Emotions will come and go; therefore, it is important that you learn how to be mindful of them. Being mindful of emotions essentially means acknowledging you are feeling an emotion without judging them or trying to ignore them. You will experience emotions whether you want to or not. It is necessary to learn how to work with and through them rather than push them away.
BEING MINDFUL OF EMOTIONS HELPS:
- Decrease suffering. When you ignore or suppress an emotion, it is still there on some level. This can lead to an underlying sense of anxiety, depression, and general emotional pain without really knowing why. It can also make you more sensitive to triggering events. Being mindful of emotions allows you to work through them so that you can fully move forward without added pain or stress.
- Stop Catastrophizing. Often, people are afraid of emotions. The fear of feeling a negative emotion can lead to avoidance and increased anxiety. People can create difficult emotions due to their own current or potential emotional response. Learning to be mindful of emotions will help you see that negative emotions are manageable and are not so scary.
- No longer be controlled by emotions. Being mindful of emotions helps let go of needing to control how you feel. The emotions you experience is not something controllable, but you can gain overall control by accepting that. Once you do so, you have more control over how you act and view your emotional experience. This will bring more inner peace and freedom.
- Increase life satisfaction. Being mindful of emotions helps you learn to accept painful emotions as a part of life. This makes it easier for you to manage and work through the emotion. Accepting that sometimes experiencing negative emotions is part of life, makes the experience less stressful and improves overall happiness.
HOW TO BE MINDFUL OF EMOTIONS
- Observe your current emotion. Acknowledge that you are experiencing an emotion and identify what that is emotion is. Try not to block, suppress, or push away the emotions; don’t hold onto the emotion, let yourself feel it as it comes and goes. Think of the emotion as the waves of the ocean as they come in and out, experiencing the emotion as you feel it. Imagine riding the wave, working to keep balance.
- Be mindful of body sensations. Notice your physical sensations. Ask yourself where in your body are you feeling the emotion. Be aware of any tension of other physical sensations. Acknowledge any patterns of body sensations correlating with specific emotions. Notice how your body sensations change as you go through the emotional experience.
- Do not define yourself by your emotion. Separate your emotional experience from who you are as a person. Remember you are not your feelings. People tend to say things like “I am angry,” or “I am upset.” Instead think about it as “I feel angry,” or “I feel upset.” This helps you remember that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and life is not always this way.
- Practice loving your emotion. Accept and respect your emotion. Don’t judge the emotions or yourself for how you are feeling. Find any meaning in your suffering. Look for what you learned and how you may have had personal growth. If nothing else, each time you are mindful, and can accept your emotion, you are decreasing the stressful impact and are one step closer to more life satisfaction.
The idea is to really be aware of an emotional reaction when you have one and accept that that is the reality at the time. You do not necessarily need to act on the emotion. Many time the urges we have related to an emotion is not in our best interests to act on. Being mindful of current emotions allows you to manage the emotion and be able to make calmer, more rational decisions regarding how you want to proceed. Just by acknowledging and accepting the emotion, the experience is less overwhelming and more easily managed.