30 Jun How Mindfulness is Helpful in Dealing with Emotions
Fear, anxiety and depression have been the topic of writers, poets, philosophers, musicians, humanitarians and healers for thousands of years. All of us have been paralyzed by these feelings at some point or another during our lifetime. These emotions are a universal experience – we all feel them. They touch us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And for some of us, these emotions create blockages and patterns that can take years to overcome.
Our emotions are colored by our life experiences. Joy, anger, surprise, trust, grief or sadness, love and fear. If you ask anyone what emotion is the strongest, it raises quite the topic of philosophical conversation. If you’re an optimist, you would say love, but it’s pretty interesting to see how common fear, anger, and grief rise to the occasion. I say be the optimist and go with LOVE – love for yourself, love of your fears, and love for one another.
If you’re feeling less than optimistic, it’s time to give yourself an incredible gift – permission to focus on YOU and the life that YOU TRULY WANT. Now is the time to face those fears and instead of running away from them – TRUST, take the CHANCE, BREATHE and LEAP right into YOUR FEARS. It’s easy for us to come up with creative excuses not to face those fears and my personal favorite is “just waiting for the perfect time.” Perfection doesn’t exist. Perfection = Procrastination.
We often forget that this moment is exactly as it should be. Moments of fear are life’s way of gifting you the lessons necessary in guiding you towards your dharma – your soul’s PURPOSE. Living a life of dharma moves fear to the backburner and heightens life’s experiences to be unbounded, enjoyed, and cherished. If we can just shift our perspective a bit on what fear really can be – challenging, positive, FREEDOM – then our outlook on fear and life itself takes on a whole new meaning. Simply put, a better way of navigating through life!
One of the most prolific guides in my life are the teachings of Pema Chodron. Here, she says it best, “The only way to experience fearlessness is to know the nature of fear. The journey of growing closer to fear brings courage and bravery.”
The many stages of life, jobs, careers, or relationships, can create vulnerability to fear and anxiety. These transitional times bring on levels of uncertainty. We’re not the person we once were nor are we the one we’re about to become. So we need to establish a life of living in a grounded state. You are and should be your own rock. Grounding practices will assist in maintaining focus, clarity, grace, ease during life’s many transitions.
Meditation is an ancient grounding ritual. It helps us stay present and establish a regular touchstone through which we can experience and move through fear. It also gives our challenges the idea of transformation so it feels as though it has a higher purpose. If you don’t have a meditation practice, we all have to start somewhere – I did. So I encourage you to take that first step and give yourself a personal challenge this week. Sit with yourself in silence by following your breath twice a day. I have more than 100 FREE guided meditations to help you on davidji.com. Use them as tools for locking in a daily meditation practice.
For every emotional response, there is a correlating physical response. We know through research that these tools work in the following ways:
- Meditation helps us stay in the present, which reduces fear.
- A daily 10-minute walk in nature increases stress resilience.
- Relaxation-based practices such as Restorative Yoga reduce anxiety and heal the body.
- Deep breathing or pranayama is a quick and effective response to stress, anxiety and fear. Practice 16 Seconds in the moment to get you through a trying encounter at work or school, when your children test your nerves, when you argue with a loved one when you’re sitting in traffic fuming because you’re late. Here’s how: Softly close your eyes (unless driving) and inhale to the count of 4, hold to the count of 4, exhale to the count of 4, hold to the count of 4. I know you have 16 seconds! Feel free to repeat a few times if time permits.
- Take some time each day to tap into some sensory therapy: soothing music or nature sounds, beautiful visual imagery, aromatherapy, self-massage, mindful eating. Your 10-minute nature walk alone will tap into your inner healer with smell, sight, sound, and touch (if you’re barefoot).
Ritualized practices allow us to better tap into deeper levels of who we are and track our behaviors that establish the patterns – presenting us with opportunities to observe, learn, and shift away from the patterns that make mountains out of molehills.
Keep it real and keep meditating! Peace. – davidji