What is emotional hijacking? 5 ways to control it for your mental wellbeing

Emotional hijacking is a state when your emotions take control of you making you unable to think logically. To control it and stay positive, Garima Juneja, Psychologist, Founder of Lightroom Therapy and Counseling, shares 5 ways to stop emotional hijacking.
Coping With Emotional Hijacking What is emotional hijacking? 5 ways to control it for your mental wellbeing
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The recent surge in suicide rate owing to health problems, job loss, financial crunch, relationship issues, bleak future prospects prompted by pandemic has depicted how fragile our mental health is. But it is not what it seems, the situation is much more complicated, which is often referred to as emotional hijacking. When we are totally out of control of our emotions and get overwhelmed or outraged due to its upsurge, our logical thinking fails to come to our rescue. At that moment, we do something which we are likely to repent throughout our life. This is emotional hijacking. So, Garima Juneja, Psychologist, founder of Lightroom Therapy and Counseling gives us a detailed insight into emotional hijacking.

How and why emotional hijacking happens?

The amygdala in the brain is the seat of emotions and the neocortex is the seat of logical thinking. When we come across some challenging or emotionally provoking situations, then the amygdala becomes active. When we go on talking negative about the situation to ourselves, then the amygdala becomes predominantly overwhelming. Slowly anger becomes rage and sadness or disappointment becomes depression or worries take the form of anxiety. Amygdala hijacks the whole mind and at that moment, abstains the neocortex to come to our rescue. That’s why emotional hijacking is also called Amygdala hijacking.

How to not let our mind control us?

These are some of the ways to prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed by emotions:

Self-awareness- Self-awareness is a wonderful tool to control your mind. When you are aware, the chances are huge that self-control will be possible.

Labelling your emotion- To be able to judge the emotion rightly and see it as a third person will help you to see it from a distance. Most of the time exaggerating our emotional state like labelling disappointment as depression often leads to the provocation of emotional hijacking. So, label your emotion correctly.

Distraction- Instead of indulging in excessive thoughts relating to the sensitive circumstances, just distract yourself. Call up your friend, but don’t talk about this. Start watching something or indulge yourself in work or go for a walk. A bit of distraction can do wonders as logical reasoning comes to the rescue after a while.

Vent it out- After distraction, vent it out on a piece of paper or talk to a friend. Grasp the situation and see how you can handle yourself better than next time. Learn from every episode of emotional upsurge.

Take professional help- In few sessions, you will know about your flawed patterns and blind spots by taking professional help. Online sessions have made life easier, so make the most of it. This can be a life-changing experience.

Also Read: 4 Ways spirituality can make you healthier mentally and physically