We humans use emotions to express our feelings. Emotional roller coasters are situations or experiences that alternate between making you feel excited, exhilarated, or happy and making you feel sad, disappointed, or desperate, we can find in the Collins dictionary.
There are people who are or appear calm under any circumstances. But most of us could use a method to deal with emotional roller coasters. Why? Because we tend to do or say stupid and regrettable things in such events.
Examples of Emotional Roller Coasters
Imagine a lottery winner. He must feel awesome and those money will help him achieve anything he sets his mind to! His future sure must look bright! Hmm, in reality, most go broke in a few years, taking so many bad decisions in between. And they are on an emotional roller coaster all the way up until the winner is announced and then down until they lose everything.
Now imagine a very successful restaurant owner. Next to his business a new restaurant opens which attracts many of his customers. Now the owner feels frustrated, but instead of figuring out a way to bring back his customers, he started to pour his frustrations on the customers who had chosen to stay. Want to guess what happened? Of course they left too. Finally, he got the message, the level of service became impeccable again, and started to bring in new customers, as well as some of his former loyal customers. That’s another example of emotional roller coaster, one where you go from top to bottom, and then back up.
Is It Good For You to Ride Emotional Roller Coasters?
An emotional roller coaster you can’t escape has terrible consequences for your business, family, relationships, personal finances management, trading, etc. Let’s take a “soft” example from family life.
If you “bring your work home” — meaning you can’t detach from it — and you had a lousy day at work which turns into a lousy week, this will definitely affect your family, which would otherwise be anxious to spend time with you. If you are super-excited about work but can’t put food on the table for your family, is an ugly example of a reversed situation.
In personal finances, when you are high on the emotional roller coaster, you might spend more than you should, often on things you don’t need. When you are low, you barely spend for the absolute necessary.
Ok, hopefully that’s plenty of examples. But how do you know you’re on an emotional roller coaster? It’s not as easy as being on a metal roller coaster and enjoying it (or not): …and now we’re at the top, looking down and… rolling! Hey, let’s do this again, Bob forgot to record it!
Do You Know When You Are on an Emotional Roller Coaster?
Here are some pointers that can indicate you might be on an emotional roller coaster:
– you feel super excited or disappointed about a situation or experience you would normally feel neutral about
– your close and trusted friends or family start telling you: “Calm down!” or “Hey, this isn’t like you!” or “I don’t recognize you anymore!”
– you spend with ease on trivial things if you don’t normally do so (when you are up on the emotional roller coaster) or have a hard time deciding to spend for the basic necessities (when you are down on the emotional roller coaster)
– if the emotional roller coaster happens within the same day, you might experience sweaty palms, uncontrolled trembles without reason, indecision, anxiety.
What to Do Now That You Know?
Now that you have identified that you are on an emotional roller coaster, there are two or three steps you need to take to “disembark”:
– especially if it happens during one day, try to detach from the activity that generated it, by doing something relaxing, listening to music, taking a walk, going to the gym maybe, meditating, anything that cools down your emotional rush
– the only way to break the cycle, is to think reasonably at the situation, once your emotions have cooled down; whatever is the solution your judgement, free of emotions, comes up to is your ticket out from this particular emotional roller coaster
– if you don’t trust your judgement to take the right decision, prepare 3 potential solutions and write the pro arguments of each solution on one piece of paper; give the 3 pieces of paper to a few of your trusted friends and family members who are not affected by the emotional roller coaster you are in and tell them to choose the right solution; whatever they choose, you follow.
Those who know me in person could tell you that in general I appear to be a calm individual. But I experience emotional roller coasters too, and that’s how my interest in this topic came up.
I believe it can help most of my readers, regardless of their main interest, because as you see, it affects all domains and most individuals.