How to Deal with Difficult Emotions

Place of Serenity | Difficult emotions

Are you fed up … with experiencing difficult emotions?

And struggling to deal effectively with them?

Is your mind an overwhelm of tangled information and unwelcome thoughts?

Place of Serenity | Negative emotions

The skill of mindfulness

Mindfulness is a way of life that lets you interpret your body’s moods and experiences more skillfully.

It empowers you to untangle your mind and deal more effectively with difficult emotions.

We often react quickly to events and people around us. Our brains have already stored prejudices, judgments, opinions and beliefs. Our minds regurgitate reactions out and express them again and again, usually without thinking.

Yet you have the power to use mindfulness meditation to find out what these strong emotions might be communicating to you. To connect more deeply with your true deeper Self.

Difficult emotions are full of information

Stop and ask yourself, why am I feeling this strong emotion? What’s beneath this knee-jerk reaction? Where is this anger/fear/shame/sadness coming from?

Without stopping to look beneath the reaction of an emotion we continue to replay old habits, old fears, self-judgments and negative perceptions. Difficult emotions are full of information.

With a mindful approach you learn to make better sense of your cluttered thinking, reactions and behaviours that are complex and deeply entrenched.

With mindful meditation, you start to become more finely attuned to your body and the experience of strong challenging emotions. And then the work of transformation can happen.

5 tips to implement when you are facing difficult emotions:

Negative emotions

1  Grounding

Bring your focus to your feet and ground yourself by feeling all parts of your feet against the floor.

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

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.

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 see how the strong emotion may have begun to lessen. Remind yourself as you focus here at your heart centre, that you are loved.

4 A whirlpool of emotions

Notice how a strong difficult emotion is not simply one emotion, but you might feel a whole host of emotions, one after the other. And it’s not always easy to pinpoint what exactly you are feeling. Negative emotions

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.

Let yourself see this whirlpool of emotions. If you are able to stop and direct that initial impulse you can watch the swirl of emotions and be kind to yourself.

5  Kindness and self-compassion

This kindness and self-compassion is important. You remind yourself that you are a human being, yet you are able to watch these emotions and learn not to get caught up in them.

This is the power of mindfulness.

Learn the skill of dealing with difficult emotions

There is a skill to this work. You’re dealing with a lifetime of habits.

That’s why sitting to meditate daily is like working any of your muscles. It takes time, and with a daily practice, it’s worth it.

Start to observe more closely when your difficult emotions arise. Watch how sometimes they are giving you a clue to changes you need to make in your life.

Further Reading:

On the science of the mind, great work from Dr Rick Hanson

Read more blog posts about learning to deal with your emotions and old habits through mindfulness and meditation.

Yvette Jane – Mindfulness & Meditation Guide

Place of Serenity | Place of Serenity







Updated since first published in February 2016



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