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Getting teary-eyed or losing yourself in the moment with your groom is one thing. Being irritable with your bridesmaids, sullen about how the place settings turned out, or morphing into a sob-fest mess is another. Here, four tips for controlling your emotions on your wedding day.
Get plenty of sleep.
"Beauty rest" gets a lot of glory, but there's a whole lot to be said for "healthy rest." And by that, we mean giving yourself plenty of time to fall into a deep sleep and go through your sleep cycles, leaving you better-rested and less tightly-wound. Studies show that, when you're sleep deprived, your brain goes a little haywire: Your amygdala overreacts to emotional situations and your prefrontal cortex that governs logical reasoning can dramatically slow down.
Again, it's about what your body needs to maintain a balance and keep you from turning into a twitchy nutcase. On the morning of your big day, consider oatmeal, which helps your brain produce serotonin, a feel-good chemical. Avoid crankiness and bloating at lunchtime with a well-rounded dish like a Cobb salad with grilled chicken, avocado, boiled egg, and some nuts. And keep a little dark chocolate on hand for an instant anxiety fighter.
Fight that lump in your throat.
When something triggers your emotions, your autonomic nervous system wants more oxygen in your body, thus expanding the glottis in your throat. Ironically, it's when you try to swallow that you experience the feeling of a lump, which can heighten the panic you may be feeling. Two tricks: First, try taking a few deep breaths with your mouth open. It that doesn't minimize the lump, force a yawn or two — just not in your groom's face!
Distract yourself for a minute.
When you're starting to feel overwhelmed and you can't control it with deep breaths, the next step is to mentally distract yourself. One of our favorite suggestions we've heard is to try doing a math problem in your head to regain your composure. (Seriously, it works!) Have a mantra like "Just smile and breathe!" ready to repeat internally. Or turn your attention elsewhere for 60 seconds, which will give you time to refocus.