The CrossRoads Journal

Riding the Wave

A theme you will see us emphasizing this year is Habits of Wholeness, leaning into the restorative practices you may have found helpful during our period of forced stillness. For some of us, emotions can feel like tsunamis. Have you ever tried to fight a wave, or had it sneak up on you from behind? You probably found yourself eating sand. When we learn skills to manage our emotions, we can successfully ride these waves like a practiced surfer, less overwhelmed by our emotional vicissitudes.
—Alyssa Rudman, MAC, PLPC

1. Notice the emotion, taking a step back in your mind and observing the feeling. You’re not trying to push it away or hold onto it

2. Notice the body sensations you are experiencing, perhaps clenching your fists, tightening your chest, shortness of breath, or feeling warmth rise in your face. This is often the part we want to avoid, but accepting it rather than fighting it can lessen its intensity.

3. Recognize that you are NOT your feelings. They are only a part of you. You don’t have to act on the feelings (unless you are actually in danger). Recall times you’ve felt differently and remind yourself that new emotions will come

4. Accept that this is an experience you are having, but just one experience. It is not permanent and it will recede.

If you find this exercise helpful, you may be interested in learning more about our DBT groups. You can email Alyssa at to learn more.