Emotions can sometimes be overwhelming and it’s not uncommon for us to push them to the side. After a while, things build up and then the fallout can be devastating. Apart from affecting our mood and interactions with others, emotional stress can also have serious implications for our physical health. While we can’t stop emotions, we can find a healthier way to handle how they make us feel through meditation.
How do I know emotions are affecting me?
The first step in using meditation is recognizing the effect of emotions in order to create space between ourselves and the symptoms. We might experience tension in our shoulders, insomnia, or headaches. We might snap at a loved one or feel extra tired. It takes a little bit of practice at first, but eventually, we can recognize that many of the physical things we sense in our bodies or the ways that we act are directly related to an emotion that we feel.
But I am angry.
You are not angry, you feel anger. Meditation starts with acknowledging that the “feelings” are merely a sensation. What we do with that sensation is up to us. We begin meditation with deep breathing in order to help the body to reframe those sensations. Focusing on the breath helps us connecttoour bodies in a concrete way. Emotions have the tendency of making us feel that we are spinning off in space. Breath brings us back to solid ground.
Like clouds floating by…
Meditation should be viewed as a safe space for emotional thoughts to visit, but not linger. Some of us have the idea that the “right” way to meditate is by clearing the mind. Not only is this wrong, but it’s simply not possible most of the time! We must allow all thoughts to enter, observe them, recognize them whether positive or negative and here’s the tricky part…we must accept the thoughts as they are.
**With practice\, meditation helps us focus our minds no matter what is going on around us. Bringing ourselves back to our breath\, we calm the storm. Emotions become sensations to manage\, not waves that will knock us down. **
Corliss, J. (2018). Mindfulness meditation may ease anxiety, mental stress - Harvard Health Blog. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/mindfulness-meditation-may-ease-anxiety-mental-stress-201401086967
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