Meditation and Mindfulness: Dealing With Emotion - Not sure where to go with your emotions? Headspace talks about awareness of emotion. But what if you're already aware of the emotion, but simply aren't sure what to do with it?
Not sure where to go with your emotions? Headspace talks about
awareness of emotion. But what if you're already aware of the emotion, but
simply aren't sure what to do with it? Although simply sitting with awareness
can be very useful in these situations, sometimes it feels easier to be a bit
more proactive with the emotion...to do something with it. Here's a useful
mental technique for investigating and increasing your understanding of how and
why you feel the way you do...
1) Having focused on the breath and allowed the mind to settle, turn your
attention to the feeling of anger, sadness, anxiety, or whatever emotion is
2) First of all, where do you feel it physically? Is it in your arms, legs,
chest, stomach, head, or somewhere else altogether? You may well feel it in
several parts of the body, quickly alternating between one place and the other,
giving the impression that it is ‘everywhere’. If this is the case, just allow
your attention to settle on the part of the body where the feeling is most
intense. Alternatively, it may feel as though it is ‘stuck’ in one place. Either
way, gradually refine your search, narrowing the area down until you feel you
have found the very core of the discomfort.
3) At first, moving closer to the feeling in this way may seem a little
counterintuitive – we have after all spent most of our life running away from
it. Because of this, it is quite common to feel a little uneasy or even scared
about the idea of sinking down into the feeling. But notice what happens when
you move closer to it, rather than trying to get away. What happens when you
simply observe it, rather than trying to get rid of it? Does it have a shape, a
colour, or perhaps a particular sensation? Try and bring a genuine sense of
curiosity to the process.
4) Once you have pin-pointed the area, rest your attention on that point in a
very light and gentle way - still aware of the movement of breath, but in a much
more general way than before. In the same way that you feel a sinking sensation
when you sit on a very comfortable sofa or chair, imagine that you are just
sinking down into the middle of the feeling. There is no force required, as it
is a very natural sinking process. If you find that the mind doesn’t want to
sink down into the feeling – which can happen sometimes – then simply let it
rest wherever it is up to, even if it feels as though it is on the very surface
of the feeling. After a minute or so, imagine the mind sinks a little further
into the feeling, and then again after another minute or so. Repeat this 4 or 5
times until you feel as though you are right at the heart of the feeling.
5) Now imagine that the body is breathing through that very same point. It is
as if the body is naturally breathing in and out through the area of discomfort.
Remember, you have nothing to do in this process. Your only task is to notice
when the mind has become distracted, when it has wandered off, and then very
gently return the attention to that same point. Having returned, you can then
once again watch how the body breathes in and out through that area.
Having rested in this one area for several minutes, with no special effort,
allow your awareness to become a little wider, returning to the more general
feeling of the chest or the stomach rising and falling with the passing of the
By doing this exercise on a regular basis you'll very quickly begin to
understand emotions in a whole new way.
Disclaimer: Dime-Co.Com is an online information article and video article network. All articles, video articles, comments, and other features herein are for informational purposes only and are provided "as is" without warranties, representations or guarantees of any kind. The views and opinions expressed in an article, comments, links or blogs are the author's own, and not necessarily those of dime-co.com's owners. For full disclaimer, please read our TOS.