Updated: Jun 6
I've been seeing emotional regulation techniques trending & it is great, because there are many great tools to help you regulate being shared, however it can be difficult to actually know and care for your root need.
So that's why I’m teaching a simple & powerful process called “Emotional CARE” so you can show up for yourself & tend to your needs in any scenario. Whether you're having a panic attack on a plane, triggered by your friend flaking on you, or anywhere in-between and around.
The acronym CARE is an easy-to-remember process to empower balance & connection in emotional situations.
The main thing to remember about this practice is that our emotions communicate whether our needs are being met, or not met. Met needs feel "good" or "comfortable." Not met needs feel "bad" or "uncomfortable."
When we act from a pattern of unmet needs we can amplify feelings of anxiety, fear and overwhelm.
When we act from a pattern of met needs we can amplify feelings of safety, love, peace, joy, and freedom.
This CARE process helps empower you to become the primary resource for your own needs in any scenario.
Emotional CARE looks to
Allow your feelings,
Relate to your needs, and
Express care for your needs.
"Emotional CARE" is a process to be empowered through relating to our emotions.
This IS NOT mentally focused.
This IS NOT a "hack" to fix or avoid uncomfortable emotions.
This IS NOT a bypass to just think and see positive scheme.
This IS intended to be empowering.
This IS intended to be embodied and somatic.
This IS trauma-informed.
This IS holistically focused on body, mind, and spirit connection.
This IS intended to be relational and beautiful, that can also feel sticky that the same time.
The goal IS NOT to try and stop uncomfortable emotions from happening.
The goal IS more about developing your capacity to remain calm and content while uncomfortable emotions come up during life.
Basically staying in your window of tolerance, or returning to your window of tolerance. Reminds me of what Deepak Chopra calls, "Equanimity"
Here's the emotional CARE process I facilitate...
It is a mix of mindfulness, breath work, emotional intelligence, somatic practices, and conscious communication (similar to non-violent communication).
I've been inspired and guided by the work of leaders like Deepak Chopra and Tara Brach's RAIN who have shared similar work.
Specifically putting together a process like this, I was inspired by learning about Ryan Weiss's Emotionally FIT process, and I have now received training with Ryan on his process that has helped me hone in my own.
After practicing it on myself, testing it with consenting clients, and seeing the positive results, I am now sharing it here with you.
This Emotional CARE process may feel challenging when beginning to practice. With time this process can become natural.
When it is uncomfortable, having a professional coach to guide you is vital to remaining safe in your process. Because this can be difficult to do on your own, I will guide clients through this during session until they get comfortable practicing CARE on their own.
The fruits of CARE are that you are free and empowered in your sense of self through the triggering circumstances.
Soak in your present power of this truth and integrate gently.
*This article is intended as a guide.*
*Seek professional support when necessary.*
*Always CARE for yourself with kindness.*
But here’s the steps and some tips to try on your own…
When we are triggered there is an activation of emotion that is uncomfortable in the body and mind.
Consciousness is the pause and awareness that something is happening in you.
This step activates the witness and observe of your higher self.
The Consciousness Process:
Awareness you are having a physical, emotional, and mental reaction
Recognize what the triggering moment is
(staying focused on this trigger will be anchoring for the rest of the process)
*In coaching you will share conscious context of the trigger so they can help you stay anchored in that moment.
2) Allow your feelings
Allow is the shift from awareness to feeling.
Our feelings communicate whether our needs are being met, or not met.
Allowing our feelings to be here is the starting point to what our core need is in this reaction and how you can care for it later.
The Allowing Process:
Name what physical sensations are happening in your body right now.
Name what emotions are present (emotions are one word descriptors.
(use emotions handout below when needed)
3. Say, “I allow these sensations and emotions to be here with me right now.”
4. Embody these sensations and emotions for a moment (breath, move, curl up, etc.)
*The embody portion may need to be skipped in the moment if you are not in a safe place to do so. If that happens I recommend step 3 being something more like, "I recognize these sensations and emotions and will sit with them later when it is safe."*
3) Relate to your beliefs and needs
Relate is the shift from feeling to investigating the mental stories that are bread crumbs to your core needs.
When there is a core need that is not met or threatened, often times painful or disempowering judgements about ourselves, others, and the situation can arise.
At one point these judgements likely helped keep us safe, and by using compassionate curiosity with them as a conscious observer you can now empower yourself through rewriting them.
Now we use compassionate curiosity to “name it & tame it, but not claim it.”
The Relating Process:
What I am believing about myself is… (I statements)
What I am believing about the other person is…
What I am believing about this situation is…
What are these feelings and stories telling me I need right now?
(use needs handout below when needed)
4) Express care
Express is the shift from investigating to caring.
This caring is not in the past moment of the trigger, or conceptualized future idea, but for you, now.
You can think of how you would feel drawn to care for a loved one if they shared that they were going through this exact situation.
Or perhaps how you perceive a well attuned caring parent would respond.
The Caring Process:
What is a short meaningful statement I can offer this need right now?
What is a physical action that I can take right now to comfort this need?
*Say and do these for yourself right now, for 1-2 minutes, until a sense of embodying them is felt*
3. Determine your next inspired action from this place of care.
(More self-care, compassionate conversation with someone about trigger and your needs,
request for additional care from a loved one, etc.)
*Important: this is for this moment and your need right now, not what do you wish you would have said. Right now from you.
Some client examples:
"wow, this is hard, and I'm doing my best", while laying face down on their bed and sighing into their pillow.
"Your intentions are pure and good", while putting hands on their heart.
"This is hard! And I know it will pass", while face palm sobbing.
“Focus on the truth” with Warrior 2 Pose.
“I am allowed to be me” with hands on hips and smiling at self in mirror.
Are there others you want to express care for in this situation?
Sometimes this can be a very empowering way to offer out care to others. Could be Similarly or differently to what you are expressing to yourself.
Finally, just as you allow these emotions to be here, it is also beneficial to not attach to them and to let them be.
You may still feel a bit uncomfortable and that the emotions are still here. That's okay.
Hopefully you feel a little more lighter, at peace, empowered, and inspired.
At best you feel clear, energized, hyped, calm, peaceful, smiling, etc.
Going back to step 3 - How do you want to move forward?
Do you feel compelled to ask for more support from a loved one?
Do you feel drawn to have a conversation with someone about this situation?
Do you want to perform a certain ritual in your practice to process and release some complexities of this further?
Maybe it's a simple deep breath, thank you to yourself and the emotion, and smile as you get back to your tasks, responsibilities, pleasures, etc.
This can be a difficult process to do with yourself, so I encourage you to be kind to yourself as you stumble through the process, but I hope there are at least some parts that are helpful and empowering for you.
This Emotional CARE is amazing work you are doing for yourself and I firmly believe will be the roots to you growing into the person you are proud of and love. ❤️
Download this complimentary digital Emotional CARE guide and save it to your desktop, or print out and tape to your wall so you have it handy when you know what hits the fan.
Want to see Emotional CARE coaching live in action?
Check out my recorded course for a live coaching demo.
Reach out with any inquiries about Emotional CARE. One-on-one coaching, group facilitation / training, speaking, interviews, or resources.
Kyle Jason Leitzke is a Coach, Facilitator, and Speaker who supports individuals in tuning into what they really need, and teaches them how to show up and attend to their needs in any scenario. He is an experienced coach, teacher, advisor, and Vedic counselor that combines his 14 years of leadership experience and Master's degree in coaching with his training in the ancestral Indian Vedic wisdoms traditions to help you honor yourself at a soul level.