domestic violence, etc.
Instead of reacting to the feelings, best to put some space between self and the emotions. Choosing the release even just a short time (5 seconds) is enough to stave off the onslaught of emotional hijacking and regain self control.
So how to execute the release? When spotting the symptoms (e.g. increasing heartbeat, rising blood pressure, tingling skull), take a deep breath then exhale by counting slowly. The key is to disrupt the emotional hijack. Release any tension along with the exhale. Repeat if needed.
Have you encountered emotional hijack?