Many of us have spent our lives running away and hiding from our emotions. We are repulsed by them almost. Take "anxiety" for example. We start to feel anxious. Then we start thinking, "Oh no! I hate this. I need to somehow distract myself to make this go away!" Any of you ever have anxiety? It sucks. But, here’s the thing: all emotions pass.
So, here is what happens in our bodies and minds when a negative emotion arises. Something happens – that trigger I referred to in a post a few weeks ago. Then the feeling comes, uncomfortable and unwanted. From there we do one of two things: we either suppress it or it blows up. Either way, it’s not healthy; we are still not dealing with the emotion. Suppressing leads to victimization and illness, whereas explosive outbursts lead to guilt and self-loathing. It becomes a vicious cycle. It becomes our way of processing, and we continue on this cycle until we are in so much pain, we need to surrender.
What if we look at it like this: maybe these emotions are only showing us there is something we need to take a look at, under a magnifying glass. Maybe they are telling us there is something deep down that needs to be recognized and dealt with.
Something I teach in my meditation workshops and with private students is that we need to check ourselves – mentally, physically and emotionally. This starts with our thoughts which, if we really follow them, spark some sort of emotion or, bottom line, fear. It’s quick, so we have to pay attention! When we start to get upset, stop. Breathe. Count to four. Take a moment and clarify, "Listen, I feel frustrated/upset/angry. Give me a minute to chill, and we’ll talk about this once I’m calm." No blame, just honesty. It’s OK to feel, to be upset. In fact, it’s normal. But, when you do separate yourself, do two things. Contemplate what it is you are upset about and watch how quickly the emotion dissipates. Then follow-up with clear, honest communication. That is key.
Here is the kicker, and we all know it: If we continue on an unhealthy, cyclical path of coping with anger, frustration, irritation, we are losing the opportunity to grow and learn a new life skill. That’s where the gift is in paying attention to our emotions. And with that gift comes peace inherently.
So, be patient with yourself. Everything starts with you. And what a blessing that is! Imagine if all that we felt and did depended on what everyone else was doing!
Have a beautiful day,Jess