Skip to main content

What Is My Emotional Bandwidth and How Do I Increase It?

I like to write about health and wellness-related topics, such as human psychology.

How to Increase Emotional Bandwidth

How to Increase Emotional Bandwidth

What Is Emotional Bandwidth?

When we say, "I'm at my limit!" it's a sign that we've reached the upper end of our emotional bandwidth range. If things feel a little difficult or if you frequently become irritable or snappish with others, the mental or emotional state of your current situation may be beyond your ability to handle and process. It happens to us all when we declare that we feel burned out—not just physically but emotionally too.

Sometimes you might feel as though all of your emotional energy is gone and you're just plain worn out. Or maybe you overextended yourself and don't know how you did it. Knowing what we can and cannot handle as we move through life depends on understanding our mental and emotional capacities. It's common for us to overcommit ourselves or take on more than we should when we make plans and schedules.

When we experience feelings of exhaustion and overwhelm, it can be difficult to know how to handle reaching our limit. When we reach the edge of our emotional bandwidth, we frequently give up because we lack the skills to deal with it.

Tips to Increase Emotional Bandwidth

There are four very simple and effective techniques that can not only help us respond positively when we reach the limit of our emotional bandwidth but also expand it, enabling us to think more clearly, be more creative, and think more critically without putting ourselves under undue stress.

1. Self Check-In

At various points during the day, ask yourself how you are doing. Are you getting a bit worn out or overwhelmed as the day progresses? Checking in with yourself is a simple strategy to gain perspective on the state of your mental and emotional bandwidth.

Use this exercise often throughout the day to remind yourself of your progress and emotions. Because if we don't, the stress of the day can cause a lot of our emotions to be bottled up inside of us. We are prone to becoming so engrossed in outside factors that we sometimes realize that we had no idea we were feeling that way.

By regularly "checking in" with ourselves, we take a step back and re-prioritize what's most valuable. Knowing what we need to focus on brings greater clarity and opens up our mental capacity to deal with various challenges and experiences.

Check-in with yourself regularly, and remember to breathe

Check-in with yourself regularly, and remember to breathe

2. Breathwork

Breathing exercises, or "breathwork," are without a doubt the most effective method for boosting emotional bandwidth. Breathwork is frequently practiced by people to enhance their mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. It is often found to encourage profound relaxation or leave one feeling energized.

You purposely alter your breathing pattern while practicing breathwork, which creates an opportunity for your mind and body to open up to various suggestions and experiences. Breathwork therapy comes in a variety of forms, but they all involve conscious, organized breathing.

Breathing exercises interrupt the stories in our minds and offer a direct message and method of releasing emotional tension. This is often what we need to increase our emotional bandwidth. Tuning into our breathing allows us to gain access to critical thinking, revealing what we need to see to be focused and mentally prepared.

Anyone can learn breathing techniques, and they can practice them in a safe, comfortable environment. This is because, in a safe environment, they are still in control of their emotional bandwidth and can easily tune in to the development of their experiences.

Scroll to Continue

3. Listen to Music

In our daily lives, listening to music is a vital and frequently intentional activity that has a significant impact on our mental and emotional bandwidth. While the majority of us enjoy listening to music for entertainment, we should also be aware that it can improve our health in general. The power of music is truly amazing, from lowering stress and enhancing cognitive function to encouraging and inspiring creativity.

One of the most popular courses in the Burnett Honors College was taught by two professors from the University of Central Florida. "Music and the Brain" examines how music affects human behavior and brain function, including how it lowers stress, pain, and depressive symptoms while enhancing motor, cognitive, and spatial-temporal learning as well as neurogenesis, the brain's capacity to create new neurons.

For a while, scientists thought that increased brain activity and bandwidth were primarily caused by classical music (a phenomenon called the "Mozart effect"). They did, however, discover that dementia sufferers react better to music they were exposed to as children. According to research, playing someone's favorite music causes various brain regions to light up, indicating that memories connected to music are emotionally charged memories that never fade away.

When considering how listening to music can help you maintain or expand your emotional bandwidth, try it out by playing some of your favorite songs from when you were younger and observing how you feel.

Try playing some favorite songs from your childhood.

Try playing some favorite songs from your childhood.

4. Get Out for a Walk

In addition to its physical advantages, studies have shown that walking has mental advantages as well, enhancing memory, learning capacity, concentration, mood, creativity, and abstract reasoning.

The link between physical activity and improved mental capacity has been explained in several ways. Walking is thought to improve circulation and increase the amount of oxygen available to the brain.

The elevated metabolic rate that occurs during and after exercise may also have the unintended side effect of increasing alertness. Walking also triggers the body to produce several chemicals, such as adrenaline, that tap into our bandwidth and enhance mental clarity.

If you want to try walking to expand your emotional range, start slowly and observe how your mind responds. You might want to think about scheduling your walks at least an hour before you intend to retire for the evening. This is if you plan to walk at a brisk pace. However, a leisurely late-night stroll might be just what you need to unwind your body and clear your mind so you can sleep.

Final Thoughts

We all reach our emotional breaking point at some point in our lives. When things get out of hand, it's helpful to stop, pause, and reflect on why we feel overwhelmed and exhausted.

Simple techniques like taking time to check in with ourselves, performing breathing exercises, heading outside for a walk, and listening to music all help to maintain and even increase our emotional bandwidth so that we may gain perspective, improve clarity, and get back to focusing on the task at hand.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Louise Fiolek

Related Articles