Episode #35: Emotional Flooding

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Dr. Connie Omari
Hello, hello, hello, Dr. O here.

And today I want to talk to you about emotional flooding. So emotional flooding is when your brain gets so overwhelmed with something that is emotional for you uncomfortable for you that you really lose an ability. Okay, you don’t have the ability to tap into whatever skill set, you would normally have to deal with feeling overwhelmed.

What it looks like is trying to think of a good example. So let’s say you’re in the middle of a fight, or you’re in the middle of an uncomfortable situation doesn’t really even have to be a fight. Oftentimes it is, but it doesn’t have to be.

And you would normally when you get overwhelmed, maybe walk away and go for a walk or do some deep breathing or count to 10 or listen to some music, whatever your normal coping skills are you completely like blank on them, like you lose all perception or all awareness of your ability to actually tap into resources that you probably would have used if you weren’t going through the emotionally flooding situation. Okay?

So this can happen in the middle of a fight. It can happen with intense grief, it can happen when you are shocked. And you are in a situation where you just have absolutely no idea how you got there. All of these things that can happen to you when you’re uncomfortable can cause emotional flooding. Let’s talk about some signs of emotional flooding.

One of them is agitation or display anger anxiety or moodiness. So that kind of goes to you know, if you’re in a fight or if you’re in a, in a situation where you’re just getting some news or getting some information that is just really, really uncomfortable for you. That could be a form that can prompt your feelings of emotional flooding, poor self care, and perhaps engaging in risky behavior.

So you know, if you’re not really taking care of yourself, and you’re kind of caught off guard with some information that you know, maybe if you’ve had been monitoring your health in a better way it wouldn’t have had as significant of an impact on you, or even would have had a significant impact on you, you would have had the ability to handle it better. I’m speaking about things like maybe if you’ve been drinking, maybe if you’ve been intoxicated, maybe if you’ve been engaging in any type of unhealthy you know behaviors, mind altering substances or behaviors, things like that. That can cause you to feel emotionally flooded.

All right, other symptoms of emotional flooding is the onset or increase or stress. You know, let’s say you know, it’s one thing to have a bad day at work. It’s one thing to have a bad situation with your children’s One thing to have a problem with a significant other, but when all three of those bad boys hit you at one time, it’s going to be so much easier for you to feel flooded with your emotions, okay? Because when it rains, it pours, right. So it’s so much for you to take in, and process and deal with, it literally causes you to flood with emotions. Okay?

Another one is conflict and information, oh my gosh, like, somebody tells you to do one thing, you get this input for your husband, you get this input from your boss, you get this from your mom, your child is coming at you with this direction. And you’re like, Ah, I don’t know what to do. These are so many different things that I have to contemplate and consider.

Your limited ability to really think things through, you know, my gosh, let’s say you have in a short amount of time, right that you need to make a decision, no matter how big or how small it is, you don’t have a lot of time to make the decision. Right. But you’re still going to be held liable for the consequences of that decision. Right? So it can cause emotional flooding, because you don’t want to be responsible for making the wrong decision. But that doesn’t alleviate you from the responsibility of making a decision.

All right, how can you avoid emotional flooding, because if you haven’t been through it, which I doubt, I am pretty certain that most of us have in some way, shape or form been through some some variation, okay, of the spectrum of emotional flooding at some time. So these are some ways that you can kind of avoid it or work your way out of it.

The first thing you want to do is just take a break, heaven forbid, if it’s like an argument or if it’s like information that is just like information overload, I can’t deal with this, I cannot handle all of this. You want to make sure that you take a break Ito literally tell the person, this is too much right now, I am not able to take in everything that you that that you want to discuss at this moment, we can revisit it later.

And that’s really important for people, especially if they’re in relationships, where you know, there’s like a lot of avoidance and resistance. I’m not saying you need to avoid and resist the issue altogether. But you need a break for a moment. Okay? Before you can reenter it in a healthy way. Okay, talk about one thing at a time. Oh my gosh, sometimes we get in these situations where we’re just like, and another thing and another thing and you do this and you did that and and your brain can’t keep up. Okay?

This is not a computer where you can open seven tabs at one time. And let’s be honest, let’s pretend that it was okay. Doesn’t your computer move slower when you have seven tabs open as opposed to one at a time? Okay. So that’s because you’re not we’re not wired, things typically are not wired to just be on like, you know, double duty. Right? So try not to let that happen.

Another thing you can do is self soothing. A lot of times we get into these situations, and we expect the external circumstances around us to dictate how we move forward or how we proceed. But that’s not the case. Like sometimes not sometimes, oftentimes, right? Or majority of the time, or like 100% of the time when somebody else does something nice for us. Great, absolutely great. But we have to be responsible for making our bringing our own happiness to our life, like we can’t necessarily depend on other people to satisfy us.

So learning how to self soothe through the senses, through like meditations through prayer, things like that, that will bring awareness back to the present, just being helping you to be mindful, and focus on yourself will help a lot. Okay. Try to find a solution to the problem. Like don’t just sit here and let situations ruminate in your head, or whether they’re ruminating your head or ruminating, you know, in your external if they really are happening, like, do what you can do, you know, and there’s a huge prayer, you know, there are some things that are just the only thing I can do is pray and you have to come and just leave it to whatever your device is. That helps you get through these difficult things.

Okay, but don’t think that you you’re only human, you’re one person like you can’t handle everything. So there’s no point in in really trying to do that. Take responsibility for your stuff, right. So like, if you have contributed to the problem, a lot of times really, people just want to be heard. People just want to be validated, people just want to be accepted, if you can give that that is doing a huge service, okay? To not only giving them what they need, but more than likely giving you what you need, right? Because if you have an ability to sit there and, and, and be at peace, right with life, even if it means have to say these infamous words, I’m sorry, Isn’t it worth it to just get that out of the way so that you can, like, have the emotional freedom that you deserve?

Right now, I’m not saying just take on stuff that’s not yours, but you know, you’re guilty, and you’re responsible for something, take it on, apologized, move on. Be flexible. Understand that you don’t have to, it just doesn’t have to just fit in a box, you know, you can find different ways to work in and around situations to get your needs met.

So try as much as possible to find ways that you can create outcomes that are ideal. And finally, remember your values for the in relationships. I taught, I’ve said it time and time and time again, relationships are not about being right, they really aren’t. Right, they’re about being nice. They’re about being supportive, and they’re about encouraging. And if your relationships aren’t bringing value to any of that you’re not worth happy. Okay? So emotional flooding is actually very, very serious.

A lot of times, you know, I think people who get emotionally flooded or actually shame for not being able to handle their emotions, which doesn’t make any sense because anything that gets overwhelmed is eventually going to burst. Right? But it’s serious in that, you know, you don’t know what you want to do. Like if when you lose sight of your ability to deal with your, you know, impulses and your controls, like you’re liable to do anything. Right, so So being emotionally flooded is not a safe place to be. Well, that concludes our episode for today.

Thank you so much for listening, peace and blessings, Doctor O.

Dr. Connie Omari
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