Name it tame it – emotions

Pause… breathe in… breathe out… relax… 

Yes, sometimes this is easier said than done!

In the busyness, you don’t always get time to answer the question “How are you feeling right now?”  In fact, you probably rarely ask how are you feeling ‘right now’?

After the event, we can reflect on what happened, but at the time of the incident, right at the moment when the car cut you up, the competitive dig cut in, the computer said no, words riled you, or the heat of the moment got the better of us, it’s hard to pause, breathe in… and ‘take a moment’. Or is it?

Research shows, that we are all almost constantly engaged in some form of emotion regulation, controlling our emotional responses to stimuli.  

People rarely identify the spectrum of emotions we encounter daily. It’s been said, sometimes we move towards taking monotone photographs of the very colorful scenes that our lives experience.

If we can recognise that we are feeling/thinking emotionally, we can sometimes momentarily take a step back. By specifically naming an emotion, we can notice and put space between us and the experience.

In the words of  Dan Siegel “Name it to tame it.”  Being mindful of a specific emotional moment can give us a chance to notice and name the emotion. If we can see it, then we don’t have to be it. It can be more complex, an emotion that might seem like anger, might intact stem from embarrassment or guilt. However, with the initial step of recognition, we can hopefully disengage from the emotion a tad. We can choose to react more helpfully, rather than reacting “emotionally” to the neurochemical burn.

By Machine Elf 1735 Own work 


When you find yourself getting tense, or you lose sight of your breathing, perhaps you are slipping into monotone. 

If we can recognise the colour of this emotion, perhaps it might help us to pause, breathe in… breathe out… relax, and name the emotion

Yes, we all get swept away in emotional currents (and sometimes this is good!)  But noticing unhelpful emotions might be a life-changer.


By julesprichards

Anchoring in the shire, with family, friends, coffee and cheese… always looking…