Trayvon Martin was shot in a gated community by neighborhood watchman, George Zimmerman.  George called 911 and the police advised him to stop following Trayvon.  Minutes later neighbors reports vary, meanwhile Trayvon was killed.  George Zimmerman claims he stopped pursuing Trayvon and then was later attacked by Martin.  Shortly, after the 911 phone call everyone is trying to piece together the events which took Trayvon’s life.  The national attention began when it appeared this case was racially motivated.  Then it came out that Zimmerman was hispanic, but the rally’s had already started.  Additionally, claims the police did not arrest Zimmerman because Trayvon was African American started as well.

Trayvon Martin George Zimmerman Spike Lee Roseanne Barr Al Sharpton Jesse JacksonAl Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson continue hosting rally’s until Zimmerman is arrested, and Sharpton has asked for everyone to be peaceful.  So one of the biggest questions is why George Zimmerman was questioned and freed.  The police have not released evidence as to why George Zimmerman was released and many wonder if the police had enough evidence to prove self defense or not enough evidence to hold him.

Either way the longer this drags out the more it creates intense emotions and those closest to the case do not feel they are getting questions answered.  Without answers emotions continue to swell and may become overwhelming.  When emotions are high the ability to reason is low!  When our emotions are too intense we can have periods of temporary insanity which is when we do and say things that later we wish we hadn’t.  Spike Lee admits he tweeted what he thought was Zimmerman’s address out of an overwhelming emotional response.  Spike Lee stopped tweeting after this for a while and collected himself and then apologized for giving an address and the wrong persons address.

Roseanne Barr tweeted an address for George Zimmerman as well.  Spike & Roseanne are no exception to others in the rally’s who may need to calm down and gather themselves so as not to add anymore tragedy to the loss of Trayvon.

So what can we do when emotions are high!

Tips to managing our emotions!  When emotions are high the ability to reason is low!

  1. Count to Ten | When we are angry we are only thinking about how the “other” person is wrong!  When we have intense emotions and start thinking irrational thoughts close your eyes and count to ten!  This allows time to allow emotions to calm before doing something you will regret later.
  2. Change the Channel or Walk Away | For emotions to subside it’s important to remove yourself from the source of your emotions!  Leave the scene and don’t look back!
  3. Physical Exercise | Keep walking!  When emotions are high our adrenaline is high and needs to be burned off so we can cool off!  Walking, running, rollerblading, working out, etc, to burn off the adrenaline.  A nice bonus:  When you work out with extra adrenaline in your system you build more muscle and burn more fat then when you are not angry.
  4. Thinking Exercise | Think about how the other person may be right and how you may be wrong!  I know when working with siblings they will say “He hit me first!” So we ask them what was their part when they calm down and they rephrase and say “I should not have hit him back!”  As emotions start to calm down then we can start trying to think from the other person’s perspective.
  5. Talk it Out | When emotions are low then the ability to reason or resolve conflict is high.  Now that things have calmed down and this story has national attention the eyes are on this case.  Let’s give the Sanford police a chance to work this out and be careful not to judge the Sanford police or George Zimmerman until we get all the facts.

Contact a licensed counselor if you are feeling you need help getting your emotions in check.  Sometimes past hurts and trauma adds more emotion to our daily stresses and cause us to over react.

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Author of the StressLessSeries & Edited by Anger Management Expert James L West, MA, LMHC, NCC