There is nothing more easily and negatively triggered by stress than emotional discord. This post is about the onset of extreme emotional behavior due to chronic and/or acute stress. It’s not pretty and it is definitely not the positive energy that RSG strives to create and embrace. So brace yourself. These tell tale signs mean it’s time to take notice.
Tension Talk (TT): This best describes the tone of voice that strikes a sharp, annoyed or condescending chord. Tension Talk is generally associated with impatience, mounting anger and a shift in disposition. Chronic stress can cause everything to tense up which means the tension has to eventually let out in one way or another. Even the kindest people can become callous and argumentative when they reach their limit. Unfortunately, there is a tendency to subject this poor temperament on the people who deserve it the least and who will tolerate it the most. Not only do we hurt the ones we love but we hurt the ones we can.
Public Display of Drama (PDD): Also disruptive is the tendency for people to lose their cool by verbally lashing out in a crude public display of drama. Even when the emotion is justified, the conduct is not. In this scenario, a person will create conflict or react harshly to something that under less stressful circumstances would otherwise be diverted, dealt with or not seen as a problem at all. This unbecoming performance makes everyone uncomfortable and is generally followed by a feeling of intense embarrassment on the part of the dramatist. Stress may cause the drama but common sense knows it went too far. Harboring guilt doesn’t do anything and apologies may do damage control but neither should not be used as a crutch for flare-ups. Like Tension Talk, PDD is easily ignited bad behavior that is hard to excuse, even at the height of stress.
Mini Meltdowns: Mini meltdowns are sudden outbursts of explosive and irrational behavior associated with uncontrollable fits of anger and frustration. They come and go quickly but in their wrath and fury, can leash an assault that leaves an aftermath of emotional devastation. Mini meltdowns are dangerous because they are as extreme in terms of pressure on the body as they are an extreme digression from otherwise normal behavior and character. They are mentally ravaging due to the intensity of rage and can result in painful headaches and total exhaustion if not something more serious like a dangerous spike in blood pressure which can lead to arrhythmia.
Unlike PDD, most people who have mini meltdowns are too self absorbed to take notice and accept accountability. When they do, mini meltdowns can be insensitively mocked and dismissed as periods of temporary insanity, no matter how much damage they have done. Indeed, the outbursts don’t make sense in relation to common sense. They tend to happen most often when someone is on the brink of a situational abyss; impending divorce, job loss, looming financial debt, and any other significant life issues where a person feels victimized and/or completely out of control. If mini meltdowns become even remotely common meltdowns, they should be addressed with a medical professional.
Mini Breakdowns: Where meltdowns are extended outward, breakdowns are driven inward. They are periods where the feeling of not being able to cope and the desire to disengage becomes the governing force. Depression, overarching sadness, hopelessness, desperation, apathy and lethargy become the main emotions that preside over the fate of their captive. And captive is exactly what it feels like. The emotional weight is so heavy that it can paralyze but most people have no choice but to trudge through the day to day until the weight starts to lift. It’s when the breakdown represents prolonged inertia or decline of emotional and physical health, that it must be met with medical attention as soon as possible.
If you have given into any of these emotional pitfalls, even occasionally, both the behavior and the stress need to be addressed. The key as always, is that you can choose how to manage it all and always maintain self control. Whatever you do, don’t beat yourself up if you’ve entered a bad place. The exit door is open, accessible and desirable as long as you RELAX. SET. GO.