A mindful perspective lets you tackle overwhelming emotions more skillfully.
It empowers you to untangle your mind and deal more effectively with difficult emotions that sometimes appear with huge force.
Our brains have already stored a lifetime of prejudices, judgments, opinions and beliefs. So without mindfulness, our minds regurgitate the same old reactions again and again.
Here are 5 effortless tips to tackle overwhelming emotions and set you on a more mindful path
Remember this connection to the earth is holding you here through the power of gravity. Let it support you and hold you safe.
2 Deeper Connection and a Mindful Pause
Place a hand gently on your stomach. This is the area associated with fear, when we lose our sense of power and confidence. Breathe deeply into your abdomen, noticing what you are feeling and being aware of the bodily sensations.
This is the point at which your knee-jerk reaction would propel you to action that is not helpful. Instead of this, your deeper connection with your inner self allows you to create a mindful pause where you choose wise action instead.
3 Connect with your Heart Centre
Move your hand up towards your heart centre which is in the middle of your chest. As you focus on your breathing be accepting and curious of your emotions. Notice how your initial strong emotion may have begun to lessen. Remind yourself as you focus here at your heart centre, that you are loved.
Life loves you. You know how to love, and you are loveable.
4 Acknowledge the Whirlpool of Overwhelming Emotions
Notice how a strong difficult emotion is not simply one emotion, but you might feel a whole host of emotions. These may flow one after the other. And it’s not always easy to pinpoint what exactly you are feeling.
Very often you’ll add your own stories to what has happened. If you’ve reacted without thinking, you may already be feeling regret and shame.
If you are thinking of a past event, you may find yourself feeding the story and re-examining the emotions again and again.
If you are anxious about a future event, your mind may be fearing the worst with an avalanche of drama.
Let yourself see this whirlpool of emotions. Acknowledge their presence. If you are able to stop and direct that initial impulse you can watch the swirl of emotions from a more objective place.
This is an inner process of accepting our actual, present-moment experience. It means feeling sorrow and pain without resisting. It means feeling desire or dislike for someone or something without judging ourselves for the feeling or being driven to act on it.
Tara Brach ‘Radical Acceptance’
5 Kindness and Self-compassion
In Buddhist psychology compassion is a circle that encompasses all beings, including ourselves. Compassion blossoms only when we remember ourself and others, when the two sides are in harmony.
Jack Kornfield ‘The Wise Heart’
As you learn to watch your emotions with love, and learn not to get caught up in them, you realise that everything you experience contains valuable lessons.
This is the power of mindfulness. The more you remember to practice the more effortless it becomes to tackle overwhelming emotions.
From the archives further reading:
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