I’m an emotional hot mess at this moment. Last night, I unloaded my anger on my mother at a public dinner seated with family and friends. What came over me? The one topic that should always be avoided at gatherings: politics.

My mother and I have had a heated relationship most my life, especially during my hormonal teen age years. We had terrible fights growing up. So bad you might find shoes and plates flying in the air.

I guess you can say I’m still pretty hormonal at the age of 42 because I let my emotions take over me last night. This time in front of a dinner table of other people. I’m sure I looked like I was out of my mind. Ooops!

How do you handle your feelings when or if they get out of whack? Maybe you lose it on your hubby every now and then. Maybe you find yourself about to lose it on those annoying phone attendants who put you on hold forever. Maybe you’re just a cool person who never loses it — and I envy you completely.

If you do find yourself emotional and vulnerable, here are some tools and tips I’ve learned:

Know Your Emotions Are Not You
Our feelings, as crazy as they are, aren’t who we really are. They come from our mind and thoughts which is our separate self. But who we really are is our deeper self, which is our heart and essence. I know this all sounds a bit hokey. But just knowing that you’re true self isn’t the one reacting and overreacting, might take a load off.

Sit With Your Feelings
Be with your emotions and feel them. Don’t try to escape the pain you’re feeling by having a hard drink or going online shopping, like I just did. Though I did just get two cute new sweater dresses that are getting shipped out to me. Seriously, trying to run away from your feelings will only make them linger over time. Stay still with them and let them pass naturally.

Give Yourself a Pass
The worst thing you can do is make yourself feel bad or worse about what happened. Don’t beat yourself up, instead give yourself a little extra love. Be kind to yourself and watch every negative thought in your head that might tell you “You’re an idiot” or “You’re stupid.” Yep, those are the thoughts running through my head just about now. You deserve nothing but praise and love for going through a tough emotional time.

Find Some Compassion
When you can, and maybe not right away, find some compassion in your heart for the person you’re in conflict with. Everyone in life is doing the best they possibly can, given their circumstances. My mother was raised in a foreign country and had a tough life growing up. Given where she is in her life and everything she went through, she has no choice but to believe what she does. Beyond her beliefs though, she has a good heart, and that’s most important. And my little boy adores her, so I have no choice but to make amends.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling a little better. This emotional outburst probably needed to happen so I could check in with myself, and get some deeper perspective on my behavior and my life. At least that’s what I’m telling myself at this moment! Hopefully, next time, I’ll stay more in control of those emotions, even if I’m feeling frustrated by politics, which is likely to happen another day soon. And if I lose it, I’ll forgive myself and find my way back to sanity again.