Surfers don’t resist the force of the ocean’s waves, instead they move with the wave’s tide. Excitedly we can also surf our intense and negative emotions by not fighting the anger and sadness and instead riding the natural tide of these emotions until they pass. Once we reach the point of calm and the powerful emotions pass, then we can make clear and wise choices in how to move forward in our situations. This is a much more effective behavior to achieve what we are wanting because we rid ourselves of any unnecessary emotional turmoil that causes dysfunction and often destructive and unproductive behaviors. These behaviors have no value to us achieving our goals. Just as the waves in an ocean are always changing, so do our thoughts and emotions. Sometimes waves and emotions can be calm and peaceful, while at other moments they are fierce and unpredictable. When we are in a moment of distress, we typically are usually hyperaroused or hypoaroused, which are emotional states that are also referred to as dysregulation. In these states we often cope with our intense emotions in destructive and ineffective ways that escalate the severity of the situation. Through riding the waves of our emotions, we have an opportunity to let go of some of the resistance we have for our emotions and in return have a calmer approach to overcoming the challenge and resolving the perceived chaos of the situation.
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