In life, there are unfortunately going to be times when you get very upset. It could be a situation where you get angry, hurt or frustrated. If you are like most teenagers, those situations can be very hard to deal with.
When teenagers get upset, that is usually when they make the worst decisions. They can act impulsively and end up making terrible choices that can haunt them the rest of their life.
Today I am going to teach you a strategy that can help prevent you from making bad choices when you get upset.
The strategy I am going to share with you is to make an emergency plan for when you find yourself in bad situations. This article will show you how to make a plan that you can put into action any time you find yourself getting really upset. This plan can help you stay in control of your feelings and actions. It can help prevent those bad situations from spiraling out of control and getting worse.
First, let me give you an example of why an emergency plan can be so helpful. Let me relate it to something you might already be familiar with. Have you ever done a “fire drill” in your school? A fire drill is when they simulate a fire in the school and everyone acts as if there is an actual fire.
During a fire drill, you leave everything at your desk, line up quickly and calmly, and get escorted out of the building by your teacher. The group sticks together and you follow a predetermined route out of the building and meet at a certain spot away from the school.
All of those steps in the fire drill are designed to get you away from the danger, ensure that you don’t put yourself in more peril, and allow you to assess the situation once you are safe. By having fire drills and having an emergency plan in place ahead of time, it can help people make the best decisions if there was an actual fire.
If the schools didn’t have a fire drill or a predetermined plan, it would be chaos if there was an actual fire. Some students would try to climb out the windows, some would try to take everything with them and others would get lost in the panic. Having fire drills have saved many lives and you can use the same logic to help you when bad situations arise in your personal life.
Let’s take a look at the three steps that will be the foundation of your emergency plan.
Step 1 – Leave the situation
The first step in your emergency plan will be to get away from the situation if it is possible. For example, if you are having an argument with someone, walk away from them and go somewhere else. It’s not a good idea to stick around and continue arguing. Usually things get worse the more time you continue to argue.
Step 2 – Calm Down
Once you are away from what is upsetting you, the next step is to calm down. When you are in an excited state of mind, you don’t think clearly. That is when you are prone to acting impulsively and making bad decisions. It is important for you to begin releasing whatever negative emotions you are experiencing. The good news is there are many techniques you can use to accomplish this.
Step 3 – Assess the situation
Once you are away from the situation and have calmed down, now you can make good choices about what you should do. You might notice that you now see the situation differently than when you were in it. You might see that you have more options to handle the situation that you didn’t recognize when you were upset. You also might find that the situation is no longer such a big deal.
Make Your Plan
Now that you know the basics of your emergency plan, let’s go into further detail and write down some specifics of what you will do when you get upset.
The first thing you need to do is decide where you will go if you get upset. Choose places where you will feel safe. They don’t have to be anywhere fancy or far away. They can be in your car, in a park or in your bedroom. Think of different locations for many different scenarios. For example, where are you going to go when you get upset at school, at home, or anywhere else?
• Write down the places you will go to when you get upset
Once you are in your safe space and away from the situation, it will be important for you to calm down and feel better. There are many techniques that you can use to do this. Here are several suggestions you might want to include in your emergency plan.
Talk to someone – Talking to someone when you get upset can be very helpful. It can allow you to “vent” your negative emotions and make you feel better. The other person can also help you see the situation from a different perspective. That different perspective might help you in finding the best solution or resolution.
Make sure you have more than one person on your list that you can contact when you get upset. If you want to include this technique in your emergency plan,
• Make a list of people you will talk to if you get upset and keep their contact information with you at all times.
Music/Dancing – Another technique is to play some of your favorite music. Listening to music and/or dancing is a quick and effective way to change your mood and emotional state. The good news is it is easy to always have your favorite music with you. If you want to include this technique in your emergency plan,
• Make a playlist of songs that make you feel happier, powerful and lighter. Install that playlist on your smartphone so you will always have it with you.
Laughter – Laughter is one of the best ways to change your emotional state. Laughter releases a natural drug into your bloodstream called endorphins. These endorphins are like a natural pain killer and make you feel great. If you want to include laughter in your emergency plan, there are several ways you can prepare;
• Buy your favorite comedy movies and keep them in a place where you know they will be when you get upset. You can also make a playlist on YouTube of your favorite funny video clips.
Deep Breathing – Deep breathing can be a very helpful way to calm down and it is easy to do. When you do deep breathing, you breathe in slowly and deeply, much slower and deeper than your normal style of breath. After your inhalation, you also exhale slowly and completely. Repeat that cycle until you feel more relaxed. It is surprising at how quick this works.
If you have never done it before, it might seem a little awkward at first, but give it a try and see how powerful it can be when you are upset. The good news is there are many free apps that you can install on your smartphone that will guide you through deep breathing exercises. If you want to include this technique in your emergency plan,
• Begin practicing deep breathing exercises and find some apps that you can use when you get upset.
Meditation – Meditation can help you change the focus of your thoughts and not keep rehashing what has gotten you upset. When you meditate, you concentrate on clearing all thoughts out of your mind. Using mental imagery can help you clear your mind and relax your body.
You can picture being at your favorite place in your mind. Or you can picture yourself at a peaceful place that you have seen in movies or magazines. The important thing is to allow your body to relax and let your thoughts disappear. If you want to include this technique in your emergency plan,
• Make a list of what visual images work the best to help you clear your mind. You can also find meditation apps that will help guide you to a relaxed state.
There are many more techniques to calm down that I haven’t mentioned. Experiment with different ones and try them out before you get upset. Just remember, make sure they do not hurt you or anyone else.
• Write down the techniques you will use.
Now that you have your emergency plan, it is time to test it. Think of it as having your own personal fire drill. Imagine yourself getting upset and then going to your safe place(s). Use the techniques you chose and make sure they work. Modify them until you are confident they will work when you need them.
Once you have fine-tuned your emergency plan, you can print it out and put it in an envelope and pull it out when you need it. Or you can put it on your smartphone and put it into action when you get upset.
Congratulations, you did it! You now have an emergency plan that will help you stay in control when you get upset. You won’t have to worry about what will happen if you find yourself in a bad situation. You can be confident that you have a plan that you know will work and will make the best out of any situation you find yourself in. Good Job!
About the Author: Michael TARBY, Monthly Mentor, is a life change expert and author of the best-selling book Living Your Big Juicy Life, The Secrets to Having More Love, Joy and Success. His varied background allows him to resonate with people from all walks of life. He has been everything from a police officer to an actor. In college, he was the class president and graduated with a 4.0 GPA. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services and is also Board Certified in Radiography. Michael has dedicated his life to helping others learn from his successes and many failures. He has spoken all across the country and received standing ovations from large and small audiences. Read More…