Managing emotions mindfully
Have you ever been told you were acting unreasonably or you blew things out of proportion?
We are taught to express our happy feelings but at the same time we are told to suppress feelings of anger or sadness. From our childhood we are asked to stop crying and smile more, mostly because that is believed to be socially acceptable behavior.
Naturally, managing emotions seems like a difficult task. How can we understand how to manage emotions if we have never even been allowed to express them?
To be able to manage our emotions we first need to let ourselves feel and embrace them. It is important to fully experience our emotions. Only when we experience them, can we begin to support them.
So how do we experience our emotions in a way that helps us to cope better?
Here are two effective ways for you to try and support yourself through overwhelming emotions and help you understand it.
- Make supportive movements
You can try to support your emotions by letting your body express it through movements. These movements require you to really listen to your body.
What does your body want to do? Move it the way that feels intuitively right for you. Keep the movements gentle and slow giving yourself ample time and space to feel the effects of the movement.
For example, anger is a high-energy emotion, allowing your arms and legs to move may help. Boredom tends to express itself as restlessness.
Repeatedly remind yourself to keep your movements slow and mindful. Do them to create support for the overwhelming feelings.
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2.Use touch as support
Now, once you make these supportive movements, sit down in a relaxed manner. Remember, support means listening to the body and helping it to relax.
Now, take some deep breaths. Check where you can place a hand on your body to help it feel supported. Just to explore, keep your hand on your chest. Take a few seconds to sense how that feels.
See if that feels supportive. Do you feel like moving your hand higher or lower? Go ahead and do whatever feels right.
Similarly, you could explore by keeping a hand on your belly, on the top of your head or on your forehead.
Each time you support yourself through touch, stay that way to feel the support deeply for a few seconds. Only when you take in support deeply will your emotions respond and soften.
Remind yourself that whatever you are feeling is your reality for now and in some time, the feeling will pass away. No emotion stays forever. It may return, but each time it does, you have the steps to work with it wisely and in a friendly way.
Working with your emotions like this when it arises and continuing to practice mindfulness regularly, will help you notice your experiences managing emotions will become less intense or difficult over time.
Be patient and kind to your emotions, your experiences and yourself!
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