2 minute read
Looking for a better way to deal with your emotions?
Mindfulness is the practice of intentionally noticing, observing, and accepting the present moment. Here, now, without judgement.
The point isn’t to engage, challenge, change, or get rid of anything. It’s simply and only to notice.
When we can remove ourselves—just a tiny bit—from being in our experience to observing our experience, we have an opportunity to gain better focus.
We gain control to be present in our lives on a more regular basis.
And we can understand and manage our emotions more effectively.
- Say out loud, “I shouldn’t feel sad.” Observe how that feels.
- Now say out loud, “I notice that I feel sad.” Observe how that feels.
Did you feel differently?
Take a moment to mindfully reflect.
Observe, accept, & listen
If we can cultivate a mindful practice of observing our emotions (“I notice I’m feeling defensive,” or “I notice I’m anxious right now”), as opposed to judging them (“I shouldn’t be angry,” “I’m weak for being jealous,” “I can’t feel this way,”), we can improve our ability to manage the emotion we are having. We can accept the emotion (it’s there, whether we like it or not). And we can listen to what the emotion has to say.
This approach gives us a better shot at appropriately dealing with a feeling—as opposed to ignoring or avoiding it all together.
Ask yourself: Is this productive?
A productive emotion works toward a purpose that is in our interest.
A counterproductive emotion may be distorted, or just a bad habit (the way you’ve always done things, even though it doesn’t necessarily work).
To improve your connection to productive emotions—and decrease your engagement with counterproductive emotions—do this:
- What am I feeling?
- What is the purpose of this emotion?
- Can I do anything to serve the purpose of this emotion right now?
If you’re still overwhelmed, it’s possible that the driver of the emotion is a thinking error or a distorted belief about your safety or worth.
Use your mindfulness skills—to observe, accept, and listen—to help you re-focus on the present moment.
When you re-assess the emotion from that perspective, you can bring it to a tolerable level, manage it, and find a path forward.
Midwest Counseling & Diagnostic Center can offer support. Our extensively trained, highly skilled therapists are down-to-earth, non-judgmental, and committed to helping you find the path forward on your journey. For more information, please contact us.