When people see the word “meltdown”, they often think of a young child who is overtired, overstimulating, and who has finally hit a point of emotional overload. The resulting meltdown usually coming in the form of inconsolable crying or flailing tantrum. We tend to forget that, as adults, we also have emotional limits, and when those limits are exceeded we are also capable of emotional meltdown. Obviously, we don't throw tantrums (hopefully), but we do meltdown in our own ways that can be quite ugly. Reaching that tipping point may cause us to lash out at people who don't deserve it, isolate ourselves, rely to heavily on unhealthy coping mechanisms, or make bad decisions. Worse, we lose control of our emotions. Fortunately, there are things that can be done to anticipate and prevent an emotional meltdown.

1. Take Care of Your Physical Needs
It doesn't matter if you are 3 or 53, if you are hungry, sick, overheated, cold, or tired, you are exponentially more likely to have a meltdown. Unfortunately, the more stressful a situation is, the less likely you are to take care of your physical needs. In many cases, this is because stress and anxiety create a desire to hyper focus on getting through a situation so that the cause of that stress and anxiety goes away. When you are in that state, you may not think to stop and eat, rest, or even take a moment to cool off or get warm. If you are under a lot of stress, take time to check in with yourself physically. Then, if you are hungry, thirsty, cold, or tired, do what you can to take care of that need.

2. Don't Ridicule Yourself or Feel Guilty Over Your Emotional State
There are many things that can contribute to you hitting an emotional breaking point. If you feel yourself nearing an emotional meltdown, don't beat yourself up. You aren't being ridiculous, you aren't being a baby, and you aren't a basket case. You are simply hitting your emotional limits at the moment. Sending yourself a bunch of negative messages at this stage will only contribute to you reaching that breaking point sooner.

3. Acknowledge How You Are Feeling
People are more understanding than you think. Just acknowledging that you are in an emotionally raw state can be extraordinarily helpful. First, the people around you may not realize that you are in a bad place emotionally, unless you tell them. If they are aware, they know to step back and give you some breathing room. They may even be able to step up and help mitigate some of the stress factors that are contributing to your poor emotional state. Finally, these is something about simply getting your feelings out in the open that acts as a great emotional release, and is empowering as well.

4. Avoidance Can be a Good Thing
In spite of what some people may tell you, you don't always need to take on every challenge, and you don't need to tackle every task in front of you the minute it comes your way. If you are in an emotionally fragile state, the best thing you can do is limit the things that you are going to deal with. This means, identifying the tasks that you absolutely must complete, and then delegating or delaying the other tasks until you are able to take them on.

5. Taking a Break Can be Amazingly Effective
Most parents know that one of the most effective ways to prevent a meltdown is to provide a child with a fun, temporary distraction. For them, this might taking thirty minutes to stop at a playground in the middle of a busy day of shopping, or giving the kids an hour of video game time when tensions are high. Video games and playgrounds probably don't hold that appeal for you, but giving yourself thirty minutes to do something that you enjoy can give you the emotional reset that you need to get through the day.

6. Learn The Physical Signs of Pending Emotional Breakdown
When you are nearing an emotional breaking point, there are usually physical indicators as well as emotional ones. This is why it is very important to pay attention to your body when you are under a lot of stress. You may feel slightly nauseated, develop a headache that just seems to worsen in intensity throughout the day, your muscles may tighten each time things go wrong, and you may even feel weak or shaky. If you learn to recognize the physical symptoms that precede your emotional meltdowns, you can take action to find some relief.

7. Learn to Breathe
Many of the negative physical sensations that you feel when you are nearing an emotional breaking point are the result of hyperventilation. What many people don't realize is that you do not have to be wildly gasping for air to be hyperventilating. Even a minor increase in breathing rate over a period of time can cause negative physical symptoms such as nausea, shakiness, and headache. These symptoms can be dealt with if you slow down and focus on breathing in slowly through your nose and out through your mouth.

Author's Bio: 

Laura Callisen is a writing blogger and content manager at GrabMyEssay. She is eager to share here experiences and techniques with people looking for improving their writings and providing tips for effective personal growth.