Dying Daily #225: Mindfulness and Emotions

I often have people tell me that they hate mindfulness because it is making them angry or anxious, and they want to quit.

While I understand the desire to escape from what we label as negative emotions, mindfulness does not generate these things in us, it simply makes us aware that they are there.

I think this is a good thing.

If you have termites in your walls, they will destroy your home whether you know they are there or not.
Emotions have an impact whether we are aware of them or not.

A mindfulness practice allows us to acknowledge and work with difficult emotions instead of waiting for the house to fall down around us.

Meditation can serve as a global desensitizer if we let it.

When difficult emotions arise we can turn toward them, and allow them to exist exactly as they are instead of trying to run away or stuff them down.

Over time, this makes them much more bearable.

Sometimes it can help to simply acknowledge them for what they are.

Anger.

Frustration.

Resentment.

Worry.

Fear.

Embarrassment.

Humiliation.

Rejection.

Sadness.

No stories, just labeling.
No judgment, just naming.

Simply acknowledging something instead of running from it can give us a small degree of power in the situation, and that is often all we need. Once we realize that our emotions are just warning lights, we can appreciate them for the role they play in our consciousness.

Sometimes we can even befriend them.

Try this today.

When you find yourself resisting an emotion or feeling, just take a moment to stop and acknowledge it.

Name it and allow it to be exactly as it is.

Ask yourself if it is really hurting you.

Let yourself sit with any painful or uncomfortable physical sensations that might arise with it.

See what they feel like without the stories about them, without the fear.

Explore your experience with a friendly curiosity and see what you find.

Return to your breath if it becomes overwhelming.

Allow yourself to expand, to be large enough to accept whatever you might be feeling.

Breathe.

Have a great day.