Feel like you don't have enough "juice" to get through the day? Do you feel like you can't concentrate on the people and things that matter? Are you foggy or exhausted all the time?
These could be the signs of a low emotional bandwidth. What's that? It's a concept that describes the amount of emotional energy you have to deal with the people and experiences in your life. If your "bandwidth" is low, you have a harder time regulating your emotions and responding to the pressures in your life.
To get back to a place of calm, ease, and courage, you must get your emotional bandwidth back online. How do you do that?
In this episode, I'm going to break down the techniques that I teach my clients to regulate their emotions and recover from periods of emotional burnout. If you've been feeling like you don't have the strength for the emotional labor in your life, this is the episode you don't want to skip.
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Welcome to the Practical Growth podcast with me, ebi Johnson. Author, nlpmp and cognitive reappraisal coach. This is the podcast created for people like you, people looking for more, more health, more peace, more happiness. Each week, I explore new topic in pop psychology and help you build a better life and better relationships. Join me for special guests, exciting ideas and practical advice that you can use to improve your life from the inside out. Let's get into it. Hello, hello, hello, my lovelies, welcome back to another episode of the Practical Growth podcast. It is me, your favorite writer, your favorite NLPMP coach and cognitive reappraisal specialist, and we are back back, back at it again, talking about emotions today Emotions, emotions, emotions. Now, this is one that applies to pretty much everybody, right? Because if you're a human being which, let's face it, if you're listening to this, at least one of you in the room is a human being you've got emotions. You have emotions, and I'll tell you what. This is the number one problem that all of my clients have when they come to me, every single last one of them, whether they are dealing with. Let's say, you come to me and you want to advance your career, you're looking to get better, get stronger in your career, you're creative and you want to take charge of that. Let's say you come to me, you're a client, you've got narcissistic abuse. Your parent was a narcissist and they dumped all over you and made you responsible and just tore you apart and destroyed your sense of self. Or maybe you just kind of had a rocky childhood Parent was a narcissist, but it was rocky or you've got a rocky relationship. Every time, every single one of you comes to me, it's emotions underlying all of the issues. It's your emotions. You want to know how to stop feeling the way you're feeling. You want to know how to get in control of your emotions so that you don't have to feel the way you're feeling. And fewer, fewer, a smaller number of you come to me wanting to, kind of like, rid yourself of the negative emotions that have caused you a problem. You're a lie, but do you know what I find with these clients time and time again as we dig into these emotional issues that they want to address or expel? They have a low emotional bandwidth. Their emotional bandwidth is depleted. Now, what does that mean? What am I saying when I use the term emotional bandwidth? That's not some psychological term that you can go and look up right. It's just a term that I use to refer to your kind of emotional labor reserves. It's your emotional energy, the energy that you have to A regulate your own emotions, b respond to the emotions of others. And. C react to the stress and pressures that come with everyday life. So many of my clients who come to me, either from work, from a toxic family, a narcissistic relationship, a narcissistic parent, they are emotionally burned out. They're emotionally burned out and that's why their emotions overwhelm them. That's why they seem so overwhelming, that's why they seem so scary. They have been battling against really, really, really big stress, pressures, experiences, memories, emotional things that have essentially zapped them, zapped them right, and so, because they are zapped, they can't really show up in their lives the way they want to. Because why? Our emotions are the core of who we are. It's what makes us who we are, it's what feeds into our personality and our beliefs and helps us to navigate the world. So that's what we're gonna look at today the ins and outs of this emotional bandwidth, a low emotional bandwidth what does that look like? What are the symptoms? What does that mean for you? And, most importantly, you know me, I never bring up a problem without a solution. I'm gonna teach you the three steps that you can use to get your emotional bandwidth back online, to boost it, to bring the levels back up to normal so that you can be a good parent, a good friend, a good partner, a good lover, a good employee, a good business owner, whatever it is that you wanna do. This will give you the emotional strength to kinda get back out there and be able to handle it all. Quick bit of housekeeping before we jump in. This is your last. Did you get that Last opportunity to work with me one-on-one this year? Applications are open now for my two-month private coaching program. Every week you sit down with me and we get your nervous system back online, we reprogram your beliefs and we allow you to take control of the emotional trauma that's been holding you back. Now I do this two ways. One, through somatic techniques we get your nervous system back online and regulated. There is no functioning, no changing behaviors, beliefs, the emotional traumas, without first being able to regulate your nervous system, creating that physiological sense of calm and peace that you need. So we get your somatic nervous system back online and then the second phase of the program involves NLP frameworks, which are meant to reprogram your brain and your behaviors. So if you are serious about taking charge of your life in 2024, if you are serious about defeating the physical crush of your anxiety, of your hopelessness, if you are serious about not falling into the same relationships next year, not getting taken advantage of by your partners, your children, your employees, your employers, whoever it is then this is it. This is your last chance to work with me, so you need to head to therealebyjohnsoncom and click on Working With Me to apply. I will go ahead and warn you. There are usually six spots available. There are not six spots available this time. Okay, a few of the spots are already gone and they don't go to everybody. There is an application process. So if you want to do that, if you're someone who's actually ready to stop complaining about how their trauma has held them back and you're ready to actually create some positive momentum for yourself, then you need to head there, apply and let's see if we can work together to build a new future for you. All right, low emotional bandwidth. Let's do it. Let's crack through this, get into it and give you the tools that you need to get change started today, because it's practical growth, right. This is practical advice that helps you take steps now to improve your life now. So let's do it. Low emotional bandwidth what is that? What am I talking about? Well, we kind of touched on it up top right. It is fundamentally emotional exhaustion. It is emotional exhaustion. You no longer have the cognitive ability to deal with your emotional states, to the emotional reactions that you're having, to the stress and pressure of the environment or people around you. When you fall into this low emotional bandwidth state, it's harder to regulate your emotions. You overthink things, you blank, you get foggy. It's an absolute mess. Essentially, it's emotional burnout and with that comes a lot of hopelessness, a lot of numbness and you can see a lot of isolation too. But essentially, if you are looking at this emotionally low bandwidth, this emotional burnout, you need to look for signs on two levels, because it affects you on two levels. Number one the physical level. Yes, your emotions affect you physically. Emotions take place in the brain. When the brain then sends out the signals from its interpretation of those emotions to the rest of your body, systems react to that. Different systems in your body react to that, and not in good ways. You can find yourself physically exhausted. You feel like you're swimming through lead. You can't barely get up in the morning. It's hard to keep your eyes open, doesn't matter how many red bulls you chug, how many chia seeds you pop, you're just constantly exhausted. You might also notice a brain fog. It's hard to think, it's hard to find your words, remember small details that you might otherwise have been able to remember easily. On the flip side of that, you can also have digestive issues. There's a lot of digestive issues that can come with that increased stress, anxiety, pressure, irritability and all of those things that build up around this low emotional bandwidth. Worse, you can have some insomnia. It might be hard to sleep, where you might find yourself sleeping too much, and you can even have lowered immune function. Lowered immune function if you're too stressed, your immune system basically doesn't get the juice and the energy that it needs to operate, so you can get sick more often, find yourself getting sick more often. Now the second level is the emotional signs of this low bandwidth. The biggest, most common one is irritability. You might notice yourself snapping more or just feeling like you're on edge or tightly wound, or like you, just not today. I just can't right that. You always hear people say I just can't. If you find yourself saying that a lot, don't ignore it. You could also be sad all the time, with no explanation. You just find yourself grief-stricken and crying and just really kind of distraught and filled with grief. There might be a numbness as well. Maybe you feel nothing. You're just kind of lost in the fog, stumbling along. Now others unexplained rage and outbursts. That's where I tend to go. I will snap. I just don't want to be touched, don't want to be messed with, need to be left alone. If you don't, I tend to just kind of like pop, like a firework. But I have seen others who actually engage in some self-destructive behavior. So because they're so emotionally exhausted, it kind of creates this hopelessness and in that hopelessness you might find people engaging in risky behaviors like drinking or gambling or superficial partnering, all kinds of things which in the long run hurt them. But they're just so exhausted and they're just looking for any kind of outlet for relief. So you've got the picture of that. You have the picture now. Imagine a person stumbling around, just so tired, snapping at the kids, snapping at their wife, snapping at their husband. They're talking really badly about themselves, they're messing up at work. Everything just seems to be going wrong and they're tired, tired, tired underneath it all, even though they're getting eight hours of sleep a night, even though their health is okay, they're taking their vitamins, they've gone to their doctor, everything looks good. It's not COVID, it's none of those things, but there's just, there's an emotional exhaustion. We see this person, right, you've been this person, we have all been this person. How do you fix it? How do you fix it? It's straightforward. I don't want to say it's simple, because it involves things that, to some of you, are going to be quite scary, because it involves being still with yourself, being still with your emotions, stopping where you're at and allowing yourself to see inaction as action. But essentially, that's what has to happen, right? We get emotionally burned out because we spin, spin, spin, spin, spin all of our emotional labor without giving ourselves an opportunity to recharge. It is really that simple. You can think of your emotions like a little cartoon battery pack, if you want, right, and if you're just constantly draining it, draining it, draining it let's say it's a rechargeable battery and you never stop and plug it in. Eventually it dies and it doesn't have the ability to power the things that we, that you, need to power. Same thing here. So if you want to quote, unquote, recharge this emotional battery, increase your emotional bandwidth, bring that kind of person who can cope back online. There's three things you need to do. So, pencil and paper, get them out. Number one space, space, space, space, space. You have to give yourself space Now. This is space on so many different levels and it's got to happen a few different ways. First of all, you need some space from people. That's just the way it is, especially if you are a neurodivergent person who is listening to this yes, hello, I'm there because I'm one of you. This is not a bad thing, and I'm not saying you have to go and live out in the woods for two years by yourself, but at least every week you just need a little space by yourself. You need physical space and you need emotional space. You need people not coming to you with their problems, not asking you for advice, not asking you for help, not asking you to do emotional labor for them. The same way, you don't need to be going to them for emotional labor During this time. You basically need to be a seed in germination. Give yourself some space Now. To do this. There's going to have to be a considerable setting of boundaries. That's what goes within this giving yourself space. First, you have to set boundaries with yourself and stop making those fricking excuses that you make of oh no, I can't do that because the kids, I can't do that because of this, I can't do that because of this. Figure it out. If it's five minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, a couple of hours in the afternoon, whatever it is, figure it out. That's the boundary you set with yourself. I am not going to burn out my emotions for everyone else around me because if I do that, I can't be a good person for them. So you have to set that boundary with yourself. I am going to give myself emotional space. Number two you're going to have to enforce that boundary when other people try to cross it. So that means when people come knocking on the door, they leave. You have a right to have some space for yourself to recharge. However, you need to do that and again, for some of you, if you've got chaotic life, you've got a bunch of kids, maybe it's 10 minutes every day instead of a whole day a week. Whatever it is, you need to have a regular system of that discharge and recharge, okay. So give yourself some space. Number two you got to get your somatic nervous system online. It's shocking to me how many people don't know this. Your nervous system is very complicated, right? It's not just your brain and like a big spaghetti Vegas nerve running down your brain. There's so many different aspects and elements to it which work in tandem and which work differently and which create entirely different responses in the body, and one of those is the somatic part of your nervous system. This is the good part. This sends out, like the signals that create dopamine and serotonin and feel good chemicals, calming chemicals. It's the state that we make friends in, and all that good stuff. You need to get your somatic nervous system back online. Okay, if you don't have this somatic nervous system balanced and online, then what you probably have is your autonomic nervous system online, which is the fight or flight side of you, right. When that side's going, cortisol is running high, your cognitive systems and your brain can't function. The neural pathways don't connect the way they're supposed to connect, you can't regulate your emotions, you can't respond to them in a healthy way and you'll struggle to even give yourself space and you need to go out, do your research or come and get coached by me and build somatic practices that bring your somatic nervous system back online and get that autonomic nervous system stuck out of the on position. Okay Now, last but not least, total emotional reconfiguration. And this is the hardest part, and this is why I didn't say that this was an easy process, but I said it was straightforward Within this space that you're giving yourself and within this somatic work that you're doing sorry, you guys have been sick for the last couple of weeks. I'm losing my voice here In all of that work that you're doing, you also have to do the work of changing your relationship with your emotions. A lot of us are way too deep with our emotions. We give them way too much power and control over our lives. We act like we can't control the way we react to them, but that's simply not true. You are going to have to take a step back and create a more mature relationship, a more distance and compartmentalized relationship with your emotions. And this doesn't mean you're intellectualizing them. You're still going to feel them, but you need to stop giving them the power of overwhelm. And one of the ways I kind of start my clients on this path is by a little exercise called the bus metaphor, where, essentially, you have a little meditation, close your eyes, you imagine that you're a bus driver and you imagine your emotions getting on and off the bus as you, kind of like, have these background memories. This is how our emotions should be. They should be allowed to come into our lives whenever they need to come into our lives, sit, deliver their 15 minute message and then get off the bus. So whatever you have to do to reconfigure that relationship with your emotions, you've got to start doing it now, and it might be through guided meditation, it might be through journaling, you might work with a coach or your therapist to do this kind of cognitive reappraisal, as it were, of your emotions so that you can better react to them in future, without getting so drained, without having that emotional battery so depleted every time you have to deal with your children or your partner, or work or clients or whatever it is. And that's it. Yeah, I know, can you believe so short today, but that's it. It's got no emotional bandwidth. It's big and it's heavy and it's a burden, and when you're stuck in it it does feel hopeless, it does feel like you're drowning in something you can't even see, but it's very straightforward. When you sit down and get real with yourself and you just break it down to the simplest things, what's going on? I'm emotionally exhausted. I want to be alone for a little bit so that I can decompress. I want to just physically have a little space. I want to emotionally have a little space so that I'm not drained, so that my battery can recharge. That's literally what has to happen. What do you think? Are you incorporating some of these practices already, or are you still in the mode of being drained? It's easy to do, especially if you are someone who's been conditioned to give yourself up, to sell yourself out for others, whether that's a career or your partner or your family. If you're a people pleaser, if you're an echoist, if you're just someone who never was given the opportunity to build a stable sense of self, then you might be looking at a low emotional bandwidth and it might be time to nurture yourself emotionally and get things back online. That's it. Thank you guys so much for listening today. I hope you found something in here that's got you motivated, that has you feeling a bit more hopeful about the future and about dealing with and regulating your emotions as well. If you liked this, then make sure you're following me on mediumcom. My old content is still there. I'm not really posting a lot of new content, but I am posting new stories weekly on my sub-stack, which you can find practicalgrowthsubstackcom. And, of course, I'm always there on Twitter, on TikTok, on Instagram, and my coaching applications are open. So don't forget that. If you're ready, if you're actually someone who's going to make sure next year doesn't play out like this year and the year before and the year before, then head to therealabjohnsoncom and click on working with me. Get that application in, because the next session starts next week. So this is it. The doors are closing on 2023. How did that even happen? Wow, woo, guys, it's been a ride, right. Thank you so much for listening. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I can't tell you how grateful I am. You guys are all the best. So go ahead and follow me, get out there, love each other, keep your heads up, keep your eyes on the stars and keep looking forward. Bye, bye.