Managing Limbic Storms

When fall comes, there are often storms that bring wind, rain, and occasionally snow if you live in a colder climate. Within our brains, we can also have storms arise, at any time of the year! Daniel Goleman wrote a book called Emotional Intelligence, Why It Can Matter More than IQ. He calls these storms in our minds, “limbic storms”. Limbic storms occur when the emotional part of our mind overpowers the rational, thinking part of our brains. Here are some ideas for engaging your thinking that will help you cope with limbic storms:

1. Repeat words: try repeating words such as “stop”, “calm”, or “relax”

2. Distract yourself: I like to read a book or do a Sudoku puzzle, other ideas can be taking a walk, doing a sport, clean a part of your house or watch a movie

3. Breathing: try taking 5 or 6 deep breaths, when you engage in deep breathing, it calms your brain’s stress response, you can try some mindfulness meditations as well

4. Reminding: remind yourself that this is just a small event and doesn’t reflect your whole life; this helps you to not catastrophize the event and put it into perspective

5. Gratitude: count your blessings and look for what’s going well in your life

Remember, limbic storms pass away and the sun will come out again.