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Adjusting Your Emotional Thermostat

Updated: Apr 9

Hello ladies,

I pray you are all doing well and have had a great start to an amazing week. I was having a session with a client, and she shared how exhausting it is when her emotions are out of control. The client stated that she feels like she is on an emotional rollercoaster. Some days she feels as if she is going to have an enjoyable day and by the end of the day, she is screaming at her kids and arguing with her husband. During that time the atmosphere in her home is in chaos. Afterward, she feels guilty for how she behaved and goes to her room. She closes the door, sits on the bed, and starts crying. What is wrong with me she asked. I responded, nothing. Ladies, navigating overwhelming emotions can be challenging. Especially if you do not understand how to adjust your emotional thermostat.

Let’s start at the beginning. What exactly are emotions? Are they a sudden influx of physical and mental stimuli? Are they predictable responses to different situations? Or is it simply crying, laughing, anger, or sadness?

"Emotions are a naturally occurring response to situations or circumstances".

According to Harvard Brain Scientist, Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, ninety seconds is all it takes to identify an emotion and allow it to dissipate while you simply notice it. (This is where mindfulness and meditation come in). She says "When you are stressed, pausing ninety seconds, and labeling what you are feeling (e.g., I am getting angry), tamps down activity in the amygdala. MRI studies of the brain show that this “emotion labeling” calms the brain region involved in angry outbursts and helps you regain control". Dr. Bolte explains. “When a person reacts to something in their environment,” she says, “there’s a 90-second chemical process that happens in the body; after that, any remaining emotional response is just the person choosing to stay in that emotional loop.” Alyson M. Stone, a Licensed Psychologist entitles it “90 Seconds to Emotional Resilience.” That is how you adjust your emotional thermostat.

Let me make it easier to understand. Ladies, when you feel yourself getting angry because of a situation, it is natural to react with the first emotion that shows up. Which is usually anger. However, according to Dr. Taylor's research, you have been blessed with a 90-second window to “choose” to calm your brain, regain control, and adjust your emotional thermostat. Thus, being able to respond calmly to the situation instead of just reacting uncontrollably. The reason I emphasize “choose”, is because God and man have given you the freedom to make that choice. Now, understand this: any time you consider making any positive changes in your life, it will take some time. So do not give up the first few times you attempt to adjust your emotional thermostat when it does not go as you had planned Keep trying because the more you practice it the easier it will become. Here are five steps to help you walk through this process of adjusting your emotional thermostat utilizing the 90-second rule to emotional resilience.

Step 1: Awareness

  • Take a moment to pause and acknowledge your current emotional state.

  • Notice any physical sensations or thoughts accompanying this emotion.

  • Recognize that emotions typically last about 90 seconds unless you actively engage with them.

Step 2: Acceptance

  • Embrace the emotion you are experiencing without judgment or suppression.

  • Understand that all emotions are valid and serve a purpose, even if they are uncomfortable.

  • Remind yourself that it is natural to feel a range of emotions, and it's okay not to be okay sometimes.

Step 3: Breathing and Grounding

  • Practice deep, intentional breathing to calm your nervous system.

  • Feel your feet grounded firmly on the floor or connect with your surroundings in some way.

  • Engage in mindfulness techniques such as focusing on your breath or observing your environment to anchor yourself in the present moment.

Step 4: Emotional Labeling

  • Identify and label the specific emotion you are experiencing.

  • Use descriptive language to articulate how you feel (e.g., "I'm feeling anxious" or "I'm experiencing frustration").

  • Verbalizing your emotions can help create distance and objectivity, making them easier to manage.

Step 5: Choice and Response

  • Decide how you want to respond to the emotion now that you have acknowledged it.

  • Consider whether your initial reaction aligns with your values and long-term goals.

  • Choose a constructive way to express or channel your emotion, such as talking to a trusted friend, journaling, or engaging in a calming activity.

  • Remember that you have the power to influence your emotional state and make choices that promote resilience and well-being.

By following these steps, you can effectively utilize the 90-second rule to adjust your emotional thermostat and cultivate greater emotional resilience in the face of challenges. Start today and take the first step. You can do this. You are stronger than you know.

Many Blessings,

Dr. Doris


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5 Steps to Adjusting Your Emotional Thermostat
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I am Dr. Doris, a Licensed Clinical Christian Counselor, Ordained Minister, and Women's Emotional Intelligence Master Life Coach. I want to personally welcome you to take a peak inside my world of encouragement and positive engagement.  In this space I empower

women to be all God has created them to be. 


I'm so glad you're here! 

Hello Ladies
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