There are times when I find that I am feeling more on edge in my life. When I am feeling this way I lose my cool so much more easily. I don’t like losing my cool. I would much rather be in a state of mind and have the approach where I am in control of myself, back on track and creating good experiences for myself and those I love in a proactive way instead of reacting.
Have you ever felt this way?
When I was in my early twenties and a budding young professional, I did not yet acquire the tools and skills to understand or deal with those situations when I felt on edge and not in control. This negatively impacted the way I was in my relationships, as well as my productivity at work. I learned these skills and tools a little bit later on in my life and am now sharing them with you so that you can have them and apply them to your life right now.
What to do when you are feeling on edge and losing your cool so that you get back on track.
Let’s be honest, it is so much simpler to blame other things, or everyone else, for losing your temper or for being on edge in the first place. This is the easier way out, and many people find it easier to blame others or other things for why they are reacting the way that they are. It gives one an excuse for being out of control. Blaming others is so much easier than looking at or into ourselves and changing the way that we behave. Though easier, I prefer not to blame. I know that blaming others will not get me the positive results I want to have in my life. Blaming others will not help you either. You may benefit by not having to take personal responsibility yourself (that’s the hard part), but you will not get the great life that you really want that way.
As a psychology student in college, I learned about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. We all have needs. Our needs range from very basic needs like food, clothing, and shelter and extend to ‘higher’ level needs, such as actualizing our potential and living a life of purpose and fulfillment. Noted psychologist, Abraham Maslow theorized that human beings fulfill their needs in this order (from bottom to top):
I printed this poster out and have it hung up in my kitchen. I use it as a tool to help me determine what needs of mine are not being met. This is the very first step that I take to getting back on track (and back in control) when I am feeling on edge and find that I am losing it way too quickly and easily. Why? Because what I have found is this: we lose our cool so much more easily when we are ‘running on empty’, so to speak, and are not fulfilling some of our most basic, and even more higher needs. Leaving our needs unmet makes us feel off-balance, and can easily lead us to feeling on edge.
View losing your cool or feeling on edge as the information that allows you to get back on track and understand where you are feeling ‘off’, unbalanced, insecure, or lacking.
I use Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs to help me figure that out. This has been a great approach and simple tool for me and it can be for you, as well.
Here is how I use it.
Whenever I am feeling more on edge and find that I am losing my cool far to easily and quickly, I visualize (or look at) Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs. I start at the bottom and assess if I am tired or have eaten (basic needs.) If the answer is no to either of these, I think that perhaps this is the reason I am feeling more on edge and then work on getting more sleep and eating better to see if that will create the change (it usually does.)
If the answer is yes to being well rested and, thankfully, well fed, then I move up in the pyramid and ask myself higher need types of questions based on the pyramid. I ask myself questions like:
- Do I feel safe? (Another basic need that is on a higher level than food and shelter.)
- Am I feeling good in my relationship(s)? (Emotional or psychological need.)
- Am I feeling good about myself? (Also, emotional/psychological need.)
- Am I actualizing my potential and fulfilling my purpose? (Self-fulfillment need.
I ask myself these questions to help me determine what it is I am required to do, or what support I require, to help myself move forward, get back in control and on track and feel good. Once I have this information, I then take the steps toward fulfilling my needs so that I can get back on track to live the happy and fulfilling life that I want for myself and for my family.
You can ask yourself these questions too.
Recognize that the reason you may be feeling on edge and losing it so easily is not because of what anyone else is doing, but rather, because of something that you may be struggling with personally or feel that you are lacking in your own life.
How about you?
Do you go through phases in your life when you find that you are more on edge and losing it far too easily?
When you look at Maslow’s pyramid, which area, category, or need of yours do you find is going unmet?
What steps can and will you take to help yourself get what it is that you require (your real needs met) so that you can feel more in control and happy in your life?
Please share your answers or questions in the comments below. I will answer any of your questions there. You can also send me an email directly with your answers or questions to Jenny@unleashingu.com or pm me through my facebook page here.
In support and admiration,
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