What a month I’ve been emotionally. There I have been (and still) fighting my fears and old patterns, managing my emotions and changing my beliefs. Luckily I have asked for help from a professional , that if not I alone do not know if I could. And the practice of Mindfulness also helps, especially to realize the emotions one feels.
So far I have talked about Mindfulness to apply in situations of our daily lives, such as driving slowly or paying attention to the shower moment . But in some moments of our day to day we have to deal with intense emotions . As soon as our deepest fears enter the scene, things get complicated.
To start managing our emotions we must pay attention and remain, as far as possible, in the emotion as we observe what happens in our mind and in our body , to clearly understand what is happening and what path we should take, if We can choose or it is necessary to take a path.
I invite you to reflect for a moment: do you think it is possible to solve something if we do not know that it exists? All those states that cause us discomfort (fear, anger, sadness, dissatisfaction, hopelessness, anxiety, pain, anguish, stress, disappointment …) could be avoided if we took them into account. Or at least be aware of what happens to us to start remedying it. For this we must observe the signals that our body emits and pay attention to what is happening.
There is a problem in all this: it is more comfortable for us to deceive ourselves, to make everything look good and to ignore our emotions. We spend our lives turning our backs on our suffering, of whatever type and size. Because it hurts and we don’t want that. Think for a moment about all the laps you take and the maneuvers you use to deny it. We all do it, most of the time unconsciously. Human beings have a very strong instinct that leads us to seek pleasure and avoid pain. The problem lies in whether the methods we use for that work for us or not.
There is an episode of The Simpsons in which Homer goes by car and suddenly he lights the pilot on the dashboard that tells him that he is running out of gas. Homer doesn’t want to stop because he is in a hurry. Faced with the unforeseen, the little light gets angry and blows out, instead of stopping and refueling.
This scene reflects very well what we often do in our lives: we believe that our evils will disappear if we ignore them . And often the opposite happens: instead of disappearing, they get bigger. Undoubtedly, it is easier to stop to refuel at a gas station when the reserve light has just come on than when the tank has run out and you have to push the car or walk to the nearest service station. It goes without saying that if we refuel before the light comes on we save some more tensions …
Both in our relationships and in our life in general, self-deception often appears. That we do not see reality as it is, but that we tell ourselves and others a more or less sweetened version of it.
3 steps to manage our emotions
These are the three steps that are working for me to manage my emotions, old patterns and beliefs:
Step 1. Realize
When you feel that something bothers you, stop for a moment and observe . Ask yourself: What do I feel here and now? How is my body? Where is there tension and why is it there?
Identify what you feel, recognize it, name it. Then say hello. You can say: “Hello, old employer”; “Good morning, sadness”; “Greetings, my dear thoughts of ‘I am not worth anything'”. If you feel like it, you can also smile at them.
Step 2. Give space to the emotion
Once we have realized the emotion, the next step is, instead of denying it or running away, staying there, to see what is happening. Give yourself permission to feel what you feel . Accept what you are living, open yourself to experience, legitimize what you feel.
Step 3. Positively redirect the emotion
Check your beliefs : identify the beliefs behind the emotion, question its validity / usefulness and adopt new empowering beliefs.