When was the last time someone pushed your emotional buttons? They knew exactly what to do or say to cut you to the core emotionally. Yes, I know we all have them. I refer to those “negative Nellie” folk as emotional button pushers. Quite frequently we find that we are related to those emotional downers.

We try to brush it off as “it is just one of those days.” Murphy’s Law declares that what could go wrong, will go wrong. Parkinson’s law states that Murphy was an optimist. When one of those situations slaps your face and kicks your emotional equilibrium out of the park, sit back, take a deep breath and use a tension release system.

Refuse to allow the emotional button pushers to destroy your positive mental attitude. Here are a few effective techniques to vent and release the tension in order to restore your positive mental attitude.

Abraham Lincoln perfected a system of expressing his thoughts and feelings without regard to what anyone might think about his language. Political politeness never entered the consideration. He wrote a letter with full open expression of his thoughts. Frequently these letters were addressed to various Union officers who made tactical battlefield errors resulting in tremendous loss of life. Each letter was written in detail, folded, placed in an envelope and deposited in the steamer trunk mailbox. None of these letters ever reached the recipient, the US Postal system or anyone else until after Lincoln’s death. The Lincoln “letter to the steamer trunk” system provided an effective venting system without harming anyone. It was written catharsis. (Webster’s dictionary describes catharsis as the purging of the emotions. In common words it is the act of expressing or releasing emotions.)

Ed Tate, professional speaker and coach, introduced the “scream at a chair” system. Imagine the object of your frustration seated in the chair; yell, scream and verbally abuse to your heart’s content. This method is best used out of earshot of your neighbors or any household members. This is particularly unsuitable in the vicinity of small children or animals. By the time you have completed this verbal exercise, you’re exhausted and feeling thoroughly heard. Such ranting and raving is far less expensive and less messy than throwing china against a wall. I do suggest you perform this act when you are totally alone in a sound proof room.

My personal favorite emotional release technique is physical. No, not throwing china. Go for a run, go for a long walk, take a bike ride or go to the gym and lift weights. Physical activity releases negative pent-up energy and restores my positive mental attitude. Just as writing the angry words or verbally expressing the displeasure in with volume, it releases negative emotion. Physical exercise burns calories as opposed to eating a pound of chocolates or a gallon of ice cream which adds calories.

Rent a funny movie, listen to your favorite comedians’ CD or watch their DVD. Laugh. Laughing is another way of releasing tension. If you plan on hysterical laughter, once again you may choose to be out of hearing distance of your neighbors and pets. Though they will not call the gentlemen with the pristine white straight jackets to come get you for excessive volume, doing this too frequently may raise eyebrows. Use extreme caution if you live in an apartment complex with thin walls. Excessive volume and unsavory words may upset your neighbors.

None of these tension relievers will cause the nice officers with the flashing lights atop their vehicles to give you a breathalyzer or take you to a cozy enclosure with a roommate named Bubba. Nor will these methods rate you a residency in a mental hospital room.

Everyone experiences having their emotional buttons pushed. Sometimes our family, friends and co-workers perfect the technique of knowing exactly where to insert the emotional electric probe. Knowing it will happen, it is our responsibility to find positive ways to deal with the situation and restore our positive mental attitude quickly.

Science has not discovered the exact location of a filter between the thoughts and the outward sound of the knife sharp words. In fact, the possibility exists that some people may have a faulty installation of that filter. Not everyone came equipped with a “think before you speak” mechanism. Some people seem completely oblivious of the necessity for such a filter. Some people are blatantly unaware to the feelings of others; they either do not care or are unconscious of verbal impacts.

Remember, it is not about you, it is their issue. Unfortunately you are left to deal with the wounded feelings.

It is not a matter of IF your emotional buttons will be pushed, but when. Reacting openly and with hostility to the perpetrator of the verbal zinger only extends your pain. The more public attention you draw to the insult, the more impact it has on everyone. Let it go and use the Lincoln letter, scream at a chair, physical exercise or laugh system to relieve your tension and restore your positive mental attitude.

Once you are in a calmer mindset, you will be better equipped to handle the situation in a manner that you will not regret later. Fortunately you received the filter from thoughts to words as original installation. If you did not receive the filter, work diligently to start installing such a filter. Receiving the emotional button pusher results is bad enough. Work carefully to avoid being an emotional button pusher.

In case your filter has a faulty installation, contact me at www.Elaine4Success.com for a filter installation or repair. Hire Elaine Love as the speaker for your next meeting.