I learned this one from artist/teacher/hypnotist/friend Zebe Pearsall who teaches students how to balance left and right brains. (You can read other methods for brain hemisphere balancing throughout this blog.)
Zebe says she learned to use this technique when she found herself getting overly emotional (especially angry to the point of tears) in situations where this reaction was not acceptable. I can think of a time in my own life when knowing this technique would have come in handy: I was in graduate school and felt like I was being unfairly treated. I believed graduate assistant task assignments were very political. (What isn’t, right? But at the age of 22, I was very idealistic!)
I went in to see the Graduate School Dean and argue my case. He basically told me that if I didn’t like it, I could quit grad school. I was so furious I burst into tears, as women frequently do in situations like that. When that reaction occurs, logic flies out the window.
If you find yourself in a very emotional argument, begin doing long division in your head.
Try: 42976 divided by 516. With no pencil or paper, and certainly no calculator. If you are under 30, I imagine you will find this task impossible. Sorry for the age bias.
When you force your mind to work on a left-brain problem like this, the emotional overload dissolves just like clouds do (but that’s another blog entry.) Try it.